Author Topic: Post-Katrina New Orleans?  (Read 1764 times)

mgriffin

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Post-Katrina New Orleans?
« on: December 21, 2010, 11:15:49 AM »
Has anybody here been to New Orleans after Katrina? What little I've heard indicates that the tourism-heavy areas have been pretty much completely cleaned-up and tourism levels have bounced back pretty well. Outlying residential areas may still have some problem area, but (while I have a lot of sympathy for residents whose lives were fouled-up by the disaster) I'm mainly asking about it from the perspective of someone who would like to visit, have some fun and take in the flavor of one of America's great cities. 

Lena and I have both been to New Orleans, but not since we've been together, and we're planning to visit there some time outside the Mardi Gras window of insanity.  Just hoping to hear from somebody who has been there recently, or who has heard first-hand reports from recent visitors.
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hdibrell

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Re: Post-Katrina New Orleans?
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2010, 02:44:42 PM »
I haven't been there myself recently, but I did have this very discussion with the sales rep from my company in San Antonio who also rep's New Orleans. His opinion was that it was still a great city to visit as a tourist. Lot's to see and great restaurants. The tours of the ninth ward and other heavily damaged areas was sobering to say the least, though. One negative comment he did have was that the smell of the city seems a little stronger. More of a mildew smell. But, then again New Orleans was never exactly a sweet smelling city.  :o  I think it would be a good place for you to visit. Kathy and I are talking about going ourselves sometimes soon. Oh yeah, definitely avoid Mardi Gras!
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mgriffin

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Re: Post-Katrina New Orleans?
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2010, 02:57:42 PM »
Mardi Gras seems like a great idea until you talk to people who have actually been there during that week. Everybody I know who has gone in the last decade ended up with some kind of horror story to tell, usually caused by raging drunk strangers.
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hdibrell

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Re: Post-Katrina New Orleans?
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2010, 03:03:16 PM »
Mardi Gras seems like a great idea until you talk to people who have actually been there during that week. Everybody I know who has gone in the last decade ended up with some kind of horror story to tell, usually caused by raging drunk strangers.
Oh, Yeah!! I could tell you some stories myself from my younger more naive days,  :o  I mentioned the great restaurants , but you can't pass up the "street foods". Oyster and shrimp po boys. muffaletta's from the Central Market and don't even get me started on gumbo or Patton's Hot Sausage!!
Never regret money spent on old books, old dogs or old friends.

mgriffin

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Re: Post-Katrina New Orleans?
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2010, 08:32:57 PM »
We've both visited before, so we know the basic stuff you're supposed to do... stagger down Bourbon Street drinking Hurricanes, eat jambalaya and bbq and stuff like that.

I'm more interested in the degree to which the basic New Orleans experience, from a tourist's perspective, has rebounded to pre-Katrina levels. I figure it's fine, but actually haven't talked to anybody first-hand who's gone back yet.
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zzzone.net

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Re: Post-Katrina New Orleans?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2010, 07:04:28 AM »
I'm a N.O. escapee.  I left one year after Katrina and have been back twice in the last 4 years.  I still have a lot of friends there after living there 26 years.

It's a wonderful place for the architecture,food and indigenous music.  There is nothing to compare N.O. to except European cities.  The seafood is second to none except that I fear some contamination from the recent BP spill although that may not be scientifically founded.  There are more restaurants now than there were pre-Katrina.

The politics have improved lately since Mitch Landrieu took over from the infamously sleazy Ray Nagin.

However, crime is really bad.  The school situation is deplorable and the influence of crack cocaine has been profound.  N.O. is the murder capital of the country and indeed is in the top ten worldwide.  It's safe to be the tourist, but it's another thing to live there day to day with the threat of violence and crime pervasive.  I had two home invasions and a armed mugging during my tenure there.  I was featured on a TV station as "Fighting Back" during one of the home invasions.  I'm not proud of that but at least I survived.

The differences in socioeconomic status are very visible and indeed divisive in N.O.  Very wealthy folks live next door to very poor ones.  Gangster types have proliferated with the growing popularity of hip hop.  Guns pop out if you look at the wrong person the "wrong" way.  Anger management is very poor.

Here's a recent hip-hop-powered example:  Shorty Magnolia

and her "wonderful"
YouTube video
:(  

Mardi Gras is chaos.  I love it for the years I marched with the Krewe of St Ann but I also hate the traffic snarls and trash.  The last time I was there was for Mardi Gras in '07 and the experience was a bit too negative for me to want to go back any time soon.  However, the classic side of Mardi Gras is quite nice as you can see from my picture scrapbook:  http://kreweofsaintanne.org/mainmenu.html

I do plan on visiting but I will never live there again due to the crime and the threat of more hurricanes.

As I mentioned in another thread, I lost 15,000 vinyl records in the storm.  That was quite a loss for me but mild compared to the loss of property and life that occurred on a major scale.

You can check my "recovery" website at http://vendomeplace.org

Happy Holidays.

Jim
« Last Edit: December 22, 2010, 11:12:22 AM by jimzzzak »

mgriffin

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Re: Post-Katrina New Orleans?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2010, 10:10:34 AM »
Great information, Jim. I'll check out your links, too.

The kind of problems I've heard described during Mardi Gras are of the kind you mention, guns and knives being pulled out left and right, police arresting people everywhere, brutal fights.  Friends of mine who have gone there determined to avoid trouble have ended up injured, or forced to run away, when trouble found them.
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hdibrell

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Re: Post-Katrina New Orleans?
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2011, 05:54:01 PM »
There was a short feature on the news here recently that reported that tourism in NO was up 25% from last year (2009). That's a good sign.
Never regret money spent on old books, old dogs or old friends.

mgriffin

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Re: Post-Katrina New Orleans?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2011, 02:23:00 PM »
One of my co-workers has some friends who visited NO recently and reported it seemed pretty much exactly the same as pre-Katrina in every way, unless you drove out to the edges of town where tourists wouldn't want or need to go, anyway. I'm looking forward to it!
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions