My first impression of New Orleans: the airport signage is in English, Spanish, and French. A beautiful gesture; not sure whether its audience is the tuthree Quebecois who come over per year, or the Cajuns (pour raisons emblematiques).
Second impression of New Orleans: I had the choice of a cab for $33, or the New Orleans Airport Shuttle for $20. What you gotta ask yourself is, was the $13 savings worth waiting an extra 40 mins. It wasn't the most scenic airport garage I have seen, so I surmise the answer to have been no.
Third impression: the downtown skyscrapers certainly don't seem to have been flood-damaged.
Fourth impression: having heard the shuttle driver announce hotels, and the shuttle coordinator announce routes beforehand—I'm going to have serious issues with understanding the local accent:
SHUTTLE COORDINATOR: Sir? Y'awlre dahn't termnuhnl too.
SHUTTLE COORDINATOR: Sir?
ME: ... Yes?
SHUTTLE COORDINATOR: Sir? Follow me.
ME: ... Oh.
Good. It makes for Opɯcɯlɯklɑr Comedy Gold, that kind of thing.
Fifth impression: the hotel. I'm in love with the hotel. In fact, I felt like I was bringing down property values just by walking in there. The interior is elegant enough,
—but what really catches the eyes is the loftiness of the lobby:
This explain why the interior is full of exposed beams: