We walk half a block down Royal Street from the Eighth District headquarters and come upon Brennan’s Restaurant, one of New Orleans’ most venerable dining institutions. The Brennans are a high-profile family of restaurateurs and run several of the highest-end eateries in town. Jimmy Brennan and a crew of his relatives are holing up in the restaurant along with the chef, Lazone Randolph. They are sleeping on air mattresses, drinking Cheval Blanc, and feasting on the restaurant’s reserves of haute Creole food.

The atmosphere in the French Quarter, while relatively quiet, is decidedly tense, but Brennan isn’t worried. “We’re not too concerned. The police let us go over to the Royal Omni, to take a shower, freshen up, and we cooked them some prime rib. We take care of them, they take care of us,” says Randolph. Two Brennan emissaries whisk past, bearing multilayer chocolate cakes, headed toward the precinct. “This has been working out real well for us,” says Jimmy Brennan.


An old man in a chaise lounge lay dead in a grassy median as hungry babies wailed around him. Around the corner, an elderly woman lay dead in her wheelchair, covered up by a blanket, and another body lay beside her wrapped in a sheet.

“I don’t treat my dog like that,” Edwards said as he pointed at the woman in the wheelchair. “You can do everything for other countries, but you can’t do nothing for your own people.”

Michael Brown, director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said FEMA just learned about the situation at the convention center Thursday….