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Comments on: Jazzed to be Back in New Orleans All Things Tasty 2010-10-23T00:04:25Z WordPress By: Cynthia Cynthia 2009-02-16T21:16:29Z 2009-02-16T21:16:29Z Thanks for the recommendation, Kathlee. I passed August a couple of times, and it looked elegant. I checked the website for the restaurant, and it certainly looks as though Chef John Besh offers some splendid food. August is now on the list for the next trip. (It’s always nice to have another excuse to get back to NOLA!)

By: Kathlee Toellner Kathlee Toellner 2009-02-16T20:41:32Z 2009-02-16T20:41:32Z The next time you arein the NOLA area please eat at Restaurant August, chef Beck is one of my favorites and he is native to the area. Really great food and wonderful restaurant.

By: Cynthia Cynthia 2008-11-11T04:01:45Z 2008-11-11T04:01:45Z I did include the hurricane and mentioned a fundraiser that was helping rebuild New Orleans. I thought a subtle reminder would be enough to let folks know they are still rebuilding without detracting from the message of rebirth that New Orleans (or at least their tourism ad dept.) is working to get across. Because people haven’t forgotten, and that’s the problem — that’s what’s keeping them away — they still have the image of horrific destruction. The folks in charge of the current New Orleans tourism ad campaign know that, while most people want to help, most don’t want to spend their hard-earned vacation dollars visiting a place that is in ruins. And it’s not in ruins. The part that tourists go to see is fabulous again, and they want folks to know that it’s fabulous.

For anyone who wants to take a vacation to New Orleans, all the history, and food, and museums, and architecture that have made it a top destination for so long are all there and all beautiful. So whether you’re going to help or going to let the good times roll, just go. Either way, it’s a great destination—and either way, you’ll be helping.

By: Jen Jen 2008-11-10T21:40:45Z 2008-11-10T21:40:45Z Cynthia,

Thank you for responding. I appreciate that New Orleans is trying to get tourism back, and I wholeheartedly support those efforts. I just wish you’d balanced your message with the news that this is a city whose residents are still suffering, and they need our tourism dollars. It doesn’t benefit New Orleans and its residents to sugarcoat the picture and say that’s everything is glorious when it clearly isn’t.

I’m not saying you should scare tourists away. But I think it’s important to present the message in an accurate and honest context: This is a city that needs our help! It will wine you and dine you and show you a great time, because your tourist dollars are necessary to revitalize the non-tourist neighborhoods that are still suffering more than 3 years later.

By: Cynthia Cynthia 2008-11-10T19:36:09Z 2008-11-10T19:36:09Z New Orleans is frantic to get tourists coming back. The whole focus of the convention I was at was to try to promote New Orleans as being a viable destination once again — because they can’t keep things moving forward without the money tourism brings. If people continue to focus on what a mess some parts are, tourists don’t return. Many of us in fact pledged at the conference to write articles promoting the restoration of the parts of town that tourists would enjoy, because without tourists, the city dies.

So while we all remember the disaster, we all need to continue to work toward restoration, and encouraging visitors to come down and spend money is a key way of doing that.

The parts of New Orleans that can generate money for the city have staged a glorious comeback. When those parts are making money, the parts that are still hard-hit will do better. But they can’t do it without the tourists.

By: Jen Jen 2008-11-10T14:54:06Z 2008-11-10T14:54:06Z This article makes me sad.

“I’m pleased to say, the old girl is looking good. Fortunately, the French and Spanish built above sea level, so the French Quarter and Garden District weren’t hit all that hard, compared to some of the more recent, below-sea-level suburban sprawl. So most of what one goes to New Orleans to see looks unchanged—and in some cases, looks even better than before, with fresh paint and newly completed repairs.”

“If you had any doubt that New Orleans would stage a comeback, let me tell you, those doubts are unfounded. The city is back in all her glory, with history and culinary wonders to spare.”

Did the author even venture beyond the French Quarter and other tourist sites? Did she get anywhere near that Lower 9th and see the abundance of vacant lots (lots that had houses on them before Katrina)? Did she notice the abandoned homes that are in such poor shape they are unlivable? Did she see how many houses still have spray-painted search-and-rescue notes on the front (i.e., “1 dead in attic”)?

New Orleans was–and is–so much more than just the French Quarter. It’s a city with a rich heritage and a unique culture created by its residents. And in no way is the city “back in all her glory.” You do a disservice to the residents of NOLA by promoting the false idea that everything is better.

There’s an old saying, “Out of sight, out of mind.” We can’t afford to let the horrible situation in New Orleans fall out of sight.