Hard Rock New Orleans Ruins

“The Earth is God’s pinball machine and each quake, tidal wave, flash flood and volcanic eruption is the result of a TILT that occurs when God, cheating, tries to win free games.”

― Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Ruins of the Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans, over a year after the collapse.

I left my son’s apartment on Poydras Street, downtown New Orleans, and walked to Canal Street on Rampart Street (don’t ask me what direction – the compass is all screwed up in New Orleans – for example the West Bank is actually East of downtown – although it is connected to the Western Half of the United States) I walked up on to the ruins of the Hard Rock Hotel collapse.

It happened over a year ago – a disaster that took the lives of three construction workers – two bodies remained in the wreckage for ten months. It is a giant eyesore right in the heart of the city – a terrible reminder of the fragility of life. I didn’t realize when I read about it that the actual collapse of the steel superstructure was so high up in the air – sitting on top of eight stories or so of concrete floors.

The Google Maps Street View from Canal still shows it pre-collapse.

I walked past on my way to the French Quarter. The locals ignored the now-all-too-familiar sight while tourists gestured and offered up theories and speculation.

4 responses to “Hard Rock New Orleans Ruins

  1. You know we are the Crescent City, so if you want to tell directions like we do, you say upriver, downriver, lake side, river side. Only tourists — which you aren’t — won’t know what you are talking about. I don’t know where on Poydras your son lives, but for sure you were walking downriver.

    There is no conspiracy except for the greed of man — the developers — who cut every corner.

    What’s really sad is the loss of the Woolworths below it. It played a role in the civil rights era. Black men and women sat at the counter. You know the rest.

    • Yeah, I know the directions – but I’m originally from a very gridded state – Kansas – and am never comfortable unless I know where North is. My son lives in a high-rise at Poydras and O’Keefe and it drives me nuts that I look out his window at the West Bank and that’s where the sun rises.

      • Kansas is also mostly flat which makes seeing things a little easier. The other issue here is that streets curve and twist, stop and start for no know reason. It’s prime Nola to have the sun rise in the west. Sorta of like one of the hurricanes that hit Lake Charles. It pushed a barge into the I-10 bridge which cause it to break at the very time people were trying to evacuate on it. So Louisiana.

  2. I once read Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (and still have the book, found it the other day while looking for something else) but I don’t remember that particular quote. Good one.

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