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Author Topic: Conference in New Orleans  (Read 41705 times)
sappho
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« on: September 20, 2006, 4:16:54 PM »

I am considering going to a conference in New Orleans next year.  I am deliberating whether I should go.  I have heard in the news conflicting information about the water quality and some of the construction/demolition efforts.  I am sure that the conference is in an area that is functioning.  Any suggestions about whether I should go or not?  Anything that I need to consider or plan for?
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menotti
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2006, 5:00:06 PM »

If you would not have been worried before Katrina, you should not be now.  The water is basically fine; you can drink bottled water if you want.  Construction/demolition/rebuilding are certainly active and problematic in some areas, but not anyplace you would be likely to go.  Some of the restaurants are on shortened hours and there is less music, but still plenty to keep you busy.


New Orleans needs the business, too.
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ngs_gmail
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2006, 6:27:55 PM »

The American Library Association had its annual summer conference in New Orleans last June.  Over 8,000 attendees.  It was fine.  You would never know there had been a problem, based on the area around the convention center.  NO is definitely ready for conferences again, it's been proven.
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chewydog1
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2007, 1:37:58 AM »

I went to a conference last summer.  Maybe these people were in a better place, but I was right next to the superdome.  I would never attend a conference there again.  the military was in the streets and the motel advised us to take off our name tags to avoid getting mugged.  garbage piled high in the streets. 

I would rather go to Kansas, it used to be nice, now a dump.  I am saying that impress upon you how bad it was, not to insult the poor people who are forced to live there.
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lostintranslation
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2007, 4:12:40 PM »

I have been to New Orleans twice in the last month.  The city is coming back but it is slowly coming back.  The places that are still in bad shape (9th ward, Lakeview) will not be where you are staying so by all means go.  Just use common sense (you should not wear a nametag when walking around) and be aware of your surroundings.
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writer
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2007, 7:35:40 PM »

Look--New Orleans was ALWAYS dangerous. I lived there Pre-Katrina, and the summer before the hurricane hit, the murder rate was ten times the national average. I have been back several times, and it does have a bit more edge, but just use common sense. The areas that most tourists frequent--Uptown and the French Quarter--won't be that much different than before. It's a wonderful city. It needs our support.

I wouldn't walk alone at night where I live now, not even in my own neighborhood, and I certainly wouldn't walk alone at night in NOLA. Use the same kind of savvy you would in a developing country. That might sound scary, but the approach is really no different post-Katrina than pre-Katrina.

The reward is that you get a chance to visit a city with so much color, so much soul, something that is sadly lacking in most of our country.
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venerable_bede
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2007, 11:15:05 PM »

I was in NOLA for a conference just a few weeks ago, and it was perfectly fine (though I had nothing to compare it to, having never been pre-Katrina). I was in a hotel on Canal Street just across from the French Quarter. The FQ itself was very quiet--eerily so, both during the day and at night. Bourbon Street was loud and raucous, but more because of the music coming out of the bars than because there were hordes of people in the streets. Many restaurants are open only three or four nights a week, or close early, or are very quiet, but by and large the services in the areas you'd plausibly be frequenting seem to be up and running. I can assure you that the Café du Monde is definitely up and running and churning out their beignets with abandon.

It is true that the city needs the business, though, so I urge you to go. I also urge you to take one of the euphemistcally named "post-Katrina city tours" (i.e., disaster tours), if only to witness the extent of the damage and devastation in St. Bernard Parish and the Lower 9th Ward. It's quite literally unbelievable, even as you see it. (There's a Grey Line tour that's advertised all over the place, but that bus doesn't go into the 9th ward because of various traffic restrictions. I took a great three-hour tour with a company called Tours By Isabel, which uses smaller mini-vans, and it was worth every dollar of the $54 price tag.)

So go. Spend money.
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Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. --H. L. Mencken
aandsdean
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« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2007, 11:21:11 PM »

I was in NOLA for a conference just a few weeks ago, and it was perfectly fine (though I had nothing to compare it to, having never been pre-Katrina). I was in a hotel on Canal Street just across from the French Quarter. The FQ itself was very quiet--eerily so, both during the day and at night. Bourbon Street was loud and raucous, but more because of the music coming out of the bars than because there were hordes of people in the streets. Many restaurants are open only three or four nights a week, or close early, or are very quiet, but by and large the services in the areas you'd plausibly be frequenting seem to be up and running. I can assure you that the Café du Monde is definitely up and running and churning out their beignets with abandon.

It is true that the city needs the business, though, so I urge you to go. I also urge you to take one of the euphemistcally named "post-Katrina city tours" (i.e., disaster tours), if only to witness the extent of the damage and devastation in St. Bernard Parish and the Lower 9th Ward. It's quite literally unbelievable, even as you see it. (There's a Grey Line tour that's advertised all over the place, but that bus doesn't go into the 9th ward because of various traffic restrictions. I took a great three-hour tour with a company called Tours By Isabel, which uses smaller mini-vans, and it was worth every dollar of the $54 price tag.)

So go. Spend money.

I agree with the venerable one about this matter.  I was probably at the same conference (AAC&U, ven?) and think we should all be spending money in NOLA.  I didn't find it quite as abandoned as bede, but it was pretty slow (there's another thread on this where cronopio and I discussed this matter--I know the search function stinks, but give it a try, or you can search my posts from about 3 weeks ago).  I was glad to drop a bunch not only of institutional dollars but my own as well.  Rarely have I been happier to eat expensive restaurant meals, and not just because the food was typically good.
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venerable_bede
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« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2007, 2:45:22 PM »


I agree with the venerable one about this matter.  I was probably at the same conference (AAC&U, ven?)

AAC&U it was, indeed. A lovely time was had by all!

and think we should all be spending money in NOLA.  I didn't find it quite as abandoned as bede, but it was pretty slow

Fair enough--it wasn't like there was tumbleweed blowing through the French Quarter, but there were definitely several times as I was walking through the FQ (particularly the farther I was away from Canal St.) in the middle of the day during which I was the only person on the street. During a couple of those instances, someone would emerge as if from nowhere to ask for money, and every time I thought "if I were to be mugged by now, no one would find me for a while." Kind of creepy.

 
I was glad to drop a bunch not only of institutional dollars but my own as well.  Rarely have I been happier to eat expensive restaurant meals, and not just because the food was typically good.

I'm on board with that! Commander's Palace was definitely worth the cab ride, and not just for the food. (Antoine's, while an interesting place in terms of its history, was IMHO wildly overpriced. It's almost worth it for a peek at their behemoth wine cellar, though, and all the photos and other paraphernalia lining the walls and display cases.)
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Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. --H. L. Mencken
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