The area around New Orleans, Louisiana is still in unliveable condition. Driving east from the city on Interstate 10 one can look off to the side and see but darkness. The streetlights and traffic signals still are out. That which were restaurants, filling stations, and houses, are but the shells of their former selves. Couches, appliances, and abandoned automobiles line the shoulder of the freeway. We stopped off in Slidell, Louisiana (where we stayed on our previous visit to New Orleans in early August 2005 and where another group that makes the annual trip to Kentucky comes from). Progess is being made, but there's still a long way to go.
In New Orleans itself, there are signs that read U LOOT, WE SHOOT. Debris is still piled up in various locations. However, if you were to teleport yourself to Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, you might not notice that anything terrible happened there just months prior.
We ate at The Embers like our previous visit. (It's still delicious, by the way.) One benefit of sitting on the balcony is enjoying no fewer than three conflicting sources of loud music. Another is being able to look out into the street below, as in the picture of the day.
The street is not nearly as full as it was last time we were there. You can even drive across the street without too much hassle. But, at least, New Orleans is not lost to us.
kamoranakrre thinks it would be neat if they turned the low-lying and still-destroyed parts of New Orleans into a Venice-like place. ...Not a practical solution; simply a dream.