The New Orleans Jazz Festival is proving a raucous success. I frankly didn't think it would draw well (where would people stay?) but it's attracted perhaps the biggest crowds ever -- well into the hundreds of thousands. It's a much needed shot in the arm for the struggling local economy. At least they know tourists will return. One of the headliners, Bruce Springsteen, just released an album of songs written or popularized by the leftie Pete Seeger. The album's not in-your-face political (at all), but Springsteen didn't shy away from stating the obvious at the show. "I saw sights I never thought I'd see in an American city," he said. "The criminal ineptitude makes you furious." The key word there? "Criminal." The racetrack where the Festival is held was completely under water just eight months ago.
For more info on the fest, read the very entertaining postings from our friends at NYCDonline, who are there in person -- getting de-briefed at the airport, finding religion from al elderly gospel group, eating rabbit and sitting near a woman who is attending a jazz festival but says bluntly "I hate trumpets!" Lots of fun.