Enjoying myself immensely here in New Orelans. Yesterday I went out to Loyola to update the blog, but today I finally found an Internet Cafe in the French Quarter. It's striking how pervasive the open wireless networks have become with people traveling with their laptops, yet how very scarce the Internet Cafes are where you can use a computer with Internet access. I am staying at the Marquette House in the Garden District and the variety of people I'm meeting is rich. There is a great cross section of the world from international travlers, to Americans who have come to work post Katrina, to vagabonds and tramps of various ilk, and to folks like me working on their own version of the "Great American Novel". The Vintage Trolley system just started operating again this past Sunday and it's been a pleasure riding it all over the city. Spent time in East New Orleans yesterday and it was similar in some ways to Lower 9th Ward. The devastation here was tremendous. I saw a large two story gutted apartment complex that was simply fenced off, I'm told because the mostly Hispanic laborer's that came to New Orleans after to Katrina to find work would stay on the second floor of these units and the fence was constructed to keep them out. Nearby, the amusement park Six flags lies desolate
like some sort of Ghost Town. Many of the homes in this area have been bought by the Vietnamese community after they started to the area in large numbers in the 70's-80"s. Now many folks from Latin America have come after Katrina and to say that there are racial tensions would be to be putting it mildly. What everyone agrees on is that back in the 80's the Crack epidemic took a deathly toll on the inner cities of America and the burgeoning political power that the African American population was beginning to have through massive voter registration was brought to a viscous end.