06.07.2010 - 06.07.2010 35 °C
Today I flew into New Orleans from Miami. The fact that I had to fly rather than take the train says a lot about the reconstruction that has taken place since Hurricane Katrina. The railway east of New Orleans was destroyed following the hurricane and is yet to be repaired, some five years later.
I got to New Orleans late this afternoon. What's been in my mind on the way here, what do I anticipate New Orleans will be like? Lots of live music, a slow pace to life, heat, humidity, mosquitos, cajun food, seafood, hurricane devestation and perhaps the most unsafe I have been and will be whilst in the United States.
I was thrown into the deep end of New Orleans culture upon my arrival. I bumped into some travellers who I met in the east and they were going to be seeing the Rebirth Brass Band at the Maple Leaf. We went out for some dinner first and then at about 11pm hit the Maple Leaf. The Brass Band were fantastic and like nothing I've seen before (here's them on a different night http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22J65a5LWfY&feature=related). They are consistently considered one of the best live acts in New Orleans, have played for Presidents and now played for me. The music was infectious the not a person considered leaving before their 3.30am finish time.
This was exactly what I had expected of New Orleans.