New Orleans is a dirty, beautiful town.
By the time we landed after our connecting flight was cancelled due to the Nor’easter I’m sure our colleagues in New England are experiencing, me and my boy B-Bry the French Fry landed in the 75 degree, partly sunny Big Easy with a 20% chance of precipitation and a 100% of short sleeves for the next seven days.
After nodding politely to repeated warnings of imminent danger, threat, and overwhelming possibility of moral perversion, we set out to skin the surface of the French quarter on our first night. Bourbon Street was a convenient 4 blocks away from our hotel, providing an irrestibly easy journey into this wretched hive of scum and villany.
To anticipate the question most have asked me so far, no we didn’t get any beads and yes we did see some exposure, but it was definitely less Girls Gone Wild and more Animal Kingdom. After last night, I’m seriously investigating the possibility of gaining public support of a New Orleans city ordinance prohibiting flashing by persons greater in weight or closely resembling domestic cattle. Just a thought.
The biggest problem so far has been distinguishing upon first glance regular bars with “gentlemen’s clubs,” which given their proximity and immense number is a more difficult test than one would anticipate. Bourbon Street is definitely Big Business. We literally passed three bars in a row where the cover bands were all playing different verses of Sweet Home Alabama – and they were right next to each other.
There is something very distinctly corporate about the whole Bourbon Street scene, all the way down to the “try before you buy” pot pushers with a money back guarantee.
The plan was powernap for an hour before waking up to head over to Kinko’s at midnight, then tear Bourbon Street a new one.
We finally got over to Kinko’s at 5:30am, having slept through our regularly scheduled drinking. I still feel wiped, and have no stories to show for it.
Tonight, I will do better.
New Orleans fucking sucks.
Heading out to catch a plane to visit my mom after eight days of beaten ass, eight dollar drinks, and probably ninety different renditions of Sweet Home Alabama the lady at the front desk of the hotel asked, “Did you enjoy your stay?”
I zoned off for a few minutes thinking back to the sixteen hour days, the fruitless pursuit of a lost wallet, and the massive aerola of a 300 lb. flashing woman, I was at a bit of a loss of words. She snapped in front of my face in the rude, expectant attitude that is thoroughly New Orleans, and I said bluntly, “No. This is among the worst places I’ve ever been.”
Not that I’ve been in too many awful places, but I had high hopes coming into the Big Easy. Visions of overflowing double pints while dancing in the street to traveling zydeco, sharing company with scantily dressed co-eds ready to toss their shirts off for a single pair of beads. Well, let me tell you sister, this festering craphole is about one thing and one thing only: your dinero. From twenty dollar whores to twenty dollar gin and tonics, the facade of Mardi Gras swerves as the most transparent dirty sheet over a town devastated by poverty and lack of sustainable industry. Gangs stand at nearly every street corner and the homeless beg from every gutter. The streets are filthy with bayou-driven rainstorms mixed with frat-boy driven vomit. Townie bars are inhospitable, tourist bars are intolerably corporate.
To top it all off, I spent my last night in town going to bed at 8pm to wake up intermittantly during the night in a pool of sweat with vicious chills; I think its safe to say the city kicked my ass. My feet are bruised and swollen, my usually short temper now razor thin from the back-slapping white boy politics of automotive sales. Somehow it is an appopriate venue for such false enterprise, for surely there is no better city in the entire world for phony smiles and duplicitous handshakes as New Orleans. Smoke and mirros as a thin veil of filth likely made these guys right at home, as greed is the only language in the Big Easy.