Monday, March 10, 2008

my first trip to New Orleans

This was a business trip, and I suffered through 36 hours of Death by PowerPoint in an over-crowded ballroom.

But what a weird and wonderful city! The food was so good I found myself tearing up with joy. (Ate a lot of crawfish.) The Cajun brisket at Tujacques came with a tomato horseradish sauce to die for. The locals all sound like they come from New York. I was surprised to find large and active Irish, German, and Italian enclaves. The language I heard most often was Spanish. Great Cuban restaurants. No bookstores anywhere, unless you count porn.

At night, the "Touchdown Jesus" casts a shadow as high as the cathedral.

The architecture made me laugh out loud. Tara next to Greco-Roman next to ...

There is something called a dacquiri. This is a Slurpee in a variety of lurid colors generously laced with grain alcohol. They range from large to gallon at very modest prices. What a horrible way to drink! I liked the mango ones best..

I took a bus tour to look at Katrina damage ( a lot) and recovery (very little). Miles and miles of devastation, almost three years out. We looked at levees that failed, and levees that held. The most poignant thing, to me, was how lovely these devasted neighborhoods must have been. Little "shotgun houses" with front porches and fenced yards, the bright paint still visible on the ruins. I can imagine people on the porches and dogs in the yard.

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