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Karen Dalton-Beninato Headshot

New Orleans Holiday Card to the Dutch: All This Could Be Yours

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New Orleans Author Goat Carson suggests turning the city into New Amsterdam and inviting the Dutch to build a 10,000 year flood protection system in exchange for tourism revenue.

Goat's got a point, They already know how to entertain tourists the Netherlands, and New Orleans would be 50 times safer from flooding with bigger, better dikes. Here are 12 photos from the last 24 hours to let the Dutch know what they would get in exchange for their protection.

(The less blurry photos are by Mr. Beninato.)

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Evenings at Snake & Jake's Christmas Club Lounge, voted Sexiest Bar in America by Details Magazine, it's lit only by flattering Christmas lights all year long. This is your bartender, Miss Elaine. Snake's is the bar of choice for Anthony Bourdain, and Bourdain knows bars.

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The French Quarter is never not beautiful.

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The Lights. Red Light Districts, Green Light Districts, if you've got a light, we've got a district.

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Lucky Dogs. Or as the vendor was shouting, 'Genuine Katrina Hot Dogs!' It didn't sound appetizing but drew an interested crowd.

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Hotel Monteleone's Carousel Bar. It's a Bar. It's a Ride. You drink and slowly spin around the room, which enchanted Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote enough to make it into their literary work.

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Chef Paul Prudhomme blackened some of the first seafood, and is still creating masterpieces at K-Paul's Louisiana Kitchen. I gained 5 pounds yesterday.

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Back at Snake's, Santanista Offers You His Protection.

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You never know who will show up. This is guitar hero Jimmy Robinson of Twangorama, singer/songwriter Susan Cowsill, and a Cajun Santa at Carrolton Station.

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A Hip Daily Newspaper. New Orleans Times Picayune's nola.com selection for photo of the day isn't a cute kid holding a puppy under the tree. It's the Christmas Club Lounge.

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The Latter Public Library on historic St. Charles Avenue hosted an Irwin Mayfield benefit with teen sensation Amanda Shaw, free and open to the public. Preservance Hall will be completed in 08, adding an expanded jazz district to our National Park System.

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Unlimited Opportunities to Do Good. This is the tent village under the interstate, as thousands of residents are now homeless. One of many shelters just outside the city houses dozens of families and half the residents are children. Their wish lists are modest, and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have just held a press conference on the condition of displaced children.

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More Ways to Help. Carnival Season, Festival Season, Midsummer Mardi Gras - each is a good reason to gear up at the French Quarter Save NOLA Shop. Merchandise benefits nonprofits Habitat for Humanity Musicians Village, Drew Dat, the New Orleans Musicians Relief Fund, Global Green and Make it Right. So come down and shop, gut, build, tip, spend, dance, eat and whatever else the Dutch like to do.

This could make one hell of a New Amsterdam.

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