Help Wanted

If you're a college student looking for some summer cash waiting tables, then we have a deal for you: $8 an hour plus benefits. Sounds great, right? Of course, the commute will be kind of a bitch, since the job's in New Orleans.

Doing our part to help with hurricane recovery, the wife and I spent the holiday weekend in the French Quarter overtipping, overeating and overspending. Hey, it's the least we could do, and we always do the least we can do. While we didn't head into the more flood-ravaged parts of the city--touring other people's misery is what news people do for a living, not on holiday--the French Quarter showed only minimal signs of last year's disaster. Crowds were light for a three-day weekend, there appeared to be fewer street artists and panhandlers and several shops and restaurants were still not open, but the party on Bourbon Street was as booze-soaked as ever, and you didn't have to walk more than a few yards to hear great live music. The clearest sign of Katrina's effects was in the number of help-wanted signs in shop windows--there were almost as many of them as there were of signs offering "girls, girls, girls." (The residents, if anything, we're friendlier than ever, which is saying something.)

And they still have that Big Easy sense of humor. Two of the most common souvenir T-shirt designs got straight to the post-Katrina point: "Katrina gave me a blowjob I'll never forget" and "FEMA Evacuation Plan: Run, motherfucker, run!" --Patrick Williams

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