This is a typical New Orleans story and it made me smile to read it. I was introduced to the Maple Leaf a couple weeks ago - I drank Jager shots and watched blues and shot the shit with a few of the people named in this article - and they examplify the blood-or-glory attitude towards storms many holdouts maintain. I can't say I've got the cojones or the resolve or the willful ignorance of self preservation to be one of them, but it's nice to know they're out there.
It is a concern: people who REALLY have no business staying behind will get the impression that it's okay to stay behind, that bad things don't really happen. Will people fall back into that pre Katrina sort of complacency? Personally, I just think: I think of water lapping up to my chin, me trapped among my melting cardboard boxes and posessios in a gungy attic somewhere, hacking desperately away at the roof so I don't take in chemical-besot water and drown. I think of that and leaving seems okay by me.
I do think it would have been interesting to be alone in the city, like Travis said - an I Am Legend sort of moment. I was walking up Magazine the other day, thinking about how weird and at the same time cool it would be to be the Only Person Around, a solitary denizen of a formerly dense and dangerous urban area - able to walk into places, poke around, "find" (or "loot") things..........what the city would look like if everyone had disappeared off the face of the earth and left me to it. I guess the folks who stuck around for Gustav know. I'll ask them more about it when I get back.