Friday, November 20, 2009

Southern Soiree-New Orleans

On Saturday the 14th I made the long drive from Oklahoma City (thank you Amy, Malia, Fin, Lupia, Maddie and Lewis for being such wonderful hosts) to a little who-knows-what-the-name-is town about two hours outside of New Orleans; my honey was flying into the city on the morning of the 15th for an eight day Southern tour and our first stop was the Big Easy.
We feel very fortunate to have stayed at the W Hotel in the French Quarter, a 96 room boutique on Chartres steps from everything yet far enough away from the hype of Bourbon Street.
The courtyard was beautiful, a perfect enclave in the city.
Cabanas flanked the courtyard and was a great place to hang out at night. We set up 'offices' in there and worked very happily from our laptops.
Star votives were lit up at night and created a beautiful ambiance along with the center fountain that had a fire feature.
View from the room.
View two...
First stop, Muriel's Bistro for lunch.
The inside felt like the outside.
This center square looked like Disney World and had horse carriages lining one side of the center park. The other three sides had artists with their work and an awful lot of fortune tellers and palm readers.
Cafe Du Monde is a must-do for coffee, thanks for the suggestion Stu.
Ah, Bourbon Street. If I was 10 years younger I think I would have been all about this place. Its permanent Spring Break morning, noon and night. Only could take a few pictures as most things down there were inappropriate, oh dear.
Lots and lots of voodoo what-not, ghosts and vampires too.
We passed on these.
I felt strongly that if we were in New Orleans that it was absolutely important to go and pay our respects to the Lower Ninth Ward, an area completely destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Just steps were the only thing that remained on most of the lots.
I have to say, the rebuilding efforts that Brad Pitt has spearheaded, Make It Right, are quite impressive. While there is definitely progress down there, there is a long way to go.
Some of the houses were still standing.
This newly built wall still did not look big enough to me should another storm emerge.
New wall with the Lower Ninth Ward directly on the other side.
Rebuilding efforts.
Very interesting, contemporary designs, eco-friendly and all raised up and off the ground.
Its been over four years and the rebuilding has just begun. We drove down so many side streets that were completely abandon, where did all of these families go? The remaining houses serve as a museum of the hurricane and a reminder that the city still needs funding and support.

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