I had the good fortune to travel with Kim, who is extremely knowledgeable about NOLA. We got to stay with her friend in the Lower Ninth Ward and see and hear a local's
perspective. Her friend is passionately involved with reviving her city. It was amazing to hear the love she had for her home and neighbors. Most people nowadays are not that connected to their neighborhoods. This pride in NOLA defines many people. I guess you have to be that passionate to come back to such destruction and to be strong enough to rebuild.
Water damage (and termites) in a house Kim's friend bought at a tax saleAfter we left Kim's friend, we started the real tourist stuff. We met up with my friends, hung out on Bourbon Street, ate beignets, and had bloody marys with pickled green beans.
Singer's awesome shoes at a bar on Bourbon
It was hard for me to rectify these two different sides of NOLA - the residents that live here all the time and the loud, impolite tourists. It was just amazing to see the utter emptiness that still consumes some areas of the city and then the throngs of people on Bourbon.
I love New Orleans because of the unique culture there. If a natural disaster like Katrina had happened anywhere else, the resulting art and culture would not have been as profound. They have been able to keep Katrina in the minds and hearts of people through song, poetry and art. I suppose that is one positive result amongst all the devastation.