After four days in Springfield I arrive in New Orleans for 2 nights & 1 day, much like Vegas… Bourbon Street is also much like Vegas, just on a much smaller scale.
And while you have the same guys standing outside strip clubs encouraging you to “take a break for boobies” there seems to be a lot more culture to Nola. I’m crashing at India House hostel (a very cool hip funky hostile, neat space).
The Blur that is Bourbon street
After a decent walk to Bourbon St – I’d later figure out the tram system – I found a sweet sports bar called Bayou Burger, they do these amazing Kettle chips covered in blue cheese sauce, and I had an Alligator burger (because I could), tasted a little bit like minced pork/rabbit.
After that I ended up in a tiny jazz bar listening to some 50-60 old musicians make magic happen, met a couple of girls who’d just moved to New Orleans, we hung out at a very cool, yet crazy karaoke bar (that’s a sentence you’ll never hear me repeat) called The Cat’s Meow.
Wandered a little.
Caught the sunrise. Caught some Zzzzz’s.
The next day was pretty chilled. I wandered around a few areas that still had abandoned housing, much like some of Christchurch’s post-earthquake east-side, except the greenery was doing it’s best to envelope a few places.
Later in the evening I was walking through an area where the windows all had cages on the outside, storm proofing I thought, until I noticed that they were only on the ground floor windows… umm does this mean I’m no longer in a “safe” neighborhood?
I talk to some houseless people who’ve taken up residence at night under an overpass, they get chased off during the day. It seems a few have also taken to using abandoned houses when they can, but it’s hard for their presence to go unnoticed. They’re aware this can’t go on forever as housing is rebuilt or pulled down, the constant battle with the greenery a summer fire risk. I see none around Bourbon Street, they’re not welcome there.
On my way back I stop in for another Bayou burger before heading down Bourbon St one last time, then home, still Zzz’s to catch up on & an early flight in the morning.
Moment that best describes Bourbon Street
I exit a bar, a few tourist are stumbling down the road with fluorescent green grenades (that they’re drinking out of), to the right a trumpet band are putting on a show, across the road is a place for live sex shows, a family pushes a stroller along an evening walk…
to the left a man with a bull-horn is yelling something, behind him are a couple of old laddies & another guy holding a big white cross, it has a red LED display scrolling words along the centre, I make out “hell” and something about “eternal damnation”. Behind them is another guy with a bull-horn facing and yelling in the opposite direction, some guys are doing the “party-boy” dance with him,. He yells louder.
I wonder if their message is heard, I’m left guessing as to what it might be.
I ask to take a photo, they say ok along as I’m not putting a video on Youtube (grandma is clearly with it).
She wants to say a prayer for me.
side note. I have no problem with anyone from any form of spirituality wanting to pray for me, it’s led to some pretty special conversations, such as the first night I arrived in San Fransisco & a woman wanted to read my palm, initially I declined, then it ended up raining & we shared the same souvenir-shop-canopy for shelter.
Bourbon Street: I’m standing in the middle of the street with an old lady praying for me, with bullhorns, cross, strollers, sex show, trumpets…. and nothing seems out of place or odd to anyone.
Welcome to Bourbon street. Definitely crazier than Vegas.