New Orleans: A tale of 2 cities since Katrina

By PAUL NEWBERRY | February 1, 2013 | 7:31 PM EST

An abandoned housing project in New Orleans' Ninth Ward is pictured Friday, Feb. 1, 2013. Some parts of the Big Easy, such as the Ninth Ward and Treme, don't look a whole lot different than they did the day after Hurricane Katrina came ashore more than seven years ago. (AP Photo/Paul Newberry)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — In many ways, New Orleans has come back stronger than ever since Hurricane Katrina. The restaurant scene is thriving. The hotels are packed. The Superdome has received a glamorous makeover. The French Quarter rocks into the wee hours night after night.

But, as the Big Easy prepares to host Super Bowl Sunday, it's worth remembering that life has not yet returned to normal for everyone.

Not even close.

This is a tale of two cities.

Just a short ride from the Quarter, in historic neighborhoods such as Treme and the Ninth Ward, there are blocks and blocks of abandoned homes that look pretty much the same as they did when the waters receded in 2005. Some are still marked with the spray-painted "X'' that showed they had been searched for storm casualties.