The Uprooting: Day 3
New Orleans is a much bigger city than I imagined. Parts of the downtown seem reminiscent of a larger metropolis, even New York, yet it possesses the same touristy qualities of a beach town. I decided to stay on the edge of the famous French Quarter for a mere 65 dollars (plus parking), at the Parc St. Charles Hotel. The saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” definitely applies to hotels.
The hotel is a historic high rise building with beautiful corridors and tastefully decorated rooms. But the reason for the 65 dollar price tag became apparent when I first discovered I had to call the front desk for towels. No big deal, I guess. But, no hot water? Burned out light bulbs? A toilet that runs every five minutes? Well, at least the views are decent.
I decided to take a small part in the true New Orleans experience, by ordering a fish Po’ Boy for dinner at Landry’s, followed by Beignets at Cafe DuMonde, a staple of the French Quarter. Oh, and I can’t forget that I was joined by a friend from Maryland, Erin, and her friends, Trent and Lisa, who happened to be in nearby Mississippi. I probably spoke more last night, as a result of their company, than throughout the rest of the trip combined.
Of course, the New Orleans experience would not be complete without having seen the destruction left by Hurricane Katrina. As you drive into the area on Interstate 10, it becomes apparent how much has been left in disrepair, as the neighborhoods lining the highway are filled with abandoned homes, fences with missing sections, and for sale signs. Unfortunately, there seem to be more signs of what was, rather than what is coming soon. I can only pray that this place will overcome this tragedy that is still depressing what is, otherwise, a lively city.
Now, on day four, I enter the great Lonestar state of Texas.