Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Visiting the Crescent City Post-Katrina

I spent a few days touring the Crescent City - New Orleans - exploring on my own while hub spent days walking the corridors of the city's convention center.

New Orleans received lots of publicity a few years ago not conducive to attracting tourists. But things change. The French Quarter, the heart of the old city and not flooded during Katrina, remains architecturally intact. The surrounding city is booming.

There are two reasons for the city's renaissance, according to local sources.

New Orleans (along with the state of Louisiana) has a long history of corruption. A few years ago the city bums were booted out - the former Mayor kicked all the way to jail - and positive things began to happen. New buildings, businesses moving in, government projects revitalizing the city.

Katrina devastated the area in 2005. One guide told me if it were not for the importance of the maritime industry, the city would have declined permanently. New Orleans is the focal point for the Mississippi River shipping industry and one of the busiest ports in the world.

Some highlights of my trip -

Let me begin with a happening in the sky.

Recognize this?
An airline meal!
I did not think they existed anymore. 
But they do - in first class.
Hub and I were upgraded from cattle class to first class on the flight to New Orleans 
(we returned home cattle class).

Pictured below is a sign I never encountered before,
(another unique travel first)
posted on the back of the taxi driver's seat.
It is hard to read, so here is the important section:
"...Any kind of sexual Activity is strictly prohibited. Please have some respect for the driver. This isn't your mom's couch. If u do not abide by the rules, the driver has the right to kick u out.
Thank you!!!"
And welcome to New Orleans...

Halloween is big in New Orleans. Houses are elaborately decorated.

Sometimes decisions are difficult to make. Especially real estate decisions.
Here is the same apartment. 
The interested party must decide whether to rent the place 
haunted or not haunted.
The choice is yours...

The finishing touch on your Halloween costume -

And of course a trip to New Orleans must include - besides the food -
The Music
Street bands in the French Quarter.

I did more than take pictures. 
I attended a cooking class, a kayaking trip along the bayous 
and a bike tour around the city.
I spent two hours in a dentist's chair.
New Orleans is a wonderfully flat expanse, 
so I spent a lot of time walking...and walking...and walking.
I bought a mask for Halloween.
And did I mention the food?
I ate a lot of food, most of it very good 
Creole and Cajun dishes, the local cuisines.
(One breakfast burrito, barely consumable, wins the prize for worst food.
 It ended up in the trash. Enjoyed an early lunch that day.)

And suddenly it was time to return home...


  1. Lucky you--an extensive visit to the all-time favorite city we've visited. I'm a Dixieland jazz fanatic, and there's no place better than New Orleans for that (with apologies to a few Chicago hot spots). Good to learn the old town is back up running and prospering. Hope we get back some day.

  2. I have always wanted to visit New Orleans, but never had the chance. Maybe someday. it looks like fun and I like the music.

  3. Great pictures and commentary. I felt as if I were there along with you. I traveled first class a while back, and I was also impressed that there was actual food. Didn't look as good as yours, though. New Orleans is a very unique place; I'm glad it's recovering. :-)

  4. I love New Orleans, have not been there in maybe 10 years-- a bike tour and kayaking the bayou sounds fascinating.. I may have to return soon!!!!!

  5. I loved this! I'm planning a trip for two, probably in April. And I'm using my accumulated miles to fly first-class (first time ever). After that, we may never fly anywhere again!

  6. Sounds like New Orleans is a good place to visit again.

  7. I was in NO once, pre-Katrina, and was warned to be careful, they had a lot of crime there. (I didn't have any problems.) Maybe now that the old politicians have been kicked out, things are better. But gee whiz, why would I want to go to New Orleans when you can't even do THAT in the back of a taxicab?!?