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December 1 and 2, 2005 in New Orleans

Yesterday we were greeted in New Orleans, while still on the plane, with roofs covered in blue tarps. As we landed at the airport, we saw storm damage being fixed in some hangars. The airport seemed pretty empty, as the airport is not yet running at full capacity. Our hotel is across the street so we did not get out Thursday night.

This morning we were taken out to breakfast by John's future boss and her secretary. As we drove to Denny's we saw more of the damage from the hurricane, mostly trees down and debris being slowly cleaned up. Afterward we picked up our rental car, which, with a free upgrade, is a new Hyundai Sonata. We looked at some nice places (and a few not so nice) and found two we really like. We have more looking tomorrow, but have to decide by tomorrow evening where we want to live.

For those who are worried, New Orleans is not in terrible shape. The contractor who showed us one place (whose owner lives mostly in Malaysia!) said that New Orleans has gotten rid of 98% of its crime. Whether that's true or not is up in the air. We saw a lot of wind damage, evidenced by all the blue tarps. But we also saw that most places are getting cleaned up. The people here care about their city. Residents of the 9th Ward, the part of the city that was flooded most heavily, are finally being allowed back in what's left of their homes. In the places we drove through, we saw the sure signs that New Orleans will be fine. Driving along I-10, we saw abandoned cars in the median in one area that were covered in dirt and mud. But the movie theater we went to tonight to see Aeon Flux (great movie, worth seeing, even if you have no idea what the animated show was about, which I didn't) was packed. Life is returning in New Orleans.