Well, I finally made it back to post-Katrina New Orleans.
[A brief digression...]
Don't get me wrong. We like visiting the Third World. They have interesting people who make for an interesting culture. The tolerate all kinds of sins. New Orleans was/is our little piece of the Third World. You can be publicly drunk there. Bourbon Street is an industry of vices that you can't see anywhere else in America. White men can dance there.
But let's keep in mind that pre-Katrina New Orleans wasn't everyone's cup of tea. The place was corrupt top-to-bottom, crime was rampant, government didn't function....you name it. Will Collier had a great opinion piece here on what to do with New Orleans.
So anyway, I was in New Orleans for about 15 hours right before New Years Eve. Although I'm sure there may be some, I saw little different on the drive into town from my memory of Pre-Katrina N.O. The French Quarter was busy, but not as busy as I would have expected Pre-K. There were few closed shops.
I did learn one thing however....
I went searching for some sort of greasy spoon where I might get breakfast. What I was hoping to find was a bowl of oatmeal, perhaps at a Denny's. However, I left the hotel a bit later than "breakfast" hours, and coupled with the independent and gourmet nature of the Quarter's restaurants, I didn't find anything. I settled for a place that I'd been to in earlier times...The Alpine Bistro.
I was beckoned in by a guy on the street. What I learned was that this guy's job is to get the customer into the restaurant, and then to look at the menu. If done the other way around, then the customer might move on. The breakfast fare was a bit pricey, but I stayed anyway. My meal turned out to be about what I'd expected. My waitress didn't get my $2.50 cup of coffee on my tab, so I over-tipped her.
In the FWIW department, another "guy" who appeared to be employed there in some capacity (perhaps a "host") looked for all the world like a Drag Queen in his straight day job. Tall and lean, with pants just short enough to show off his fashionable socks matching his tie. He also wore a pony-tail and a nametag that read: "Candy".