In the Big Uneasy: Hornets to try again in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS -- My buddy/tour guide refused to take me to the Lower Ninth Ward, telling me it looks exactly like what you see on TV: a wasteland of abandoned houses, debris piles and all-but-deserted streets.

"The people who used to live there were not the people to whom the Hornets were trying to sell tickets," he said, instead steering us to the former middle-class district of Lake View, near the 17th Street canal that ruptured during Hurricane Katrina, flooding a vast portion of the city.

Basically, the neighborhood is a wasteland, a place where life won't return to normal for at least a decade, if ever. It still reeked of mildew and mold.