Day: April 18, 2009

Scenes from a New Orleans’ Saturday

New Orleans is a city waiting to be photographed. This cloudy Saturday in April was shared in the morning with the wonderful stewards of the beautiful homes of the Garden District and then later in the day with the hordes in town for the French Quarter Festival.  Both had their charms. There are beautiful fountains, gardens, and iron work throughout the Garden District, and we were fortunate to see four homes with wonderful examples of each.  The owners opened their doors to us and shared their love for their homes – with all their quirks – as well as their love for this unique city. In the free time this afternoon, I made my way down to the French Quarter Festival to hear jazz, blues, and a lot more.  The Hot Club of New Orleans was playing some terrific gypsy jazz with a New Orleans flavor, all the while inspiring the dancers to greater and greater heights.  Big Daddy “O” was rocking Royal Street with his blues.  And Ronnie Kole’s horn section was blasting away in Jackson Park.  …

A Different New Orleans

I am in New Orleans with supporters of the National Trust for Historic Preservation on a visit to see how the city is recovering in the three and one-half years since Hurricane Katrina made landfall.  I’ve been in the city many times – and several since Katrina hit – but on this trip I found a couple of gems that tell me that I really haven’t seen all this great city has to offer. First, an update on our work.  The National Trust had staff on the ground just weeks after Katrina hit, and we still maintain an office where we help homeowners – primarily in the historic Holy Cross neighborhood of the Lower Ninth Ward – rebuild their homes and their lives.  Meeting the homeowners we’ve helped, seeing the way ravaged buildings have been turned back into beautiful homes, and listening to the volunteers and partners who’ve helped us in this recovery is always inspiring and gratifying.   In Holy Cross you can’t walk down the streets without seeing our Home Again signs, or those …