Day 12: Settling in Canal St, or The big Chill at the Guest House

New Orleans Travel Blog

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Last night I moved to a new place, as my friend John is hosting a French girl this week and there wasn't enough space at his house.

My new base is called India House (, an extremely cool backpackers on Canal St, not too far from the French Quarter - in which at the moment I'm not really interested in anyway as a matter of fact... The place has got a very warm and homey feeling, lots of friendly travellers, all mod cons and totally looks like the guest houses in good-old Phnom Phen, Cambodia (the ones right on the beautiful lakeside, for those who cares). Dedicated photo album on its way.

I'm told that this honourable establishment has been active for 20 years, and survived the hurricane that brought havoc to New Orleans in 2005. Talking to the chatty guy at the reception when I checked in last night, I've found out all sort of interesting and bizarre stories about this place. One example? Apparently, 8 members of the staff decided to stay put when the levees broke and this part of town was flooded under 7 feet of water, but most of them eventually went crazy or at least extremely depressed, and some spiralled down a dark avenue of hard drugs abuse before leaving for good....

The cat here is Tandoori (I think), who's been hanging around for about 14 years, longer than anybody else apart from the hostel owners. He is really calm and wise.

Tomorrow I will start working on my feature article with Common Ground Relief, a local organisation that is helping rebuild and renovate some of the most impoverished areas of New Orleans such as the 9th Ward, if you like the details.

I'm meeting founder Sharon Johnson in the morning, and she will show me around explaining what their work is about and where they are at. Keep an eye on this space for updates, but I'm afraid I won't be able to divulge too many info, as I am a professional! (but expect thoughts, pics and impressions)

I still don't know if anything good enough to find an interested editor will come out of this, but I will give it a shot. I'll be working on it mainly as a follow up of an article that was published on NEED magazine last summer, but I might find some angle that can be exploited otherwise back in Europe.

Ok, it's time for supper for Dani.

Stay Tuned
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