Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Observations On New Orleans
Angela Henry

I won't tell you about the ALA Convention. I was supposed to sign books but my books were MIA ; (. So, I had nothing to sign and was more than a little put out about it. Don't know what happened. My guess is that they're floating around in some postal nether region between New York and New Orleans. I'm still investigating. But enough about that. New Orleans! What a city. Here's what I observed.

1. You can walk just about anyplace you want to go in the city, which is what I did.

2. The French Quarter is really, really old but still quite charming. It kind of reminded me of an old woman who you can tell used to be really beautiful. You walk down the streets of the French Quarter and you can not only see the history but feel it, too. I know it sounds strange but it's true.

3. Bourbon Street smells like vomit. If you ever go, avoid stepping in any puddles. Was told more than once that it's probably not water.

4. Customer service in the restaurants rocks! I mean it. The servers bend over backwards to make sure you have everything you need.

5. Don't know how I've survived thus far without ever having had a muffuletta or beignets!

6. Spent a little too much time here. But left with more than I came with!

7. If you're looking for a fun inexpensive way to kill a couple of hours and find out fascinating facts about the city, I highly recommend doing this. I also recommend booking online to save a few bucks.

8. Spending most of my time in the French Quarter, I didn't see much of any of the devastation left behind by Katrina. But Sunday night in my hotel I tried to take a shower, turned on the water, and only got a brown trickle. The next morning while waiting for the airport shuttle, I overheard a plumber telling the hotel clerk that the problem was the water and gas mains which were still suffering the effects of Katrina.

9. Okay, one little thing about the convention. Got a chance to meet a librarian from this library who told me they are always looking for authors to come do talks. So, I guess you can figure where I'm planning to go next year!

10. Everybody was so grateful to have people back in the city spending money and supporting the local businesses and I was happy to be there. Can't wait to go back.


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