Sunday, February 11, 2007

Mardi Gras Socks

Im back from New Orleans and it's nice to be home. It was very interesting to visit New Orleans again, last time I went was a month before Hurricane Katrina. I was glad that IBM chose to have the conference in NO - but slightly concerned that the city might not be fully 'open for business'.

The Convention Center is 100% operational, with no sign that it was ever used as a shelter, except for a monument in a small park adjacent to my hotel, and opposite the convention centre to the people of New Orleans during the hurricane. The French Quarter and Bourbon St seem as lively as ever, particularly as everyone was getting ready for Mardi Gras.

However, there are still some signs of the devastation wrought in the area and the recovery is ongoing. My hotel was on the edge of the Warehouse district and there were several boarded up buildings nearby. There were still some boarded up businesses on Canal St and in the French Quarter, and several people reported that restarants that they had previously visited were still closed, or just opening again for the Mardi Gras crowd, or serving just drinks. It was also interesting to watch the local news, where both the news and the commercials were still heavily focused on recovery and rebuilding.

Mardi Gras celebrations started on Friday night, and the city was preparing for a big party. I would certainly say that its time for tourists to start going back to the city, several colleagues reported staff in the hotels and restaurants thanking them for visiting New Orleans. Actually it was a good decision by IBM to go there and in addition to the location, the conference was really good. I did of course collect some beads...

In knitting news I got a lot of knitting done during my 6 hours of lectures a day (except when I was actually presenting myself!). I finished these socks, and made a good start on some others.

The pattern is my basic sock with a k3p1 rib. The wool is Peace Fleece in colour Waterlily. The wool is lovely and soft, but unfortunately hand-wash only. I will experiment with this as hand-wash socks are not too practical.

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