Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Survival and All That Jazz

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Survival and All That Jazz

Article excerpt

Byline: By Lee Ryder

The devastating scenes caused by Hurricane Katrina a little over 12 months ago sent out the message that New Orleans was the last place anybody would want to spend a holiday.

Yet although the nightmare will never go away for those who experienced the disaster, New Orleans, the Crescent City, is not one for dwelling on bad times.

Just 10 months ago New Orleans was a city that was down and out in Louisiana, lives were taken, families could only watch on as relatives were swept away, homes were ripped apart and the last thing on people's mind was tourism and fun.

Americans though are a spirited bunch and no sooner had the Hurricane season resumed again at the end of May, the city of New Orleans was just about ready to rock and roll.

Streets were cleared of debris, kitchens were refurbished, people were back at work and the red carpets were once again dusted off and rolled out.

True, the threat of hurricanes and memories of those who lost their lives in the disaster won't go away. But anybody setting foot in "New" New Orleans would witness an almighty turnaround compared to the shocking scenes that were televised worldwide last year.

It would be easy to say the spirit is back, ask any local though and they will be quick to tell you it actually never went away.

How else do you get back on your feet without such a huge community spirit?

The re-birth of New Orleans since Katrina sees over 1,000 restaurants open once again. One-third of the museums and historic homes are also welcoming guests as are 103 of the 140 metropolitan hotels. And the world famous Bourbon Street is once more blasting out jazz in the only way it can and the only way it knows how.

Meanwhile, the hellhole that once witnessed mugging after mugging, assault after assault and rape after rape ( the Louisiana Superdome, an emergency refuge centre that housed both tourists and locals at Katrina's worst, now re-opens in September. …

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