Is there any doubt that I had a great time returning to New Orleans for the first time in two years, hanging out in my old haunts and communing with long-lost friends and workmates?
The palm trees are back on Canal Street and they're looking better than ever. Katrina shredded the original palms that had been planted along the street's neutral ground (that's median to you non-New Orleanians). Those have been replaced, and they've been joined by more trees lining the sidewalks. The added greenery really dresses up the street.
This was one of those only-in-New-Orleans moments. While strolling down Bourbon Street in the afternoon, I stumbled across this bin filled with a freakishly large number of Mardi Gras king cake babies.
Why were they there? Who did they belong to? What could it mean? These questions will haunt me forever.
Painted miniature street cars like this one seem to randomly pop up around town. They must be a local version of Chicago's much-copied painted cows.
I actually miss this.
No trip to Nola is complete without a Saturday night stop at Cafe Lafitte's, the city's oldest gay bar which bills itself as the "Daddy of 'em all." That's (left to right) Tommy, Pedro and Fred in the center and Lyle and Galt on the right.
I also got to see the gang at my old newspaper, The Times-Picayune, but my only photo with some of my former colleagues in the business section was out of focus. From left to right are Kim, business editor; reporter Kate; reporter Jaquetta; and reporter Jen.
We're gathered in front of my former desk, which for nine years offered me a view of the Broad Street overpass through opaque, bullet-proof glass.
Kim and I rode Katrina out together in this office space with two other business section co-workers. Good times!
I may be gone from the media bunker on Howard Avenue, but these pics prove that I'm not forgotten.
Metro reporter Gwen (left) snatched this "Geaux Tigers" sign from my old desk and mounted it on her cubicle. On the right is a snapshot of me at my San Diego office, taken by Jaquetta during her trip out West last year, that hangs on a message board inside the business section office.
Here are some of the SEVEN iPhones that were part of our weekend gathering. Lyle, who is an Apple employee and helped test the device, was thrilled, and he promised to tell Steve Jobs all about us when he returns to work.
TODAY'S BLOG SPOT:
The dinning room of McDonald's in Jennings. I worked as a cashier at this store in the early 1980s when I was in high school. It's had a complete coffee-shop makeover in recent years.
It seems to be home to the only public wi-fi hotspot in town. The service is through AT&T, and a day pass costs $2.95.