We left Meridian and drove south to Biloxi, MS and the Gulf coast. We had never been and also wanted to see first hand the damage from Katrina now more than five years on. Much of the immediate coast looked to have been scrapped clean and the reconstruction has not been particularly robust excepting, inevitably, for the casinos. For some strange reason neither of us took any pictures of this.
Entering New Orleans along US 10 does not immediately hint at the losses here from Katrina. We made our way by late afternoon to the St Charles Guest House on Prytania in the Garden District. This turned out to seem like a lot of New Orleans in myth and reality, charming with a patina of decay.
On the recommendation of our hotelier we ate dinner, after a brisk walk up and down St. Charles St., at The Avenue Pub.
The food was serviceable and the beer endless in selection. One of us went for the daily special of Sierra Nevada Porter at $2. The best parts of this place included the patrons, heavy on locals, the juke box, and the increasingly rare delight of cigarette smoke to accompany the conversation. This induced a wonderful couple of hours of beery nostalgia (for Mark at least).