JazzFest starts this Friday! One of my favorite things about New Orleans. I am a little miffed that ticket prices went up again and the big name jazz artist are absent this year, I guess it's to make room for more big name pop/rock and even country stars. But all the local greats are represented, except for Aaron Neville who still has not come back since Katrina. Next week I'll be taking a friend from out of town on the tour of destruction and will probably have pictures to show. I'm trying to remember that last time I drove the tour... Was it really last July when these pictures were taken? I also want to try and find Fats Domino's house. You may remember he had to rescued by helicopter when his 9th ward house flooded after the federal levees broke. And speaking of levees, Levees.org is a local group formed to investigate the levee failures after Katrina. Now that the Corps of Engineers have claimed responsibility, and has said levees in 28 other states are also compromised, the organization is expanding their scope nation-wide. And to debunk another Katrina myth, a recent study shows that most of New Orleans IS above sea level.
But now for a really important news flash...New Orleans is back to 100% the number of restaurants Pre-Katrina! This doesn't include fast food or chains. Food is such a part of the local culture. And one of the local icons, Camellia Grill, finally reopened this week with people waiting in line to get in. Food critic Tom Fitzmorris writes about this and have been tracking restaurants as they reopen after the storm. The growing Latin American population inspired the T-P to feature restaurants that sell Central and South American cuisine, including the post-Katrina taco trucks, in this Spring's Dining Guide.
Which brings me back full circle to JazzFest... not only amazing music, also incredible food and art. To me it's heaven on earth.