I've been in New Orleans all week attending two vastly different conferencesone with my husband for Coremetrics, and the other, of course, is the Self Storage Association convention, still in progress. It was simply fortuitous that our events ran back-to-back, as this is our favorite city, and we are thrilled to support it with our tourist dollar. I could go on and on about why that is, but mostly it's because we were engaged here during a self-storage show several years ago and returned a year later to tie the knot. All the usual enticements aside, N'awlins obviously holds a special significance for us.
It's been a week of happy and painful memories, delightful and horrific discoveries. In short, my emotions are all over the map. I'm happy to be here, supporting in the Crescent City in the wake of devastation as well as the industry's efforts toward the rebuilding of the area. At the same time, it's difficult to face the realities from which I have been largely removed by geography.
This morning, I attended an opening session presented by Kevin Langley, a past SSA board member and a representative of the Louisiana Mini Storage Association. He spoke about his experiences as a resident of this area during Katrina and shared photos of his home, family, community and local storage facilities after the storm. He drew some poignant analogies regarding the storage industry and society at large. The message: The importance of working together as business and global partners to overcome obstacles. It was inspiring.
People often say "it's a small world," but I experienced a particularly strong affirmation of the statement this week. On Monday evening, my husband and I attended the opening reception for his Coremetrics event at the Hotel Monteleone. Upon entering the room, one the first things I saw was a guy in a Mako Steel t-shirt, and it took me a moment to remember that I was not at a self-storage event! Turns out "Sam the Kiwi," a general contractor who erects buildings for Mako, was in attendance with his wife, Laura, a Coremetrics customer. Talk about coincidences.
There's so much more to share about the things I've seen and learned over the past several daysI'll impart more stories upon my reutrn to Phoenix. Right now, I'm keenly aware that this is our last night in N.O., and some of our favorite venues beckon. It's off to Jean Laffitte's Old Absinthe House for cocktails and Tony Moran's for dinner (where my better half once dropped on bended knee and popped the question). We'll pop by The Dungeon on Toulouse for a much-need dose of goth tunes and see where the night takes us. These days, the NEW catch phrase for the city is "Laissez les bons temps rouler encore!" let the good times roll again!