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I have a couple friends living in New Orleans, both of whom I met while going to school at Nebraska.  Ben is a Pop-A-Lock guy who is getting a naval engineering degree at the University of New Orleans. Mac (I'm the only guy left in the world who still calls him Mac) is a bartender in the French Quarter. When Ben and his wife Ing-ya returned to his home, this is what they found.

I was back in New Orleans a few months ago. I spent time going around the city with Ben as part of his job and he gave me a tour of the city that he called the "Devastation Tour". I wondered about the word "devastation" but after seeing the Ninth Ward, a destroyed marina, car graveyards, and the thousands of FEMA trailers, I decided there wasn't another word that adequately described what I saw.

New Orleans is a pretty cool place, I'd recommend going there to anyone even now.  I had made a couple trips there before Katrina, one since, and I'll be going back in another month or so. Given that the hearts of the city and the people are intact, I have no doubt that it'll recover.