The Louisiana Weekly’s Edmund W. Lewis interviews CNN’s T.J. Holmes regarding New Orleans…
“I don’t know what I was expecting,” he admitted. “I got pretty much the experience that a lot of the folks in the visitors’ bureau want visitors to get, which is that of a thriving New Orleans, and you do see that when you come down and just stick around in downtown New Orleans… That’s the impression you get and that’s the impression they admittedly want people to have. …Of course, people around the country see stories about the murder rate and crime in New Orleans, but they want the visitors to keep coming…That’s the experience that I got. I got very much what New Orleans officials want people to have, the image of a thriving New Orleans that is doing well and is safe.
“I didn’t go too much outside of downtown New Orleans,” he added. “I saw a couple of hard-hit areas that received damage from Katrina but I certainly didn’t go to some of the worst areas.
“I got the impression of a thriving city, a comeback city, a city that can handle guests, that can handle big events and is a party town.”
Back in Atlanta, Holmes joked about the Crescent City’s notoriously high summer temperatures last week. “Even the rain was hot,” he recalled. “Everything is hot. That threw me off. They say you all deal with it day in and day out, but a shower will move in and go away and the wind and rain are going sideways. That threw me off, how the showers could come in and go (so quickly). …It’s some strange stuff going on down there in New Orleans weather-wise.”