Goin' Back to New Orleans, Part 4.5

11/08/2005 05:57 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Two rather more general observations on Day 3 of my visit: the city is experiencing record high temperatures, without the hammering humidity of mid-summer. If the sun didn't set at 5:15, you'd swear it was the best July ever. The down side: New Orleans has experienced almost no rain since Katrina left, so the open question is whether the ground where the brackish water killed the vegetation has gone too long without the saving grace of rainwater.
On another note: in addition to the lack of housing for the thousands who had to evacuate and who might want to respond to those ubiquitous "NOW HIRING" signs, there's another wrinkle: as is well known, so many of those folks didn't own cars, and relied on public transit (hence, their inability to flee in a timely manner). Not widely reported, so it came as a surprise to me when I turned to cross St. Charles Avenue and reflexively looked to see if a streetcar was coming: the streetcars aren't running.