Monday, January 16, 2006

I went to New Orleans last week to look around. We saw a lot of fun stuff and a lot of devastation. The areas that were hardest hit by Katrina are still without power, and they are totally wasted. Out by the lake looks like a war zone. The marina was all but completely destroyed. Boat houses were obliterated. Passing down the streets we could see horizontal lines across houses marking levels of the flood waters. Piles and piles of trash were everywhere. Medians of main thoroughfares have been turned into temporary landfills. Downtown, life is slowly emerging. It wasn't hit that hard. Most of the damage was from wind...blown-out windows, signage knocked down, siding and stucco blown off. There isn't much happening down there right now because there are so few people to take jobs to run everything. We went into the Riverwalk shopping mall, and very few stores were open. At one point, my little group contained the only people on one of the long stretches of hallway. There were only 2 restaurants open in the food court.

Despite the devastation and the lack of open businesses, it was very encouraging to be on Tulane campus on the day of orientation. People were everywhere. The campus had been cleaned up, and temporary buildings are in place. Everyone was excited to be there. Dillard University was having orientation in the Riverwalk, where they'll be having classes this semester. Traffic jams symbolized life. The food never tasted better. Bourbon Street was almost barren, but the clubs were playing music as if they had a full house. It was awesome. Our hotel room had a balcony that opened up onto the street. It was a great atmosphere.

Something else that is very exciting is the fact that Mardi Gras is going to roll this year. All of the krewes are ready. We went to Mardi Gras World, where most of the floats for Mardi Gras are made. I had never been there before, and it was a lot of fun. I watched one guy put the final touches on one of my favorite props that was is the warehouses. It was a really cool place to go. I'm excited for the parades this year.

So, if you're curious, you can see my pictures from the trip through my flickr account. There's a new link to that on my sidebar. Enjoy.


At 09:55, Blogger metamorphose said...

What are you eating?? Looks mighty tasty.

At 11:52, Blogger Laura said...

You're so pretty.

And that clown - I'm scarred for life. ACK!

At 12:21, Blogger Kiki said...

Them is beignets, and them is pretty good.

At 11:07, Anonymous burichan said...

Here's a funny song about NOLA from The Simpsons, season 4. I guess it is politically incorrect now.

Here are the important lyrics:
Long before the Superdome
Where the Saints of football play...
Lived a city that the damned call home
Hear their hellish rondelet...

New Orleans!
Home of pirates, drunks and whores
New Orleans!
Tacky overpriced souvenir stores

If you want to go to hell, you should take a trip
To the Sodom and Gomorrah of the Mississip'

New Orleans!
Stinking, Rotten, vomiting, vile
New Orleans
Putrid, brackish, maggotty, foul

New Orleans!
Crummy, lousy, rancid, and rank
New Orleans

At 11:51, Anonymous burichan said...

By the way, I looked through all your photos on flikr. I remember seeing most of those places with you in 2004. Looks like you had a great visit.

I can't believe it is taking so long to restore.

Did you hear Mayor Ray Nagin in his press conference indicate that he thinks New Orleans should be full of chocolate? When questioned, he decided it would be okay to mix in some white milk to make the chocolate tastier. Only he could get away with statements like that.

Do you happen to have a beignet recipe?

At 12:58, Blogger Kiki said...

Burichan, thanks for the link. That was funny. The reason it's taking so long is because a lot of stuff is completely destroyed. A lot of the neighborhoods we saw have to be almost completely torn down and rebuilt. People are waiting for money from insurance companies and the government to be able to do anything to restore their homes. There aren't many businesses open because there aren't places for the would-be workers to live. It's going to take a while for New Orleans to rebuild from Katrina. A friend that was with me said that all of the mess that is still there is actually cleaned up from the last time she was there.

I don't have a beignet recipe. We buy the Cafe du Monde mixes. I can send you a few boxes if you like.


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