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24 Hours in NOLA - thoughts, concerns & I didn't see snowrooster !!

24 Hours in NOLA - thoughts, concerns & I didn't see snowrooster !!

Old Jul 18th, 2006, 04:05 AM
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24 Hours in NOLA - thoughts, concerns & I didn't see snowrooster !!

I had direct flights both way from CLT on fairly full planes & managed to get bumped to 1st class both ways, so we're off to a good start. As a frequent NOLA visitor over the years, I must admit I felt as though I was visiting a friend that had been very sick & didn't know if they would be better, or on their death bed. So w/much trepidation, we begin. Upon arrival I headed straight to the Hotel Monteleone. It has not changed a bit & is still wonderful (esp. @ $99/night). I always forget about the rooftop pool though. I have to leave time for that next time. After check in, on down Royal St. to my favorite gallery - Alexander & Victor. Victor has moved to Coral Gables to open an outpost gallery, so the new person in charge in NOLA is a native daughter, Mia. If anyone has a hankering to purchase art in NOLA, this would be the first place I would look. It is wonderful to talk to someone (Mia) that is so knowledgeable & passionate about art. You can take a look @ www.alexanderandvictor.com. Following my conversation w/Mia, on down Royal. Many of the antique stores were closed or by appointment only, on Friday afternoon, I found this a little troublesome. I then wandered over to Decatur, lots of places closed (sad), but also several new places open (good, since I didn't remember what had been there before). I stopped in the Brewery & grabbed a Kolsch, their current brewmasters special. A very good beer, if you like that style. Also went over by the French Market & started circling back towards my Hotel. (Picking up t-shirts for my kids @ Margaritaville since the eldest is a huge Buffett fan) On Royal (near St. Ann)several galleries & restaurants had teamed up to have a little gallery showing/free food exhibit. Since it was dastardly hot & muggy, & I was seriously not wanting to put 'real clothes' on to go anywhere nice to dinner. I decided to join the revelry. There was also a small band playing, but I must admit, at this point, I was still searching for the old NOLA. More to come...
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 04:26 AM
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As I continued to wander back, I admit to still being a tad depressed...the NOLA I was seeking might be gone, or at the very least, altered for some time. On back to the Hotel when low & behold a group of youngsters (10 or 12 in all) are jamming on Bourbon. Trumpets, trombones, a tuba...this is what I've been looking for...I sit & watch these kids for several songs, & nearly have tears in my eyes...The spirit of NOLA is still alive, be it sparsely scattered. So, now I have some hope & some observations. I would guess the number of people were probably a 1/3 of what I would typically expect to see on a Friday night. Many places didn't open until later. There were very few 'hawkers' trying to drag you into places. There was no cover, anywhere. So I actually wandered in several places I otherwise may not have. I ended up at the 'Famous Door' listening to a band that did 70's & 80's covers, called 'Rock Box'. Very good band, took in a set & headed for home. Several places I noticed were closed during my wanderings - O'Flaherty's, Cafe Sbisa, Bella Luna, Hooters, one of the Cafe du Monde company stores & many more...The next morning I was able to wander over to Royal Tea for breakfast & enjoy some peace & quiet & reflect. NOLA is still very much in the rebuilding process. Crime is still a very big issue, but everywhere I was there was a huge number of police officers. In speaking w/several locals, the Garden District, CBD & the F-M are still a little 'iffy' at night. Bottom line, if you love the city like I do - go & spend your $$$. That is what they really need. That, & time to heal. I'll be returning soon, family in tow.
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 04:41 AM
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Good for you for going and spending your tourist dollars in an area that is in desperate need of them!

Thanks for the insights and observations!
 
Old Jul 18th, 2006, 04:47 AM
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SAnParis, thank you for your wonderful report with so many powerful and sometimes heartbreaking details.
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 05:22 AM
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I'll be interested to hear snowroosters take. She was there for several days.
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 05:25 AM
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Thank you for honestly sharing your experience, SAnParis.
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 05:29 AM
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We must have just missed crossing paths! I'm going to post my report when I have more time, but couldn't help but comment on a couple of things. We saw those youngsters playing too on Bourbon Thursday afternoon - it really did bring tears to my eyes!! They were just fabulous and it just made my heart swell. The day we saw them a cameraman was busy shooting them from every angle, so I'm going to keep an eye out for footage as hopefully there will be more television coverage & reminders of the needs still not being met as the one year anniversary approaches.

I had to giggle that you enjoyed the cover band at Front Door. Our hotel room at Royal Sonesta was right on Bourbon across the street from Front Door and by the end of the trip their cover bands were like nails on a chalkboard since they played from the afternoon late into the night. We kept wishing they'd have a Zydeco band or some jazz or anything but covering Guns & Roses over and over again!!

More to come later, but we had a great time!!!
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 05:58 AM
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snowrooster - I only had to listen for an hour & a half + I got the 70's stuff for the most part - Eagles, Skynyrd, Aerosmith - that type of stuff. I also stopped into Snooks (I think) they had more the type of music you were looking for...
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 06:29 AM
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Thanks for the great report - NO is probably my favorite place in the US - spent our honeymoon there - and many anniversaries - and a few family reunions too! Have felt so sad for everyone this past year. Even though I have wanted to go back, I have felt almost afraid to go - afraid of what I would find. Your report makes me want to go! I know that over time, the old NO will be back, and tourist dollars will help the recovery. So thanks for going and encouring others to go.
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 06:45 AM
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blh - In reality my wife has the same trepidations. She really wants to go back to NOLA w/the kids. So my trip was a kind of scouting trip to check things out.
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 06:54 AM
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Moving trip report, SAnParis. Bless you for putting into words what so many of us are trying to say to our country.

blh and others, don't wait too long to come to N.O.

I hope and pray it returns to a state of normalcy, but like you, those folks with businesses have to make a living and pay bills. If no one is here to visit their establishments, then the very things that we all LOVE to do in N.O. will be the forced to go if folks continue to stay away.

God bless you all!
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Old Jul 18th, 2006, 11:55 AM
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Thanks for the report SAnParis and BayouGal, well said.
Many business owners are holding on for the summer, but desperately need those tourist dollars.
As a local, I shop on Magazine St, visit the museums and have even driven out to some of the plantations. The owners and employees are so scared that their business won't recover.
So, thanks for visiting and please come back.
The weather is great in October and Voodoo Fest in on!
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 05:00 AM
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topping for bardo1
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Old Jul 19th, 2006, 05:14 AM
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Very nice if somewhat bittersweet - thanks for posting.
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Old Aug 11th, 2006, 04:33 AM
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ttt
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Old Sep 1st, 2006, 05:47 AM
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topping for cathy
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Old Sep 1st, 2006, 06:40 AM
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Thanks, again, SAnParis. Your report is exactly what I expect to encounter when I go back. I have tears in my eyes right now. I love NOLA, and even though I gave as much as I could to help when Katrina hit, I'm eager to get down there and give more. I'll probably be posting a ditto type message when I do return. I'll be there over Halloween weekend, so hopefully there will be loads of people down there spending money with me. Never been for Halloween before but I expect it to be a blast.
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Old Sep 8th, 2008, 05:06 PM
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We are getting ready to return in a few weeks. I thought it appropriate to add to my musings from 2 years ago (+ this will make it easier for me to find). Hoping to visit the F-M this time & it will just be the Wife & me. We decided to cash in miles for me & a free ticket that my wife had that was about to expire. My wifes co-workers kicked in the Hotel as an anniversary present (15 years). So we'll have ample $$ to eat & drink. I can't wait, but those darned hurricanes need to go away !
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Old Sep 9th, 2008, 09:44 PM
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I have been to NO about once every three months since Katrina and honestly it's back to the old NOLA that everyone loved...Granted places like the 9th ward are still in destruction and the crime is still high in those areas...but honestly...as a tourist...why would you have a reason to have to go down there. The French Market is under construction so keep that in mind. When I went a couple months ago they were busy converting it to a half way enclosed market. I will be heading back over there for a weekend within the next month or so...I am hooked on the Zoo...I go every single time lol. Enjoy your trip!
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Old Sep 10th, 2008, 04:46 AM
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Have you ventured into the F-M recently ? My neighbors are from Nola & had to return home abruptly due to Gustav (they were there for teh App. St. - LSU football game a few weeks ago). Also any new restaurants, music venues that are worth the time ?
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