Monday, October 02, 2006

Chocolate City with vanilla flavoring

DCSC and I came home from an entertaining and interesting visit to the Big Easy. New Orleans for those not in the know. Our visit to N.O. was much anticipated. Not only because of our beloved friends' wedding, but it gave me an opportunity to visit a city I enjoyed visiting when I was a younger and single man. Going in I did not know what to expect. How bad was the damage? What was open? Would I recognize it? Glad to say that I did recognize the city as such. Especially from a distance. Most of my experience is from the airport to the French Quarter with the Garden district and Metairie. I have never been East of the French Quarter. From my understanding this is where most of the devastation occurred.
My first impression from the airplane. Damn, Lake Pontchartrain is bigger than I remember. I was also pleased to see the Causeway bridge is back in business. As we get over land I see the famous blue tarps on houses, but not as many as I would have thought. Driving in to downtown things looked pretty normal. Rush hour traffic and highway construction. But you got to look at the little things. Look down the neighborhood streets and you will more than likely see a couple FEMA trailers parked on peoples lawn. Also the many open lots you see will be converted into trailer parks, some look semi permanent. First impressions of the French Quarter was that it looked and smelled the same. Strike that. Worse if you are near a construction dumpster. Bourbon St. has many more stip joints than I remember. I mean Hustler has three clubs on the street alone. Different. so which one is the ugly one?
Our first day in N.O. was spent doing the touristy things that bring you there. Wake up and head to Cafe du Monde. Got to get my chicory coffee and Beignets. I knew people where heading back to the city to help it out, but who knew that Santa was going to be in town. Hopefully he is bringing some early Christmas presents. Santa I want a Sens or Caps Stanley Cup

We were also to enjoy some wonderful meals in some of my favorite restaurants in the world. Mother's and Brennan's are a must when in New Orleans. Also check out Yo Mamma's and try the Voodoo daiquiri at Lafitte's Blacksmith shop. But in general you can not go wrong any place you go.

Back to the Katrina affect. To notice it big time take a walk on Canal St. The main avenue just outside the Quarter. This area was hit hard. Some by the flooding, some by the wind, but also by looting. I remember this as a busy shopping area. Now many if not most of the shops are boarded up. As you head up Canal towards the SuperDome you notice it more and more. Empty office buildings and store fronts. Blown out windows and closed shops. The topper of what we saw up close is just next door to the Dome. The empty Hyatt and the New Orleans Centre (shopping mall).

New Orleans being the first in my mind to own the motto " What goes on in... Stays in...." still lives up to it. Bourbon though not as busy as I think it should be is still the party zone. I mean where else can you see someone passed out ( at least I hope he was only passed out) in the street at 2:00pm.

One final word in form of a picture. Amen


At 10:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mrs. Claus busted you!

At 6:15 PM, Blogger Marci (aka Baby Banana) said...

Best food I've ever had on a business trip was in NO. Mother's was to die for (we even got luck with only a 5 min wait outside) and my other must-eat place is 3 Sisters. Did you bring beignets backf or the rest of us?

At 11:18 PM, Blogger chanuck said...

I wish. I could use one right now. Any Ideas on Chicago. I am going on business next week.

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Marci (aka Baby Banana) said...

Shut it Frog! Chicago was supposed to come here this I am not so sure.

At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Sweet said...

That last photo was great.

At 11:51 PM, Blogger chanuck said...

Baby Banana; Who is Frog?

Sweet: I should have gotten the shirt of that slogan. I kept debating it.

At 4:59 PM, Blogger Law-Rah said...

Mmmmmm...I want a daquiri!

I have Cafe du Monde beignet mix at my apartment:-)


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