I am so glad to be home. I hate to sound cliché, but it is so fucking hot down there. I guess I shouldn't complain considering it rained all day everyday here while I was gone, and I basked in the sun there with only a minor shower on Saturday night. New Orleans is such a great place, but also such a tragic place. I won't ever get all my sentiments about that place verbalized correctly, but I will try.
When I got there on Thursday, the conference had not yet begun, and it was quite evident that the tourist industry is almost non existent, which is really a shame, because the French Quarter was basically untouched by Katrina, and is operating at full capacity at this time, except for a few stores that suffered water damage due to roof leaks and wind damage. Most people don't realize that the French Quarter was pretty much spared during the storm, and was back up and running soon after the storm left. The sad part about this is that Canal Street and the Riverwalk suffered damage, not by the winds of Katrina, but by the greed and disrespect of the looters. Almost all of the Riverwalk is still closed, and the major stores on Canal that suffered the worst looting are still being rebuilt. It was in these places that the devastation of lawless humans far outweighed the devastation of mother nature.
What was striking about my trip to New Orleans, were the amount of thanks that I received from local businesses. With ever meal I bought or tour I booked I was thanked for coming, for not being afraid, for helping to restore the City. I heard it over and over ever day "thank you for being here" it truly was heartbreaking to realize how alone this City must have been for the past year. Most of its residences have been displaced to neighboring states, the streets once filled with tourists clamoring to hear music lay bare. Musicians play to empty bars and cafes. It truly was a site for sore eyes. It's too bad that the actions of a few, made an impression on the masses.
Ok, I missed my blog, I missed my kitchen, I missed my cat, I missed my husband. I missed the security of being home. We'll I'm going to have to suck it up, because I leave for Hawaii in a week. No, not for pleasure, but for work. My poor blog lay bare as I traipse around the globe. I'm going to try to get a few recipe posts in while I am home this week, but being the holiday and all, I'm not sure what time I will have, but I promise, I will try.
Below is a sprinkling of the 200 pictures I took while I was in New Orleans. While I was there I took a City tour which traveled to the 17th Street Canal that gave way during the storm, flooding all of the houses almost up to there roofs. In the pictures you can see the water lines on the houses, where the water settled and stayed for 3 weeks before receding.
I also went on a swamp tour, where I saw my very first aligator. I also went on a literary walking tour, which I have to say, for me, was a bit of a snore. I like to read, and I also like to write, but I just found this completely boring once I was in the second hour of the tour.
I ended my tours with a Ghost Tour, which had it not been for the crazy geriatric tour guide would have been a waste, but Mary made it all worth it.
View of Bourbon Street at night.
Aligator I saw while on the Honey Island Swamp Tour.