Deals on Wheels

Prior to Katrina, I could honestly say New Orleans was pedestrian-friendly. I'd go out on a limb and say that fact has changed. I’m not saying a closet full of Adidas wouldn't sufficiently get you from point A to point B – I’m saying the novelty of traveling to point B ever again fades fast. For those unaware, shops and stores are open yet not in a linear, easily identifiable fashion. The flooding effectively played a one-sided game of Battleship…and managed only to sink certain blocks instead of others. Without a personal vehicle or the slow-but-relatively-reliable streetcars, getting around the city is an adventure best read about and not experienced.

Outside of the economic impact of the flood-scattered businesses, there’s the social element of life in the ‘Big Sleazy' that has been affected post-Katrina. Don’t get me wrong – if you’ve got a fever and your prescription calls for more alcohol, you can earn your water wings in liquor. Best of all, within walking distance you’ll find parties celebrating such themes as “breathing” and “wireless internet.” However, for those in search of atmosphere, you have to damn-near leave the hemisphere to find a venue that isn’t overcrowded and holds hours later than a retiree. Let’s not even consider how hard it is to find food after 7pm even at such fine-dining establishments as McDonald’s, Taco Bell, and what remains of KFC. I know there is an employment shortage, but do these owners realize how late college students actually eat? It makes me wonder if the Colonel’s secret recipe contained his Alzheimer’s meds and a fifth of gin. Somebody has to sober up in the food service industry around here.

It’s good to be back in the city, but i get little satisfaction from kegstands and houseparties alone. I need jazz. I need accesible cuisine. I need atmosphere. I need a (street)car…or a better selection of friends who do. Let's face it – for the average college kid, the socio-economic square that I live in will more than sustain you. But for many of us native sons, there's much more to NOLA – there's far more to life, outside of the box.