Five years ago today was when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in New Orleans. I love that city. I was actually preparing for a trip to Seattle, and ended up being rerouted through Lafayette. Being here in Baton Rouge was so surreal because we felt so helplessly close (an hour) to what was going on but really did not know what to do except volunteer at shelters, and help with people who had been evacuated to our city. Now we are the largest city in Louisiana. We doubled overnight. I remember it taking me an hour to get home from work when before the storm it had taken 10 minutes just because of how many people were here. All of it was surreal. I remember thinking about Uptown and the cool spots I liked to visit, and the friends who lived in those magical hundred year old houses. The French Quarter is high, so we were quickly told that it was okay. I remember thinking about the lakefront in Lakeview and how peaceful it was walking there. All of that area was just destroyed. The lower 9th ward is not far from where my family lived when my dad was in seminary. All of those areas were flooded. Just so weird and sad. In lieu of spending too much time on the sad parts, I just want to point out a few of my favorite things about Nola- even some things about the architecture and interiors.
New Orleans is famous for its courtyards. EVERYTHING is over the top- from the party scene to the plant life! Its true! The more the merrier is true in all aspects of the city. All of the courtyards are planted to the max with ferns and tropicals and bougainvillea. If it is green and lush, it is in Nola. There is really no grass in many people’s yards. It is all landscaped and hardscaped to created these beautiful “outdoor rooms.”
This is a typical New Orleans interior. Once again- a little “too dressy” in a beautiful way! Just over the top! The mixing of patterns and textures is so perfectly done. Antiques abound!!! If you ever want to stroll antique shops and chunk out a lot of money, then this is the place for you. The French culture definitely makes itself known here.
If you have been to New Orleans, then you have probably had coffee and donuts at Cafe Du Monde! It is a classic. Even though I have spent time in New Orleans all of my life, it is still so much fun to end a night here.
The Saenger Theater was one of the saddest cultural casualties of Katrina. The historical icon was flooded. It sat empty reminding us of the storm until 2009, when the rebirth began! The marquee was ceremoniously re-lit in October 2009 to signify the Saenger Theatre’s rebirth. The marquee will be lit every night until the theatre reopens in the fall of 2011. I hear the Lion King will be the first production upon its reopening! I would LOVE to go to that first show!
I could go on for days about the restaurants, but instead, here are some pics of my favorites!