The last time I was in New Orleans was December 2004, eight months before Katrina devastated this fragile and fabulous city at the southeast end of Louisiana. Arriving here last night, I didn't notice any obvious differences: the trolley still runs across St. Charles, the food is still magnificent, and the drinks are still, well...plentiful.
The other thing that fortunately hasn't changed here is the music, which can be found all over town. On Tuesday night, the place to be is the Maple Leaf Bar, where the Rebirth Brass Band kicks it each and every week, to a packed house. Last night they played three sets over 2 1/2 hours, and blew the roof off with their unique mix of jazz, funk and hip-hop. They reminded me of another brass band that has a Tuesday night weekly much closer to home, which made leaving a little less painful. (More pics below.)