Since Sunday, I have been in New Orleans, visiting my sister. My sister is a senior at Tulane, so I figured I would visit her one last time. While I have visited her three times before (the first time was during her freshman year, when my parents were also in town and the Final Four was going on (I got to see the semi-final game between Texas and Syracuse after shabbas with my dad (it was also Carmelo Anthony's second-to-last college game, right before Syracuse won the championship)), but I didn't get to see much of the city; the second time was during her junior year, last year, and I got to see a little more of the city; the third time was when I came with six other YCTers to help provide some post-Katrina relief to the region (I posted about my New Orleans experience in three postings: one, two, and three) and I, once again saw a limited amount of the city), I haven't done much touristy stuff and have decided to take advantage of the opportunity [of free lodging].
This time down, the biggest problem with trying to see stuff is that this is not pre-Katrina New Orleans - it is post-Katrina New Orleans and much is different, mainly in that many things are either closed or are open for less hours than they were before Katrina. As such, I had wanted to see the much acclaimed Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, but they won't be opening for another few months yet.
Another problem is the scheduling: I arrived Sunday midday; was here Monday, which was my only full day here for touristy stuff; Tuesday, which was ערב חג (the day before a festival), Wednesday was a יום חג (festival day), Thursday was another festival day, with only the evening being free, and today, Friday, was an ערב שבת (day before shabbas); tomorrow will be שבת (shabbas), with the evening available; and then I leave Sunday morning. Oh well.
As to my general experience here, as it has been the week leading up to tomorrow's mayoral election, there are many advertisements and signs for the various candidates for the first post-Katrina mayor. Also, things have picked up somewhat since being here four months ago, but there will still be much more time and effort before things start to look like their pre-Katrina self. Yeah, if you hadn't yet gotten the hint, Katrina has been a hugely significant event for the area (my apologies for the understatement) and when speaking to people about anything around here, it will ultimately come up.
As שבת (shabbas) is rapidly approaching, I will wish y'all a good shabbas and blog about my experiences and thoughts this week after shabbas. :)
Tags: New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, Katrina, post-Katrina New Orleans, New Orleans mayoral election