New York just for teenagers

Forget MoMA and the Staten Island Ferry, said Julie Myerson in the Financial Times. Out-of-town teenagers, having seen countless TV shows set in New York, bring their own ideas about what to do when they visit Manhattan. We strictly ruled out a stroll through Central Park at midnight, but did join them on a tour of the “scuffed record stores” on Greenwich Village’s Bleecker Street. On Broadway, they were particularly ecstatic at discovering Yellow Rat Bastard, a cavernous store stuffed with the kind of inexpensive clothing that kids today crave. Canal Street, on the other hand, turned out to be mostly a string of tourist traps. A highlight was a subway ride to Shea Stadium in Queens to see a ballgame. In the final inning, we felt just like native New Yorkers as we rose to our feet and enthusiastically joined “their screams of ‘Cheat’ and ‘Steroids’ and ‘Disgrace.’”

A disaster tour of New Orleans

A van tour of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Katrina in and around New Orleans lasts three and a half hours, said Janet McConnaughey in the Associated Press. The 70-mile itinerary is now popular with visitors who want to get to know the real city. A tour might take in the crucial sections where the levees broke, the devastated Lower Ninth Ward, and such surrounding areas as Biloxi, Miss. It also covers neighborhoods of New Orleans “little known to outsiders before Katrina,” notably Gentilly and Lakeview, where a “view of Lake Pontchartrain” provides some respite. Downtown, several high-end hotels remain closed, but the “bellwether French Quarter was almost untouched” by the storm. Attendance records were set this year at both the French Quarter Festival and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and Mardi Gras visitors numbered about 800,000—“almost 80 percent of pre-Katrina.”

(From the magazine)