I learned something interesting today. CNN really likes to exaggerate a slightly interesting story. I'm guessing I heard 5-10 different people say, "This is the real New Orleans, not the CNN New Orleans," today.
I came down here seriously doubting the ability of New Orleans to have rebounded well enough to host a convention the size of the one I will be attending here. Having spent 24 hours here, I now have no doubts at all that this city is doing just fine.
Coming down the freeway from the airport, I saw a little bit of remaining damage in a few deserted buildings. But in the French Quarter I haven't seen anything wrong. In fact, I'd almost say some parts of the city are better than ever before. The theme of the day was, "When we got the chance to rebuild, we didn't just rebuild, we improved." (And quite a bit of that improvement was done with tax dollars/FEMA money.) I've been here once before, and enjoyed the city, but didn't fall in love with it. Today I discovered that I actually really do like this city a lot.
Enjoy the pictures of the city!