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But instead of having to compete for space with other visitors and organizations, those two conventions were the only games in town. The normal tourist destinations were eerily quiet — Jackson Square, the French Quarter and Bourbon Street were practically empty. Where once vendors, fortune tellers and artists competed for space in Jackson Square, there are only a handful.

Evidence of Katrina is still visible along Canal and Poydras Streets. And should you venture into the Lakeview or Ninth Ward areas, you soon realize that the residents of New Orleans need us now more than ever.

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