Every New Orleanian has to endure countless hardships. It's hard to describe to out of towners all the little slings and arrows. It's sort of like death-by-a-thousand-cuts.
How bad is the blight problem? It's bad by Iraqi standards. Read the comments by an Iraqi blogger.
How bad is the crime? It's so bad, it's killing New Orleans. The murder rate is 10 times the national average.
What's worse than the crime? Incompetence in City Hall. UNO has been doing this survey since 1988 (!) and for the first time, they've found something WORSE than the thugs: Clarence R. Nagin and company (with special guest stars, "the Amazing Cynthias"). Out of every problem (crime, high cost of living, low quality of life) City Hall was the worse problem.
UPDATE- New Orleans drowning in Crime. He says a few unusual things, but it's mostly on-point.