Don’t Ask Me If New Orleans and Its Food Are Better

August 28, 2015
By Mitch Frank, Wine Spectator

Is New Orleans better now than it was 10 years ago? We're hearing that question a lot here. Saturday marks a decade since Hurricane Katrina arrived, devastating parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, triggering a failure of the federal levees protecting New Orleans, inflicting more than $108 billion in damage and killing more than 1,800 people.

It's a foolish question.

Obviously New Orleans and its people, neighborhoods, restaurants and culture are better than some observers expected 10 years ago when they questioned whether the city had a viable future. People are resilient, wonderfully stubborn creatures. They weather earthquakes, fires and terrorism, and pick up the pieces. But people want to know if New Orleans is better than before the storm, whether the flooding cleansed a city with many troubles before the waters rushed in.

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