I am sitting in the New Orleans airport, only minutes after having my fourth "TSA Pre is closed" security check in the last eight flights. Just what it is I paid for to receive is increasingly up for conjecture. There does appear to be some correlation between standard human meal times and the likelihood of closure, which seems to me--given that people fly during these times--that the staffing plan should account for this. I of course fired off a tweet to @TSA, and I imagine I will shortly wind up on the no-fly list.
I have been in New Orleans for a couple of days. Originally, this was a trip with two purposes. The first (and surviving) was to spend half a day with the Midshipmen of the Tulane University NROTC Unit at the invitation of their CO--CAPT Patrick Huete--shipmate from days gone by. This half day of labor (yesterday morning) was pure wonderfulness, as I got to talk to the future of the Navy about the future of the Navy. They had a lot of good questions, and I am satisfied the country remains in good hands. Here's a shot of the Battalion just before I began to talk.
The second reason I was here was to look in on a little investment I have in New Orleans, but the gent who runs it had some emergent travel and we weren't able to meet. However, our past meetings here had led to my discovery of a little Cajun/Soul Food gem called Lil Dizzy's Cafe, where I met another friend (DC transplant) for a ridiculous lunch.
What I've come to discover since arriving here is that my timing--as New Orleans goes, is horrible. Apparently, Carnival swings into gear TODAY, and from the looks of the folks arriving at the airport, there is a festive mood awakening. I am not yet sold in New Orleans, though it is growing on me. I don't think I could ever get into Mardi Gras much, as I don't drink and this seems an essential part of the thrill. The other part though, is to actually belong to a "Krewe", which is from what I can tell, a rather exclusive club. Many Krewe's are ancient generational, and they march in particular parades on certain days. All of this I think, becomes far more important to one who grows up bathed in the pageantry. My boy Patrick has pushed New Orleans for as long as I've known him. Being here with him--the town he has come home to--was a great experience. We were talking in the car on the way to dinner Wednesday night (Crescent City Steaks) about how when you ask someone in New Orleans where they went to school, the answer is your high school. No one cares where you went to college--but your high school is destiny. As soon as we walked into the restaurant, standing there at the bar was a dude Patrick recognized from his high school, a year senior. A few members of the class were gathering for dinner to discuss the year end of their annual charity project, in which they provide hundreds of Turkeys to needy New Orleans families. A handful of dudes strolled in and Patrick knew them all.
I have no place like this. I think having one would be nice--but I don't think I require it. Perhaps I'm just not that social.
Your next trip, stay at Le Pavillon Hotel. It is haunted, and it serves a PB&J bar (I declined) at 2200 hrs. each night. It is a grand hotel, wonderfully appointed, unbelievably comfy beds, and reasonably priced.