NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (CNN) -- On a cigarette break from washing dishes in the French Quarter, Michael Kennedy swung open the door of Café Maspero, and the briny smell of raw shrimp followed him outside.
"You gotta make as much money as you can, because when we shut down -- and we're gonna shut down -- that's it for a long while," the 26-year-old said, exhaling, a dribble of sweat rolling into his mouth.
"The thing is," he continued, "most people don't have cars to leave, don't have money for gas. Pay for a hotel for that long? I mean, you have to do whatever you have to do, and I guess I'm gonna stay and work."
Though Maspero wasn't doing half the business it usually does, customers were still coming in for $2 clam buckets. A few packs of tourists, identifiable by their slightly off-kilter walk and gigantic hot pink test tubes of booze, ambled down St. Louis Street, peeking into bars and asking, "You still open?"
Most were, up until the hour that Mayor Ray Nagin told the public to run for their lives.
"It's the storm of the century," he said.
But Kennedy can't and others just won't leave. They are the few residents who did not make the tortoise crawl down Interstate 10 on Saturday.
"If I left, I'll probably lose my job," said Jeremiah O'Farrell, another dishwasher who is staying put. "I really don't have anywhere to go if I could leave. I could go home, but that doesn't seem like the thing to try. Too far, I guess."
.....More at the link