A dispatch from Noah Adams, blogging from the Gulf Coast:
I don't know who Louis B. Porterie was, but I bet his family was proud that they named a ferryboat after him. My afternoon in New Orleans ended with a peaceful ride across the Mississippi on the Canal Street Ferry. Algiers was the destination across the water. The river seems wide (and green in today's light) but it was only a six-minute trip across, and free for a walk-on! It would be a great way to commute. On the trip over we had about 15 passengers in the enclosed cabin, and five cars, four trucks and one bike got off at the Algiers landing. Algiers had no hurricane flooding, and from the water it looks like a sleepy Louisiana town.
I was interested because back in Bay St. Louis, Miss., yesterday it was announced that a ferry service would be set up soon between that town and Pass Christian, across the bay. The Highway-90 Bridge was wrecked in Katrina and is nowhere near rebuilding. The way the roads work out it's a 40-minute drive between the two towns. If it all works out the neighbors will be minutes away again. And I think ferries are great for communities — you get to do a lot of standing around and talking.
Another reason to cross over the Mississippi here to Algiers? A Vietnamese restaurant named Kim Son. Order the salt-baked crab (courtesy: NPR producer and Louisiana native Evie Stone. See, we can't all be movie critics, but there's nothing wrong with talking about great food.)
Tomorrow I'll get a chance to go back to the Ninth Ward... haven't been there since last October.