[Dixielandjazz] The dilemma of reports on N.O.

rorel at aol.com rorel at aol.com
Fri Jan 19 11:53:14 PST 2007

  Charlie is right - the truth does lie somewhere between the extremes. And his suggestion to visit the devastation is a good one. I would amend that slightly - visit the area but take a cab. Just ask the driver to take you and show you some of the hard-hit areas (Bell Cabs are my favorites). It will cost you $15 where the bustrip will cost you $35. Take the extra twenty and donate it to a charity of your choice. The bus company, to give the devil his due, says they give $5 out of your $35 to "rebuilding". I prefer to know where my money is going.
 -----Original Message-----
 From: csuhor at zebra.net
 To: rorel at aol.com
 Cc: dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com
 Sent: Fri, 19 Jan 2007 2:42 PM
 Subject: Re: [Dixielandjazz] The dilemma of reports on N.O.
  The dilemma is that, on one hand, the message is going out that "We want you to visit--the food and music and historic districts are great, and you can be part of the city's revival. We're on our way back!" This gives the impression that the city is on the mend, and hints that we don't need billions to construct level 5 levees, restore the wetlands, and repopulate the grass roots neighborhoods outside the tourist areas. New Orleans-as-theme-park is enough. 
 On the other hand, there are the continued reports of crime rates and showings of still-devastated areas, mainly the lower 9th ward, but actually vastly more widespread, telling people that this is not a beautiful let alone safe place to be. 
 In a way both messages are partly right but I suspect most of America would as soon dismiss the matter and not deal with the ambiguities. What I tell people is basically the good stuff that Ray said below, adding that, while you there enjoying the city's good things, be sure to take a bus tour of the areas in ruins. And know that what you see is only part of the wreckage, giving only a hint of the human loss and pain that the people of this proud city have felt. 
 Knowing what it means to miss N.O., 
 Charlie Suhor 
 On Jan 19, 2007, at 6:24 AM, rorel at aol.com wrote: 
 > Ahh, American Journalism at its best. Concentrate on the > sensational, the grisly, the negative instead of the positive things. 
 > I was on the last plane out of New Orleans the Saturday night before > Katrina struck. I was back the following October. I go to Satchmo Fest > and try to celebrate every Easter in St. Louis Cathedral. I can tell > you that there is much good going on in the Crescent City. When I was > there in October, 2006 the residents all predicted that there would be > a spike in crime sometime soon. Any disaster brings out the best and > the worst in a society. But anyone who looks at the situation knows > this too shall pass. 
 > Yes, it is difficult to make a living there for there is no general > population to patronize the everyday business man such as the hardware > store, the drug store and the like. The tourist places are doing well, > but you cannot base your economy on tourism alone. 
 > I am sad to say the article is right in reporting those restaurants > have closed, but it fails to mention that more than 100 NEW > restaurants have opened since the storm. The owner of Bella Luna > closed because of insurance troubles, not because of crime or poor > attendance. He is still there and still cooking as a guest chef -- I > had a fabulous OctoberFest meal he prepared at the Crescent City > Brewhouse -- and last I heard he is looking to open a new place. La > Madelaine is a chain so it is not surprising that it jumped ship, > being concerned more for the bottom line than in making a contribution > to the city. 
 > All i can say is don't let this type of story scare you. New Orleans > is alive and, while not as well as it could be, the denizens are > cautiously optimistic. They weather this temporary storm and look > forward to a 'kinder, gentler New Orleans'. When i mention I am > visiting from New York they always stop me mid-sentance, extend their > hand in friendship and say, 'Thank you...thank you for coming. Please > tell people we are here and that we welcome them." And welcome you > will be. I was greeted with teary eyes on my last visit. A clergyman > offered my wife and I ride from City Park back to the Quarter and one > local in Cafe Degas offered to drive us to Baton Rouge to visit that > city. Complete strangers in a restaurant! We shared a bottle of wine > and laughed and cried together. 
 > Amazing things are happening there. Don't let these type of news > stories and the people that promulgate them scare you away from a > visit. Go. Eat. Shop. Dance. Visit the zoo, the aquarium, the WWI > Museum, the Museum of the Confederacy, NOMA, City Park. Talk to the > locals and tell them you still care and have them in your thoughts. > Yes, be careful too. Stay with the crowds and don't venture off down a > dark street alone but I, for one, wouldn't do that in my own home > town, much less a any city I was visiting. You'll enjoy yourself for > sure and you'll even come back feeling good about yourself as a person > - like you contributed, like you made a difference. Where else can you > go where your mere presence will move a local to tears? What more can > you ask of a city? 
 > Just my take. 
 > Respectfully submitted, 
 > Ray Osnato 
 > -----Original Message----- 
 > From: tcashwigg at aol.com 
 > To: dixielandjazz at ml.islandnet.com 
 > Sent: Fri, 19 Jan 2007 2:22 AM 
 > Subject: [Dixielandjazz] N.O. Report 
 > This came up when I Googled "Dixieland"... 
 > "The French Quarter Is in a Funk 
 > Jan 17, 2:41 PM (ET) 
 > NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The hookers are back on Bourbon Street. So are the 
 > drug dealers, the strippers with names like Rose and Desire, the 
 > out-of-town businessmen, the college students getting blitzed on 
 > candy-colored cocktails and beer in plastic cups. 
 > But a closer look reveals things are not back to the way they were in 
 > the French Quarter. Sixteen months after Hurricane Katrina, New 
 > Orleans' liveliest, most exuberant neighborhood is in a funk. 
 > SNIP 
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