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A trumpeter serenades the French Quarter. Though it was a Saturday night and Bourbon Street was just two blocks away, the area was relatively devoid of people.

New Orleans seems like three different cities.

First, there is the eerily empty Ninth Ward. Most of the houses that remain are untouched by reconstruction efforts; many are engulfed by overgrowth and rubble.

Across the canal, the French Quarter is astir with nightlife and recovering businesses. Appearances here are deceiving, though - only half the area's pre-Hurricane Katrina population has returned.

And farther west, Tulane University students are resuming a life they knew it before the storm. They say that campus is largely back to normal.

Taken a year after Katrina, these images offer a look at New Orleans as it lies torn between these extremes.

[Click the image below to enlarge]

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