Monday, December 11, 2006

Notes on New Orleans

Not much about writing in today’s post. Mostly comments on New Orleans, the last leg of our cross-the-south tour. We landed Saturday, rented a car, and headed north to Mississippi.

As one of those who live far from New Orleans, I was amazed at the Katrina destruction still evident. For miles on either side of the highway, houses stood empty, abandoned. Some showed life with trailers parked out front. Whole shopping centers were empty or razed. Acres of vegetation seemed to be dying.

After one night in Mississippi, we’re back in New Orleans. We checked into our hotel and walked to Bourbon Street for dinner. I haven’t been to the French Quarter in years and to Mardi Gras once. Even so, Katrina seems to have had a big impact here as well as in the outer areas. Not much of a crowd was evident and the places open were either t-shirt shops, restaurants or sex shows. And Bourbon Street was quite dirty with empty cups and trash lining the gutters.

Today, we went out again and headed deeper into the Quarter. Street sweepers had been through and the place looked cleaner, but very few shops were open. We also walked into the more residential area and found many more “for sale” and “for rent” signs than places occupied. If you want to eat, though, this is the place to be. Every street block has two or three restaurants.

Tonight we’re going to dinner at the Court of Two Sisters and possibly to Harrah’s. I suspect casinos are most likely up and running. But New Orleans is definitely not back to The Big Easy.

A special Hello to my friends back in Austin. I’m having a great time on this trip, but hate it that I’m missing two parties. Tonight was Christmas Bunco, which is always fun. And probably going on right now is a party hosted by a friend of mine, Sally Baker. She throws great parties with fabulous food and the best of guests. Hi to all the Irregulars!

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