Day 3 – Charlotte

We started out the morning with breakfast and coffee at the historic Cafe du Monde. Many of us got our first taste of the sugary fried goodness at are beignets. Ed from North Carolina generously got each of us a hat to wear.

Beignets

Beignets

The Team in Our Hats

The Team in Our Hats

After breakfast, we met up with Bill Norris who gave us an enlightening walking tour of the city and told us some interesting stories. We heard about the search for gold and the area changing hands from the French to the Spanish and the Americans. In terms of architecture, he pointed out the different types of buildings and their functions, the prevention of devastation from fires spreading like the historic New Orleans fire etc. Bill also told us the soap opera like story of Baroness Micaela Almonester Pontalba who was responsible for building a lot of the area around Jackson Square. The story is one of an entrepreneurial baroness stuck in a marriage to the gold-digging Pontalba family. http://www.frenchquarter.com/history/BaronessPontalba.php 

After the tour of the french quarter, we piled in the van and took a trip out to the ninth ward and St. Bernard Parish and saw some of the areas hit the hardest by Katrina. Some people have rebuilt but their neighborhoods are still filled with those in a state of great disrepair that are completely uninhabitable. Moreover, there are many properties that used to have homes on them but now just have a set of front steps and a shut off gas line springing from the middle of the lot. Bill explained the significance of the circular markings written on the buildings by the rescue teams that came in after Katrina showing the number of people and animals found inside, many that did not survive.

Home in the 9th Ward

Home in the 9th Ward with Markings

One very encouraging thing that we saw was an example of the homes that Brad Pitt is building with the Make it Right Foundation. The homes are raised, have modern design and are more “green.”

Make it Right Home

Make it Right Home

After lunch, we met with a few clients each. One of the client’s I met with was applying for a grant to expand his barber school as well as his salon and spa. There was extensive documentation required in the application for the grant and so Gayle (from NC) and I assisted him with creating the three year projection he needed to include. It was extremely gratifying to be able to help him in a project that will so benefit the community. Not only would expansion of his business help him and create new jobs but the school (the only one in the area) would help others to get into a lucrative profession. 

After our client meetings we went to dinner at Crescent City Brew House. Many tried a sampler of all their different brews. A few of us chose to hit the Harrah’s casino afterwards, some with more luck than others.

Amy from New York with Sampler

Amy from New York with Sampler

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