05 January 2006

New Orleans - Day 10 - Mark Knopfler, high and dry, closing the trip up soon

Well, our time approaches an end here in NO, we’re finalizing the projects we’re working on right now, making last calls and saying good byes. The pressure to finish up is building a little and we’re spending more time in the office and tying up loose ends. A morning of phone calls ended with helping Bernadette move some boxes from her office in Tulane (she was a prof. there last year but came back to NOLAC after the hurricane (she also ran for judge once and is on a governor’s board, and, well, she’s awesome). Tulane’s campus was great, the new building at least. The staff all were sad to see her go, they all basically asked the same questions after saying hello, “how’s your house, high and dry? Get the insurance payment yet? Moved?” She also is going to give me some Dylan and Mark Knopfler.

After work we all made our way down the Jay’s house near Frenchmen and Burgundy to a great dinner (someone mentioned that it felt like a “firm dinner” (but without the guilt) that he forced his way into paying for (but said we could leave a big tip after much resistance). He and Linton were great to us and their beautiful house was an experience in itself (he says look to a book by Charolette Seidenberg’s The New Orleans Garden: Gardening in the Gulf South if you’re interested). He keeps some stray cats from the hurricane and let a homeless local stay at his place during the hurricane, great guy, made the trip better for everyone, thanks Jay!

After dinner, which included some Spanish wine, we walked down Frenchmen and took in some jazz and local brews. A long walk across the French Quarter summed up our final night in NO.

I’ll miss the attorneys at NOLAC, the adorable dogs that people had taken up after the storm, the lecherous 40 something white guys wandering the streets, refrigerators with tags as profound as their smells, the mold, Arlo Guthrie, and the incredible students who shared this with me (special thanks to Jen and Janelle for shouldering so much of the organizing). But there’s another day of work to be done before returning for motorcycle safety training, my only Sunday off, then school’s dreaded return on Monday the 9th. The only thing I regret about this trip is being away from Megan for so long. But as we plan for another team to return this summer I know that all the single Boalties have nothing to worry about when the arrive here except that they may enjoy the food, work, and city a little too much—and that would be just fine in New Orleans.

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