Written by Mary Welch Sunday, November 01 2009
|New Orleans: It’s Back and Better|
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|Chowing down: Commander’s Palace
Photo by Richard Nowitz
It's nearly impossible to think of New Orleans the same way as before Hurricane Katrina. Erasing the sight of floods, death, and despair from our country's collective memory will be difficult -- especially since thousands are still without homes and countless businesses remain closed.
But similar to the old joke that asks Mrs. Lincoln how she liked the play, New Orleans is fine. In fact, it's fantastic. The city is up and running and better than ever. The residents have gone through their hell and are back and more determined than ever to make New Orleans a place of fun, food, and festivity. In fact, much like going to New York after Sept. 11, it is almost patriotic to go down to New Orleans and help out the economy.
Ever the red-white-and-blue tourists, we ventured to New Orleans recently and felt the welcoming arms of restaurateurs, hotel managers, and tour directors. The New Orleans that most visitors would know pretty much looks the same as it did before Katrina. It is the outlying parishes where the levees broke.
Many of the hotels and restaurants have spent the post-Katrina years spiffing up and preparing for business. And, that is good news for visitors. Just about every hotel has a deal or deals where a stay at a topnotch venue can cost as little as at a Days Inn in Macon, Ga. -- seriously. Check out websites or call the city's visitor's bureau and get details on amazing deals.