No. of Recommendations: 3
I've lived in the French Quarter for almost 7 years now, and seeing my city devastated by the flooding after Katrina really hurt. Even though there was little damage in the Quarter itself, vast numbers of people who work in the Quarter (bartenders, waiters, cooks) lost their homes and had no place to stay when they were ready to return. Many still have not returned, and do not intend to.

Manpower is an issue. Compounding the loss of skilled "service industry" personnel is the high demand for unskilled construction labor -- many choose to work in construction at $15 an hour instead of at a bar & grill for $6 plus tips.

I'm happy to report, however, that the French Quarter is recovering. Even in the past month, several bars, clubs, and restaurants have finally re-opened their doors. Places which have been open since October (with reduced hours, because of lack of staff), have returned to more "normal" hours. Hotels which have been recovering from wind damage are opening their doors. Water pressure (showers!) returned to normal in December. We're still staggering from the blow, but we're recovering!

New Year's was an unconditional success, in my eyes. Bourbon Street was packed! I can hardly wait to see what Mardi Gras brings.

Keep us in your thoughts, and I'll try to bring you an update in March. And, if you've been thinking about visiting, but hesitated because you were afraid it's a ghost town ... don't be afraid. Come see for yourself!
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