I am a great fan of New Orleans. It is one of the few cities I have repeatedly visited for vacation. I have certainly spent more time in New York and San Francisco (and I still consider Los Angeles home). I have been to at least four Jazzfests, one Mardi Gras, one CTIA, and several other random trips to New Orleans just because. I love this city.
I had been stewing on what had happened for a number of days and then I had dinner with John Diaz in Venice last week. John, a plane crash survivor who worked with me at MP3.com has deep New Orleans roots. His family goes back several generations and his elderly parents (80s and 90s) had just been evacuated earlier that day. John was clearly shaken, and that's a lot to say for one of the most iron willed people I know.
I can't even imagine how long it is going to take to rebuild. It is truly a tragedy. My favorite places include Laffite's Blacksmith shop. Rumored to be the oldest bar in North America. The Napolean House. The best place to chill in the quarter. Note that their website is down. Cafe Du Monde. Nola. It goes on and on and on. It is so hard to believe.
What is even harder to believe is the tragedy that the many people who call this city home are going through. No jobs. No house. Nothing.