We took my cousin and his friend out for a well-deserved Northern Italian dinner last night. They arrived in New Orleans yesterday, and they and a number of other high-school-aged volunteers have already eaten in the Quarter and helped build a house in the upper Ninth Ward. God bless 'em all.
I only wish we'd been able to shoe-horn the kids into a Metairie restaurant where Saints ballplayer Joe Horn broadcasts his radio show from most Thursday nights, but the 45-minute wait over there was a mighty deterrent. We ended up over at Andrea's restaurant, which Dan and I had repeatedly heard was an excellent eating place, but had never tried out until we walked in with my cousin and his friend. The kids seemed to appreciate it a great deal, singing along with some waiters singing "Happy Birthday" in Italian to someone at a nearby table, talking football and college basketball with us, and laughing and joking around with the little guy in the car on the way back to their hotel. We'll be seeing them tomorrow when they come to our synagogue for services and a big Shabbat dinner, and hopefully, we can get them into a place where they can hear some good live jazz music (like I said before, there aren't many places for folks under 21 to hear live music in this town ) on Saturday night.
Anyone in New Orleans want to open up a teen club just to entertain these great kids? It is the help of their hands, and millions of others, that will help get this city going again. Ain't a little live entertainment the least we can do?