Weekend weirdness, New Orleans edition

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I spent the winter of 1972 living in New Orleans and working on oil field supply boats, acquiring a huge fondness for the former (not so much the latter). But I haven’t been back until this week, and naturally was very curious about how well this wonderful city is recovering from Hurricane Katrina. Well, of course it depends a lot on who you talk to, and where you aim your camera. The shot above, bigger here, shows some wrecks still lingering in the same Lake Ponchartrain marina we saw in before-and-after satellite shots back in 2005. Even right there on the spot it’s hard to imagine the ferocious weather conditions that could NOLA SYC2break off one boat’s keel on a dock, impale another with a piling. But you can see that the nifty boathouse/apartments in the background are getting rebuilt, and a turn in either direction would show many new or fully refurbished boats and docks. The “we will survive” spirit particularly showed at the Southern Yacht Club—going full steam in temporary buildings under a resurrected flag mast, brand new club house and facilities in the works.

And the Big Easy is still very much a paradise of spirited music and food. Even an oyster po’boy from the Convention Center commissary was a total treat. The French Quarter’s Bourbon Street may have gotten more touristy and debauched in the years I’ve been away, but there’s a certain evolved brilliance there. It’s closed to traffic now, and dozens of clubs compete for your attention with various entertainments, drink deals, etc. However, there are no cover charges or waiting lines; you’re free to wander in and out of most any of them, even nursing a large take-out beer, like it’s all one huge club. Laissez les bon temps roulez, and go enjoy New Orleans when you can.

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Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now excited to have Ben Stein as very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Panbo is going to the next level in 2019 and beyond.

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