New Orleans: Frequently Asked Questions

I have not visited New Orleans in many years, what can I expect?
An expanded eclectic experience if you wish. New Orleans' popular tourist areas, such as the French Quarter, Downtown/Central Business District, Uptown, Garden District, Magazine Street, Warehouse/Arts District, and Convention Center Boulevard remain some of the most accessible areas for visitors of any city in America. Additionally, New Orleans continues to provide a plethora of options related to history, culture, and cuisine.

Will it be difficult to get to and from New Orleans?
The Louis Armstrong International Airport reports 138 flights servicing 38 cities. Major airlines include: AirTran, American Airlines, Continental, Delta Airlines, Jet Blue, Northwest, Southwest, United, and U.S Airways. Additionally, Amtrak runs service to New Orleans from the East Coast and Midwest.

Have any SIGGRAPH volunteer leaders traveled to New Orleans during the conference planning cycle and if, yes, what were their impressions?
The SIGGRAPH 2009 Planning Committee has been holding face-to-face meetings in New Orleans since October of 2007 and will continue to do so through the conference. They are very pleased with the progress that the city has made not only in recovering from Katrina, but also in further upgrading the accessibility to New Orleans' unique culture, cuisine, and quality accommodations beyond pre-Katrina status. Additionally, the service standard experienced has been consistently high. The committee is very comfortable that the downtown area is rejuvenated and ready to host SIGGRAPH 2009. However, there are some outlying areas of the city that are still in need of assistance. (See information on SIGGRAPH 2009 outreach programs below.)

Is New Orleans a safe place to visit?
Not unlike any major city, crime does exist. However, the vast majority of violent crime reported in the national media is targeted criminal-on-criminal drug, gang, and retaliation acts which occur in areas of the city not frequented by tourists.

What's new at the convention center?
With $60 million in renovations completed, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center has new flooring and furnishings on all three levels, high-speed wi-fi, and sports hotel-like finishes and a bright, engaging atmosphere. The center is back in full swing, hosting approximately 100 major conventions, tradeshows, and meetings annually.

Are there opportunities for me to help the New Orleans community either before, during, or after the conference?
Yes. SIGGRAPH 2009 is creating outreach programs that will occur during the conference to benefit the New Orleans community.

While the New Orleans downtown area is well prepared to host SIGGRAPH 2009, the surrounding communities are still in need of support after hurricane Katrina. After visiting and talking with several organizations in New Orleans, we have decided to partner with three of them whose missions align with SIGGRAPH 2009's goals: Tipitina's Foundation, Algiers Technical Academy, and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. More information

Are there things to do for my family?
In addition to New Orleans' rich cultural appeal, it is quite family friendly, with an array of museums, historical landmarks, parks, a zoo, an aquarium, and tours suitable for all ages. For more information, explore the links in the right column.