Today is our last day here in the city of New Orleans. In the morning, we got to visit the Louisiana State Museum, which is located by the French Quarter. The first floor of the museum covered a brief introduction of hurricanes in New Orleans' history, and what happened before, during, and after Katrina hit the town. I was first upset and angry about the government inefficient work in the whole rescuing process. Then at the same time, I was moved by all the ordinary heroes who emerged in the whole process by having put tremendous effort in. That was the time I started to realize that no matter what kind of difficulties human beings face, there will always be a chance to recover as long as all people are willing to work together. What impressed me most during the recovery process is the culture formed because of one of the most serious natural disaster in American history. People made music in memory of lost fellow citizens and used rainstorm protecting material as fabric for Mardi Gras Parade costumes. The second floor exhibit showed more historical background of Mardi Gras. Tracing back to the roots of the festival can help us better understand the mixed and unique culture of New Orleans.
We actually got exposed to the famous French Quarter after we finished our museum tour. Even though it is called the “French” Quarter, most of its architecture was built during the time of Spanish rule over New Orleans, and this is reflected in its design. Riding bikes with Michelle and Nicole around the French Quarter was the best experience ever! Today’s weather was gorgeous. Like the bike renting store owner says, “You can never find a day better than this for a bike tour!”
We went to the French Market after about a 20 minutes’ ride. In contrast to the typical medieval European style building around it, the market can give you a better idea how globalized this current society is. Not only are the visitors from all over the United States and other parts of the world, the business owners there are also from quite diversified backgrounds. I bought sunglasses from a Chinese lady, and looked for a hat in many different Indian stores which are all owned by white people. On the street next to the French Market, I chatted with an artistic store’s French owner. The city of New Orleans is very diverse!
For some people, doing business in the French market is not all about money; it is more about a dream. An example of a successful New Orleans owner is the artist Russell Gore. He grew up in poverty. He now creates successful, colorful jewelry. His business is called Made in the Ghetto. He also helps give back to his community through service projects.
I really enjoyed the trip and enjoyed being around ALL the people on this trip.
PS: Thank Daniel Schekorra for helping me finish this blog before 2:00 am! You are such a nice friend~