The One With the Comeback

Ten years ago tomorrow marks the day Hurricane Katrina made landfall along the Gulf Coast. A few months ago, I visited New Orleans for the first time in 25 years. The city has mounted an amazing comeback—with good humor and resiliency, creativity and spirit. It’s a place that hits every note. If you’re thinking of going to New Orleans, do it!

As a little love message, I’d like to share a few photos from my trip. These highlight the different styles of architecture around the city. Some of these areas were completely underwater when the levees failed after the hurricane. (You may also want to check out this post from two New Orleans cemeteries.) 

This French Quarter building with the ironwork and balconies seems like quintessential New Orleans

Lovely French Quarter digs.

One of the magnificent homes in the Garden District. This home below was for sale a few years ago for a mere $9.5 million. It has seven bedrooms and an elevator.

Home in the Garden District

I love how the iron scrollwork framing the porch looks like lace.

The iron scrollwork framing the porch looks like lace.

In 1924, William Faulkner came to New Orleans to visit writer Sherwood Anderson who lived nearby. He took a room in the small apartment building below. The street is named Pirate’s Alley (cool!) and the house is now a bookstore. You know I bought a book (or five).

William Faulkner lived here in 1925. The street is  named Pirate's Alley (cool!) and the house is now a bookstore. You know I bought a book.

It’s Mardi Gras all year round at this house. See the beads hanging on the fence? This is a two-family home. The two doors on the porch are separate entrances.

It's Mardi Gras all year round at this house. See the beads hanging on the fence?   This is a two-family home. The two doors on the porch are separate entrances.

Colorful buildings in the Marigny, a neighborhood just east of the French Quarter. This was a great area to listen to live music.

Colorful buildings in the Marigny, a neighborhood just east of the French Quarter. This was a great area to listen to live music.

A “shotgun” style home in the Faubourg St. John neighborhood.  From Wkipedia: “Shotgun houses consist of three to five rooms in a row with no hallways and have a narrow, rectangular structure.”

A single "shotgun" style home in the Fauberg-St. John neighborhood.

A very bright (!) home in the Treme. Some people say that this neighborhood was where jazz began.  President Obama was visiting this area yesterday, most of which was under several feet of water after the levee failure.

A very bright (!) home in the Treme neighborhood.

New Orleans

The city has indeed made a great comeback, but there is still work to be done. One organization that has been helping with the recovery efforts is Rebuilding Together New Orleans. Check them out if you’d like to help.

Have a great weekend, everyone! 

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16 comments

  1. Jackie, what lovely photos of what just might be my favorite U.S. city. It’s been many years, and I need to go back! The music, the food, the architecture, the storytelling and creative spirit are a gumbo like no other. It’s a magic too powerful to be extinguished by a hurricane, even Katrina.

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  2. I’m a lover of bookstores and that one looks SO inviting!
    I have many fond memories of New Orleans–the music, the food, the people, the architecture, the history. I haven’t been there since Katrina. You have me pondering a visit. 🙂

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    1. I could have spent all day in the Faulkner House bookstore. They had many different genres and authors for sale, not only Faulkner. Such a small, cozy place where receipts are still written by hand. I hope you get to stop in the next time you visit New Orleans. 🙂

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  3. I’ve only been once. I was by myself and stuck at a hotel out by the airport for a conference, so I drove down to the French Quarter when we got out after 5, got lost on some dirty, bum-filled streets UNDER the overpass that looked like a war zone, got so rattled I just drove around for 10 minutes and went straight back once I found the highway again.

    I did go back the next day for a brief tour of the cemeteries – fascinating! I need to go back again when I’m feeling more brave.

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    1. The cemeteries are really cool. I went to two of them and found myself wandering around looking at the names and epitaphs. Talk about dreaming up stories for people you don’t know! I had created whole lives for the people buried in those cemeteries. 🙂

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  4. Sorry it took me so long to get here, but I’m sure glad I did. I’ve always thought of going but never got the chance. Should have made a Spring Break trip over there instead of going to Vegas way back when, Vegas was always a drive away 🙂 loved to have seen the French Quarter and that awesome sign. Definitely going to keep that picture and post it at home … Probably on my ceiling so I can see it as soon as I wake up 🙂

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