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We were NOLA April 2007 pre and post cruise. Had a wonderful time. On the combined city/Katrina tour, we were amazed at the devastation that was still there. Please update me on the rebuilding that has taken place over the last year. This is one of our favorite places to go. Thanks.

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We are doing pretty well, all things considered.

 

Since you were here in 2007, population has grown by about 40,000. We are still down by about 100,000 since Katrina, but New Oreleans is the second-fastest growing metropolitan area in the country.

 

Some neighborhoods are doing better than others, as you would expect. We live in Lakeview, one of the neighborhoods the Katrina tour passes through. We are about 30% repopulated, but that is growing daily. Other neighborhoods you visited are not doing as well, but there is still progress. The Lower Ninth Ward is still pretty bleak.

 

Crime continues to be a problem, but is is concentrated in areas that tourists don't encounter, and even there, some progress is being made.

 

The US Attorney/FBI have been prosecuting and jailing the crooked politicians, and good riddance to them. The Louisiana legislature passed ethics reform measures this year that would have been unheard of years ago.

 

The Hornets are in the playoffs. We eternally optomistic Saints fans look forward to a year like 2006.

 

Educational testing scores have improved. Many of the public schools have been reincarnated as charter schools, bypassing a School Board populated in the past by a bunch of buffoons.

 

Visitors to New Orleans increased from 3.7 million in 2006 to 7.1 milion in 2007. The French Quarter Festival was packed. For the first time since Katrina, "Local's Day" (the Thursday of the second weekend of JazzFest) returned. Sitting on the grass sipping a cold beer and listening to Jimmy Buffet (and having two uneventful hurricane seasons) helps make some of the bad memories fade away. Mardi Gras was as much fun as ever.

 

We are still waiting for seven-day cruises from New Orleans. That will come in time.

 

New Orleans is still full of volunteers coming in to help gut flooded homes. Many are college kids who come here for Spring Break instead of drinking beer on the beach.

 

The French Quarter is cleaner than I can remember it ever being. Still the aroma of stale beer, but that is part of its charm. Just about all of the best restaurants have reopened. We finally have a Ruth's Chris' Steak House.

 

Most of the levees that failed after Katrina have been rebuilt. Time will tell if they got it right this time.

 

Only about two more years of Mayor Ray Nagin left.

 

So, overall, there is more good news than bad. Come back and see us.

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We were NOLA April 2007 pre and post cruise. Had a wonderful time. On the combined city/Katrina tour, we were amazed at the devastation that was still there. Please update me on the rebuilding that has taken place over the last year. This is one of our favorite places to go. Thanks.

There are good days and bad days. I wish I could say that thing are progressing well, but unfortunately for many that's not true. There is progress being made - it's sporatic and slow, but enough to keep hope up most of the time. Tourism is increasing, which also helps. It was great seeing large crowds enjoy French Quarter Fest and JazzFest (even in the rain!!) My heart still sinks when I drive through certain areas of town and don't see any progress. We still have all the old problems, education, crime, politicians, etc. - many of which were intensified by the destruction. We are still energized by the volunteers who come to help (although the numbers of them have decreased) - they come to help rebuild, but many don't realize that the physical rebuilding that they do is only part of the help they give us. They also give us emotional and spiritual help, knowing that there are still people out there who do care about the city enough to give us their time and hard work.

 

For those coming to New Orleans who are interested in New Orleans I would strongly encourage a Katrina tour. You cannot really understand the amount of devistation unless you see it yourself. Even now, 3 years after the storm, the amount of area remaining damaged is astounding. I realize many come here for vacation - to enjoy themselves. That's fine, come and enjoy - we appreciate having you here and you can have a good time in areas of town where you won't even notice a difference. But if you have the time and interest in seeing what happened here - take a Katrina tour.

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NCL already has seven day cruises from New Orleans. We are going on one the week of Thanksgiving

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