Gra Nomad Wanderings

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Not all residences have been restored.... six years after Katrina.

When the rescuers had been through a house, they marked them with an X to show they had been through it. This house had been renovated and they had decided to keep the X.

Here is the "Make It Right" scheme.... with help from Brad Pitt. The places are environmentally cool also.
Guess some folk just decided to walk away!

Very stylishly renovated. Plenty of colour - which is very New Orleans.

Why would anyone wanna go to New Orleans? Louis Armstrong sang “Do you know what it means to miss New Orleans?” back in the 40s.

The city of New Orleans with a population of half a million people, sits at the mouth of the Mississippi River in the state of Louisiana. What a different city is New Orleans. You don’t have to be here very long to believe that it has a charm all of its own. In fact, I liken it to Alaska – maybe it’s hard to describe the place but you can’t help getting a feel that it is SO unlike the rest of America. But then I’m beginning to think that about other places we’ve been too in this vast country.

Currently staying with Liz and Lane in their penthouse condo – maybe that’s why one feels the charisma of the place after having only been here for such a short time. Last night for dinner, Liz cooked up a bean dish that you have in New Orleans on Monday nights! (At least that’s what they tell us.) You can check out Liz' blog at - cool.

Yesterday we experienced a condensed taste of the place as Liz drove us around – the streetcars, the bars, historic St Charles Ave, the sad evidence of Katrina’s visit here in 2005, the rebuilding, the colourful houses, the beautiful green parks in the city and the visual remains of the celebrations they had to mark Memorial Day.

Amazingly, New Orleans has a history a bit similar to our Aussie history. Named after a French regent, the place was initially filled with “thieves, prostitutes and other undesirables” (from the AAA Tour Book 2011). Yes, it was a mini penal colony! No wonder it’s got some oomph, some gusto, some character. No wonder it says…. “I’m not gonna die!”

The famous French Quarter (the true heart of the city?) suffered disastrous fires in 1788 and 1794, taking out practically all the French structures. Today the architectural influence is more Spanish than French.

Why haven’t we discovered N.O. before now? One year we were to take a car here but when crunch time came, the vehicle was not road worthy. Another time (1970), we were enroute when Fay became quite ill and we had to abort and return hastily to the safe haven of Canada where our health insurance was going to be a happier situation. Still another time we were to fly in from South America in 2006 – Hurricane Katrina did it’s damage the previous year which put paid to that visit. BUT, here we are now. Let’s have a crack at this city! What can I wear so that I don’t look too much like a tourist?


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