How is post-katrina new orleans? Can anyone tell me about the damage there? My husband and I want to come for mardi gras.Is the whole city under the curfew or just badly damaged parts?the media hasn’t really talked about. What tourism attractions are closed/open and which ones are good to see?
New Orleans is healing, some parts quicker than others. By Mardi-Gras, most of the tourist-y type places should be operational. (The zoo is open, the acquarium won’t be for quite a while, the D-day museum is trying to re-open ASAP, the cable cars are operational.)
The curfew was lifted last month, but there is still a very visual National Guard presence. I actually feel safer in NO than I have in years. The streets are less crowded now than they were last year at this time.
The biggest problem most neighborhoods in NO is having is lack of employees. Most grocery stores are closing around 7 or 8 because they just don’t have anyone to work the late shift. Of course, the french quarter and Bourbon Street are mostly open, and don’t close early. (There are a few bars, restaurants, and shops that haven’t re-opened – maybe 1/4 of them total.)
As far as the heavily damaged areas, they weren’t tourist attractions. They were residential areas, ones that the general public doesn’t have full access to yet.
So come to New Orleans! Our financial success is largely dependent on tourism. Oh, and definately make reservations today. A lot of the hotel/motels are housing insurance adjustors and construction crews. Availability is limited.
Regarding the guy who suggested you go to Opelousas: he’s right in that the Opelousas, Chataignier, Ville Platte Mardi Gras celebrations are more true to the original intent of the holiday. They’re more country, less tourist-y, just as much alcohol, fewer breasts. If that’s what you’re looking for, go on over there. Just don’t expect New Orleans style Mardi Gras. And realize that it’s a 2.5 – 3 hour drive from NO.