Thoughts on visiting New Orleans
I went to the AASL Conference in New Orleans the first week of March. It was my first visit to what I consider my home town since Hurricane Katrina. The conference was great, and it was wonderful to catch up in person old friends Robert & Jon (who kindly housed me for 4 nights) but I must say that I don’t think New Orleans will ever be the same as it was pre-Katrina. Tourists who visit and never leave the Quarter/Downtown areas may think everything is back to “normal”, but really, it’s not. Driving in from the East on I-10, I could see whole sections of the city abandoned. Even in uptown New Orleans, in still obviously affluent areas, there are pockets of blight. Below is a photo of a building where I went to high school. This building no longer houses NOCCA, which was relocated (pre-Katrina) to a quite amazing facility in the Marigny. The older, city-owned building in Uptown New Orleans now stands empty, vandalized, and rotting, in the middle of a wealthy residential neighborhood. Sad, but all too common.