Watching the images of the Morial Convention Center raises memories of all the hours I’ve logged in that building over the years. Anyone who has been to a big convention there has seen or waited in the long lines for buses or cabs, walked miles and miles — at CTIA in March one sponsor gift was a pedometer — and been held hostage to the food services. Usually, at some point in every show there’s a moment when I think it’s hellish and I’m thrilled to escape; when it’s typical New Orleans weather, I’m relieved to go inside to the air-conditioned comfort.
Then I look back at the people who really are being held hostage to circumstances, who are stuck in a surreal version of those lines that makes the lamented 40-minute convention waits seem like a breeze. Superman comic readers will understand when I say it is Bizarro New Orleans.
It is familiar and completely unrecognizable all at once.