Not many places in the developed world can say they've had it as bad in the past 5 years as NOLA. The area is constantly battered by Hurricanes. Hurricane Katrina destroyed many parts of the city with floods and high winds, the rebuilding of the cities flood defences still continues today.

On Marconi Drive along the west side of City Park you can still see the place where building of the wall along the canal from the Mississippi has halted (124+635). A barman in the Lost Love Lounge told me that the small gap between the wall and the highway is a constant reminder of how vulnerable they are to the hurricanes.

Then came the BP Oil Spill which not only slowed down oil extraction in the Gulf but devastated the other main industry in NOLA, fishing. Seafood which was eaten in and exported from NOLA disappeared. As a consequence many businesses had to close or adapt. Stores are only now getting oysters back but many won't eat them for fear of contamination. Everyone knows the oil is still there, at the bottom of the sea along with the compounds used to make it sink.

Perhaps it's due to the lack of disposable income or the fear of losing their livelihood to another disaster, but people are reluctant to spend now. One waitress told me her tips are down 75% after the oil spill but I doubt she'll be reimbursed by BP.