Overall, I enjoyed it. If it wasn't for CR's emergency (he's still fine), it would have been the perfect trip.
Some things I didn't mention:
I had some "Gator Bites" at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. It was alligator meat that had been deep fried. Honestly, the taste was like anything else I have had that was deep fried with a tangy sauce, so this is a very unfair review. I can only say that it had a consistency of fish, and slightly tasted like fish, but not really. It did not taste like chicken at all. It was not bad, but nothing to write home about, and I only put it here because some people might be curious.
A few may wonder about Katrina damage. Okay, a majority of what I saw was no worse than downtown Richmond, and in fact, Richmond seemed more run down than most of New Orleans two years after the hurricane (sorry, Richmond). There were spots where you could see abandoned shopping centers, a cluster of ruined houses, and some water damage. And we did not tour every square inch of New Orleans, in fact, we were in the French Quarter most of the time, so some damage may not have been in our field of view. But the bus tour showed us some of the damage. Notable were a few houses that had some kind of "X", where there was a date and some kind of code spray-painted on front of the property (example). I looked this up, and it was when structural engineers are included in deployments to assist in searching buildings and determining the shoring required for the safety of the rescuers. As they perform search operations, the USAR Teams spray paint a large "X" on the structure to indicate the status of their efforts. The quadrants of the "X" are used to indicate when the structure was searched, which task force performed the search, what hazards are present, and how many victims are trapped in the building. So my answer is is not valuable, since the poor get fucked and swept under the rug. I feel that a majority of damage may have occurred on the outskirts of town.
One small note to the poor people of NO came from takayla who visited it a year before Katrina hit. She said before there were a plethora of friendly people in all variety of service positions. But they were mostly gone; replaced by the same generic immigrants we are used to down here in DC. They don't speak English very well, keep to themselves mostly, and generally only do what they are told without fuss, but not much else. All the friendly people were mostly made of poor folks, many going generations back, where being friendly and nice were the only ways to keep a low service job. They all lost their homes, got evacuated, and a huge vacancy of low-paid help just sucked in the immigrants as it always will. This is a natural flow of things in a city, but I think a lot of the spirit of New Orleans has been damaged by their loss.
The whole of the French Quarter was a mix of old and new. There's a thriving gay community. The sidewalks are in terrible shape, and the backup from the sewers smells revolting at times. The store fronts are varied, and streets are hard to navigate by car. The architecture is a mix of European with American, with a lot of Spanish influence, and the place is seeped in history.