I just flew back home today from New Orleans. It is such a great city, I’m already trying to figure out when I can go back. There is so much more there I need to do!
This will end up being a series of posts, because I just had too much going on there, I don’t want to compress it into one post. So prepare yourself, as it’s about to get really New Orleans-y in here.
I started on the first day with a tour of the city. The architecture in the French Quarter is stunning, but I’m planning to discuss the French Quarter in another post, so I won’t dwell on it.
The tour then moved onto to the 9th Ward, which is where Katrina flooding hit the hardest. As you may imagine, much of their history is now intertwined with Katrina, it effected life greatly there. We viewed the Upper 9th ward, as the Lower 9th ward is so bad, they banned tours from going in there, feeling that it exploited the suffering of the families that lived there.
There’s still many houses there that are either in the process of being rebuilt, or haven’t been rebuilt at all. Since many of these houses had been in families for so long, the mortgages had been paid off and thus there was no requirement for them to have homeowner’s insurance. With no insurance, they had no money to repair the house. The city decided to allow all Katrina damaged houses to be allowed to remain in their damaged condition, as long as they were stripped to the studs on the inside so as not to promote mold growth.
Our next stop was a cemetery. Here, everyone is buried above ground due to the water table. If they were buried in the standard way, the bodies would come floating back up. In an area with a history of yellow fever and other contagious diseases, this is not good.
We moved on from there and briefly stopped at botanical garden that I do not remember the name of. I will have to check it out again next time I come down.
Next up was the Garden District, which we were barely in. Basically, it’s the rich people area. The houses are elaborate, have a bit of yard, and the streets are wide.
My favorite part was the trees. Mardi Gras festivities runs past this area and the tradition is to leave the beads in the trees all year.
That’s the end of the general tour. Upcoming, the French Quarter, a Haunted Tour, and insects!