Why New Orleans is Different

OK, the water in the river is at record levels and the Army Corps of Engineers just opened the Bonnet Carre Spillway for the first time since 1997 to divert water into Lake Pontchartrain.  Despite claims by the city that 60% of the population is back home, the Catholic Church, which accounts for 20% of the local populace,  just closed 33 parishes.  Streetlights still don’t work, potholes do, Armstrong Park hasn’t reopened and hundreds of homeless people sleep under the freeway on Canal Street.  So what do we do?

Throw a party of course. And not just one, but two. Last weekend, 435,000 people came to the French Quarter Fest, a totally free event featuring some of the best local musicians in venues along the river and in the French Quarter.  Rocking Dopsie Jr, his brother Dwayne, The Radiators, the Zydepunks, Charmaine Neville…. all free, all weekend.

And this weekend we start JazzFest: two consecutive weekends of national and local musicians along with artists and of course food vendors that turns the city into one continuous concert as musicians stay in town between weekends and play at clubs all over the city and my neighborhood into one big block party with gumbo, ribs and chicken being cooked on every stoop as the music drifts over fairgrounds fence.

So if you come down stop by and say hi: Eric and I will be out front with some bbq and a smile.  At least until the music starts.  We’ll do the technology stuff next week.

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