New Orleans - Day Nine - back to work

The two houses above are near each other in the lower 9th ward - they really illustrate the range of repair and lack thereof in the neighborhood - although there are many houses in worse repair than the first one.

We did more work in the 9th ward village today but I won't post those pictures just now since they're more of the same.

We went out to lunch at Willie Mae's Restaurant in the 5th Ward today. This is a place with an amazing history. Before Katrina Willie Mae the woman won a James Beard award for her wonderful food - absolutely fabulous fried chicken. She'd never heard of the award until she won it at age 89. The restaurant was badly damaged by Katrina and repaired by the neighborhood. It reopened with many famous chefs in attendance. There was a program on the restaurant on the Food Channel which Amanda Harper and I had both seen and been intrigued by and another story on NPR. Given all this history we had to try it. The food was amazing. People kept coming. Clearly many of them were from out of town thanks to the stories.

Willie Mae's great grandchildren now run the restaurant. She comes in from time to time but is in her 90s and frail.

feasting away. It's a tiny place but the food is wonderful. I ate fried chicken, cornbread, red beans and rice and it was all terrific.

This is the neighborhood and it's pretty rough.

playground down the street from the restaurant.

Shut elementary school right across the street from the restaurant.

Another closed school in the 5th ward.

tugboat and levee - view driving back to the 9th ward from the 5th.
Louisiana National Guard Baracks. These are huge, elaborate baracks that go on for miles in the lower 9th ward. Far more prosperous looking than anything else.

Huge refinery - also in the 9th ward and right next to residential areas.


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