(OK, there’s always the possibility that the San Francisco Chronicle changed the wording on the NYTimes story it reprinted this morning–but I doubt it.)
If you know New Orleans and you’re going to ALA, you must have gone “Wha?” when you read this morning that the Central Business District, CBD, was a hotbed of drug activity and was where the quintuple slaying occurred.
After all, CBD’s pretty near the conference area.
Here’s a key paragraph of a New Orleans Convention & Visitor’s Bureau statement:
Contrary to reports in the national news, the recent reprehensible murders of five youths in the city occurred at 4:00 a.m. in the sparsely populated Central City neighborhood miles away from the Central Business District, French Quarter, Convention Center and Warehouse Arts District. Unfortunately Central City has historically been the location for criminal behavior prior to Hurricane Katrina, and remains a â€œhot spotâ€ for unlawful behavior. The murders have no bearing on any crime or safety issues in the areas of the city frequented by tourists.
Read “conventiongoers” for “tourists” and you get the idea: The media just plain got it wrong.
Of course you should be careful in New Orleans, more so if you’re going outside the general convention area (CBD, Warehouse Arts, Convention Center, French Quarter). For that matter, I can’t think of many cities where you should be walking around by yourself at 4 a.m. in any downtown area…
But don’t get panicked because of erroneous reporting.