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melissa@cruisecritic

A letter from New Orleans from Cruise Critic's editor...

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Hi everyone,

If you haven't yet read Carolyn Spencer Brown's "Letter from ... New Orleans," don't miss it: http://www.cruisecritic.com/ports/article.cfm?ID=139.

 

After the news coverage died down, it was easy to forget about the devastation and think, "The French Quarter looks great and the beignets are back!" Reading about her experience put a lot in perspective for me, and most importantly convinced me that it is time to visit, support and celebrate the Big Easy. Maybe a cruise, soon.... :)

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It is perfectly fine for the tourist and/or or traveler to vist. By all means please do. It is what the economy of the area depends upon.

 

There is still so much left to do and will be for some time for those who live in New Orleans and/or wish to return to live.

 

The job is far from done.

 

U2/ Green Day "The Saints Are Coming" video:

 

U2/ Green Day - Whole Set Live from the first Saints home game and Superdome reopening:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SjfpEXMzTrM&NR

 

Many Saints have come and gone, many more are needed.

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The job is far from done.
A couple of weeks ago, the city had the feel of a place which was still on the brink of either survival or disintegration. At times, it had the feel of a ghost town, which was unsurprising after we read that the city's population is only about half of what it was.

 

There were many signs that businesses were struggling. The most striking was the Tower Records closing-down sale. This wasn't a closure immediately after the hurricane, but almost 18 months later - and clearly this big international chain was no longer prepared to prop up this outlet any longer. There may have been special reasons for this particular example of which I'm unaware, but it didn't dispel the general feel of a city that was still caught in the depths of deepest economic recession.

 

And more alarming were the signs that this situation was leading to increasing disorder, with reports of serious violent crime in areas that were traditionally regarded as safe. If New Orleans needs visitors to come back, then danger in areas like the French Quarter and the Faubourg Marigny will not help.

 

It was such a pity, because so much of what we saw was enchanting and quite unusual for North America. One could see what New Orleans was, and could once again be. But it has to get there first.

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In fairness, Tower Records, as a chain, has been a financial disaster, having filed for bankruptcy twice.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tower_Records

 

" As of October 2006, all Tower Records stores in the United States are being liquidated and holding "going out of business" sales, although the Tower Records web site still remains open."

 

Locally, many prefer Lousiana Music Factory:

http://www.louisianamusicfactory.com/

 

Of course there is crime in New Orleans like everywhere else. Very little, if any, is directed at tourists. Of course, some common sense is required on the part of tourists. To portray the situation as something approaching chaos is neither fair nor accurate. I personally find the city to be quite safe and many areas to be safer than before Katrina.

 

New Orleans is coming back, but the economy is tourist and convention based, so the speed at which New Orleans recovers depends on that. Of course, tourism and conventions require a number of services that require workers that require affordable housing, yada yada. Kind of a Catch-22.

 

In many ways, for a while. it is still baby steps and government SNAFUs, but baby steps in the right direction.

 

Come On Down !

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Of course there is crime in New Orleans like everywhere else. Very little, if any, is directed at tourists. Of course, some common sense is required on the part of tourists. To portray the situation as something approaching chaos is neither fair nor accurate. I personally find the city to be quite safe and many areas to be safer than before Katrina.
Thanks for the info about Tower Records - that was the bit of information which had completely passed me by. So they're nothing to do with the state of play in New Orleans, but it was only part of the impression that we got when we were there.

 

I understand about the crime, but the newspaper report that we read was expressing what appeared to be genuine local concern that there was increasing serious violent crime in core "nice" areas that would be capable of affecting tourists. While I wouldn't suggest that there's anything approaching chaos at the moment, the city does not seem to have much resilience in reserve as yet, and it wouldn't take much of a crisis of confidence to destroy what's left within a few short months.

 

I sincerely hope it doesn't happen - I want to go back and spend more time there.

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Good news doesn't sell advertising.

 

-----------------------------------------

 

Mardi Gras was quite a success this year. If you missed it, shame on you.

 

http://www.heraldsun.com/business/21-820639.cfm

 

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/nation/20070220-1819-mardigras.html

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20070122/ap_tr_ge/travel_trip_new_orleans_mardi_gras

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Just FYI but neither was written by Anderson Cooper. Susan used to be an anchor here for years and the other guy writes for the New Orleans Times-Picayunne.

 

Mardi Gras has been great with a less crime that has happened in the last 10 years.

 

 

Bb

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Thanks for the info about Tower Records - that was the bit of information which had completely passed me by. So they're nothing to do with the state of play in New Orleans, but it was only part of the impression that we got when we were there.

 

I understand about the crime, but the newspaper report that we read was expressing what appeared to be genuine local concern that there was increasing serious violent crime in core "nice" areas that would be capable of affecting tourists. While I wouldn't suggest that there's anything approaching chaos at the moment, the city does not seem to have much resilience in reserve as yet, and it wouldn't take much of a crisis of confidence to destroy what's left within a few short months.

 

I sincerely hope it doesn't happen - I want to go back and spend more time there.

 

You should not rely on getting facts from newspapers or TV news. As a person that had to issue press releases in the past, I never saw a newspaper or TV news get a story right. They all throw a spin on the story to hype it up. Bad news sells more papers, gets more people to look.

 

Is there crime in New Orleans? Of course there is. Crime is everywhere, even Mayberry had to have two cops for the perfect town. But just like any city, crime is occurring in the drug areas and is revolving around the drug trade over turf battles.

 

When the hurricane struck, most of the drug dealers left the city before and after the storm. The ones coming back are fighting to get their drug turf's back. These areas are not in the tourist areas.

 

Remember the saying "don't believe everything you read or hear in the news". They have to make money and the truth hits them in their pockets sometimes.

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Is there crime in New Orleans? Of course there is. Crime is everywhere, even Mayberry had to have two cops for the perfect town. But just like any city, crime is occurring in the drug areas and is revolving around the drug trade over turf battles.

 

When the hurricane struck, most of the drug dealers left the city before and after the storm. The ones coming back are fighting to get their drug turf's back. These areas are not in the tourist areas.

That's no doubt true for most of the crime in the city. But the danger for New Orleans is that it will only take a few high profile incidents in the French Quarter, or a few more in the Faubourg Marigny, for there to be a real crisis of confidence. That would be tragic. No doubt that's why the policing in the tourist areas is so concentrated and so high profile at the moment.

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I was in NO not long ago, and the whole situation is so sad, but it made me madder than sad. God speed, New Orleans, I'm hoping and praying for you. If I win the lottery tonight, I'll help you! Otherwise, hang on.

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I was in NO not long ago, and the whole situation is so sad, but it made me madder than sad. God speed, New Orleans, I'm hoping and praying for you. If I win the lottery tonight, I'll help you! Otherwise, hang on.

 

Please keeping praying for New Orleans....That is the ONLY thing that will help us....

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New Orleans was hit really hard, and the citizens are still struggling to get back to normal. The city is in my prayers as well.

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