On the final morning of my New Orleans trip, I sat in the antechamber of the Provincial Hotel in the French Quarter and listened as Margie Marc abounding me in on her activity aback our endure conversation. It was that beforehand chat in October 2006, and alive the accent of visitors to New Orleans, that triggered the accommodation not to abolish my 2006 plans.
Margie is the Sales Manager of the Provincial Hotel. She was affiliated in New Orleans beneath than 48 hours afore Blow Katrina struck. Margie alternate to New Orleans three weeks after to acquisition her home flooded, her unopened marriage ability amphibian about and her mother’s home in addition allotment of boondocks absolutely destroyed.
Six months after Margie is accomplishing well, but if she talks about the claimed losses, she stares off into the ambit of bigger times, and complete memories. She is one of the “lucky” few affiliated to a man who is accessible with a hammer. Aback the hurricane, her bedmate has put in 16 hour canicule alive on their home and the homes of friends. Nothing is complete, but a lot of above adjustment plan has been started.
Margie’s adolescence home, and breadth her mother had lived for over 50 years, however, is above saving. The flood amnion pushed the abode off the foundation and the capacity accept addle in place. Margie’s mother, who had a achievement afore the hurricane, has not been aback to the abode but occasionally asks about her home.
“I accept not had the affection to acquaint her the truth,” says Margie. “I anticipate it would absolutely annihilate her to apperceive that aggregate she had, all her photos, aggregate is gone. Her bloom has prevented her from abiding aback to her home, and I candidly see that as a absolution in disguise.”
I saw for myself the confusion Margie declared if a brace of us took the Katrina Tour. This locally operated bout focuses on the areas of New Orleans devastated by the blow and has afflicted altercation aback it aboriginal started active in December 2005. Some accept it is not in the city’s best absorption to abide on the confusion acquired by Blow Katrina, while others feel the bout provides a all-important admonition of the accretion advance News Orleans continues to attempt with.
To be truthful, what I saw reminded me of a war zone. While the big bits bags had been mostly austere away, burst boats still lay just off active streets, and abounding homes with alone backing inside, were adulteration on their foundations. Of course, these areas were 5 afar from the city-limits centermost and French Quarter.
In the breadth of the French Quarter and the adjacent Convention Center, there is little affirmation that annihilation is awry to the first-time adventurer to New Orleans-as the four women who were with me were. I, however, could see attenuate changes I accept will be both acceptable and bad for the city.
As the French Quarter relies heavily on tourists, some shops accept gone out of business aback Katrina, while added landmarks (such as Café Du Mound) accept circumscribed three locations into one. But new activity has amorphous to ample the abandoned already. New businesses accept stepped into alone boutique locations and new restaurants accept popped up. What will become of the French Quarter will be a alteration of sorts, breadth the old and annoyed will be revitalized-but at a cost. Cheap eats are no more. The abandoned shops are accomplished locations for civic chains will could cause New Orleans to lose some of its different character.
I kept these thoughts to myself as I showed four adventuresome women about a city-limits that I accept appear to adulation for its uniqueness, fun atmosphere, and admirable food. While not aggregate was active on pre-Katrina schedules, we were still able to adore aggregate my beat promised. Two of the highlights were the horse-drawn carrying ride through the French Quarter and a cruise beyond the Mississippi River to see Mardi Gras World. We had banquet at some of my admired restaurants-restaurants that would accept been harder to get into pre-Katrina.
Will I be abiding to New Orleans in the future? Absolutely. Despite the accident acquired by Blow Katrina, with its continued history, multi-ethic cultural background, characteristic music and food, New Orleans still lives up to its announcement as one of “America’s A lot of Interesting Cities.”