Though New Orleans is ranked as 8th on the top 10 dangerous cities in the US I can't say I felt any sense of menace over the past 5 days.
Granted I didn't stray into the projects, but the constant warnings and wringing of hands felt a bit hysterical. I think the city has changed dramatically since Katrina and many of the less fortunate have permanently relocated to Houston and Atlanta.
Those cities have experienced a sharp uptick in violent crime.
I'm sure there is still a problem in New Orleans, but it doesn't feel like a place of random violence so commonplace in Detroit or Jo'berg.
That said, I did listen to warnings and didn't tempt fate, so apart from an occasional cocktail induced headache. I escaped pretty much unscathed.
I ate well in NOLA but I think my favorite place was a restaurant called Mothers. In a single year Mothers serves:
- 175.000 pounds of Baked Ham
- 40.000 pounds of Turkey
- 30,000 pounds of sausage
- 90,000 pounds of Jambalaya
- 250,000 pounds of cabbage
- 150,000 french loaves
- 1,500 gallons of hot creole sauce.
This is comfort food southern style.
Its not for veggies.
Its been serving hearty meals since 1938 and I opted to scarf down the "Famous Ferdi Special Po Boy sandwich" Damn good.
A democratic, no nonsense place to fill your gut.
While I was in the city the temperature pushed or exceeded 100 degrees with humidity hovering around 90%. There was a thunderstorm and everyday there was a flood.
Over a foot of water from a 45 minute thunderstorm. Its easy to see how Katrina devastated the city. Within an hour of the rain stopping the flood water had drained away. No trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to a grave yard. If you bury a body below ground in New Orleans, the low water table pops the airtight casket back up to the surface within two weeks. This was disconcerting to the transplanted Acadians so they buried their dead in crypts above ground. I went to Lafayette cemetery no 1. This was recommended as its considered the only interesting vampire lair type collection of old bones where I was unlikely to be mugged visiting alone. Scenes from Interview with a Vampire were filmed here but I didn't think it was that spooky. The REALLY spooky graveyards are Louis 1&2. As they're both on the edge of the French Quarter (the bad edge) and EVERY guidebook said NOOOOO! and the concierge turned pale when I said I planned to go alone, I opted for the vanilla version. The spookiest graveyard I've visited was High gate Cemetery in London. You can read see the pics here.
I've tried to play with the exposure and texture, but its pretty hard to disguise that at 7 am in the Louisiana sun there's not much to be afraid of.
That's it folks. Not sure what the next post will be as the travel is slowing down for the summer.