Bourbon Street. Wow. Where do I start? The USA Lonely Planet gives this less-than-glowing introduction:
“Heads up: Bourbon Street sucks.”
Which begs the question, what could be so bad about this particular street that it would prompt such an unashamedly subjective description from the usually measured folks at Lonely Planet? Understandably tentative, we headed for the French Quarter to see for ourselves.
And as I said before, wow. There were costumes. There were beads being thrown off balconies. There was lots of loud music. There were many strip clubs. There were throngs of (very merry) people. And perhaps most significantly, there were cocktails. New Orleans has a law that stipulates that you cannot drink in the street from an unsealed glass container. So what do the fine establishments of Bourbon Street do? Serve cocktails in sealed plastic ‘to-go’ containers of every imaginable variety. In fact, most bars have a little hole-in-the-wall bar outside so you don’t even have to go in to get a drink. I’ve never seen anything like it. Think schoolies for anyone from 21 – 60 years old. With jazz.
But at any rate, whilst I can’t say I agree with Lonely Planet’s scathing description, I would say that Bourbon Street is only good in small doses, so we veered off into another part of the French Quarter and settled in for the night.
We did indeed catch USC Trojans v Stanford, and unfortunately for Hoff, USC lost. And unfortunately for me, the game went into overtime so I may have had time for one more drink than I intended, which made for an interesting walk home. I amused Hoff by high-fiving Halloween revellers all the way home and was particularly excited to high-five Boba Fett. The scary thing is, whilst I have seen Star Wars (all 6 of them, that’s right ladies, wife of the year right here) I don’t actually remember the characters very well, and frankly, I’m not even sure who Boba Fett is… And that’s a night out in New Orleans for you.
Sidenote: we did discover a fun new game during Halloween weekend in New Orleans, called ‘Costume or not a Costume?’. It’s a lot harder than you might think.
On the topic of Halloween, I have decided I’m all for it. Yes, I know it’s an American tradition, and yes, I know it’s very commercialised but how often do us adults get a chance to dress up for no apparent reason!? And eat heaps of chocolate?! Two of my very favourite things. I’ve always been disappointed about the anti-Halloween sentiment back home around the end of October so I think next year I might have an ‘anti-anti-Halloween party’. I’m planning my costume already…
The rest of our time in New Orleans was spent in a slightly more subdued fashion; we took a trip out to a beautiful old plantation property called Oak Alley and we also satisfied mutual movie obsession with a New Orleans movie tour. New Orleans is known as ‘Hollywood of the South’ and we were treated to film locations from movies like Interview with a Vampire, JFK, The Green Lantern, Easy Rider and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Hoff even found a life-long friend in the tour guide when he asked to be shown sights from the filming of Undercover Blues. Apparently they don’t usually go to those sights because people aren’t generally interested. A testament to Hoff’s awesome taste in movies.
After our little stay here I can safely say, we really like New Orleans. It’s an amazing city with its own unique character – the food, the drinks, the music, and there is generally a very laid-back vibe about the place. We’ve had a ball and feel a little bit like this to be saying goodbye:
But before we go, one more note on the interesting approach to the service of alcohol in the fine state of Louisiana – they have drive-thru Daiquiris here. Now I’ve seen it all.