Now, I get to describe an easier day. Just fun in The Big Easy.
We tried to take the ferry from Algiers Point across to Canal Street – thinking it would be a fun way to transport ourselves across the Mississippi. Well, ignore what that website says about a dollar for the car – you can’t take cars on this ferry anymore. No cars allowed.
Undeterred, we drove over to the 9th Ward to see the houses being built under the Make It Right Foundation. A very small personal connection to Hurricane Katrina exists for our family, Bennett was born when all the newspapers and televisions were covering the flood and the aftermath. (I told him that’s the only reason his birth didn’t make the front page. He rolled his eyes.) I remember being in labor and watching the news coverage. Afterward, I made the typical donation to American Red Cross, but when I heard my first Hollywood Crush, Brad Pitt, was the poster boy for this group that wanted to build smart, eco-friendly houses in the 9th Ward, I sent another donation to that. So we went to see the houses. They are super colorful, wild, wacky, inspiring, a greenies heaven. They bill themselves as the largest eco LEED certified houses in the US. There is also lots of criticism about spending so much money here in an area that is still below sea level and may never recover because the 14,000 people who used to live there have moved on. Only 2000 live there now. This was an interesting urban planning article on why putting houses here is a bad idea.
By the way, 8 years later there are still abandoned houses in this area that have the international search and rescue X on the front showing if any living or dead were found in the house. It is sobering.
Then we drove off to the French Quarter for some beignets, muffulettas, some street musicians, a lame-ish Junior Ranger badge from the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park outpost in the French Quarter, a two hour walking tour that you only paid what you that it was worth, and finally alcoholic smoothies. We did the tourist part of the city up in grand style. The kids REALLY liked the tumblers in front of Jackson Square. The funny thing is David and I are pretty sure we saw this exact group 12 years ago.
So no innocence lost on our second day in New Orleans.