I'm back from my trip.
These are the top 10 things I've learned about New Orleans:
10. They have sharks at the aquarium. Lots of sharks. Some have really big ugly teeth too. They are quite scary, I would imagine, if one were afraid of such things.
9. The jazz in Preservation Hall is really good. The jazz on the street corners is really good. The jazz in New Orleans is really good. New Orleans is a city filled with really good jazz (not that they have anything against blues, country, or rock, mind you, I'm merely pointing out that the jazz is really good.)
8. The latest "trend" in performance art is to "freeze" yourself, in one pose, holding it for hours, while people rush to fill up your tip jar. We saw a construction worker on a ladder for like two hours. Don't ask me to explain it, I'm just telling you what I saw and when. It doesn't make any sense to me either.
7. Bourbon Street is the new red light district. You can go to the "Barely Legal" club there. Larry Flynt from Hustler has a club there. At his club, there's a sign with swinging legs, wearing fishnet stockings and high heeled shoes. It's really hard, in fact, to photograph that sign (well, not so hard if you don't care if the legs don't show up in your picture, and you wind up with a really great picture of two holes where fishnet stocking wearing legs should be.)
6. You can buy some really good T-shirts. Examples: "I went to Shit Street and Got Bourbon Faced" and, my selection, a voodoo doll that reads, "Stick a pin in my, I'm Done."
5. Street cars come in old fashioned green and new fangled red with yellow trim. Either one is cute and worthy of a look see. They also take you all the way down Canal Street, presumably without making any left turns (see #2 below.)
4. The key lime pie at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville is really good. Be sure to wash it down with a hurricane or seven (see #1 below.)
3. It is perfectly acceptable to engage in sexual acts on open balconies. You, in fact, get "extra brownie points," if you flash your butt while doing so. You get even more "brownie points" if you brag to your friends about it. For really interesting pictures of hot trash, go to Bourbon Street on Sunday morning. You have no idea what you might find there, but be prepared to come out sticky and smelly on the other side. Bourbon Street smells like urine, vomit, and several other bodily fluids.
2. You cannot make a left turn anywhere in the city. In fact, often times you find yourself at the intersection of Canal and No Left Turn, a street which runs through the entire French Quarter, Garden District, and several other places. That's ok though, because all the drivers are so impared, they don't seem to know their left from their right anyway.
1. The hurricanes at Pat O'Brians are really the equivalent of two drinks elsewhere. I got drunk just by having just one, in fact. They come in really big, tall glasses that you get to keep, if you can remain sober long enough to remember where you put them.
(In New Orleans, alcohol is king.)
Some runners up:
1. There's a really pretty courtyard at Royal Blend. I love that place. It has a statue of a frog in it with a fountain. Plus they make the best chocolate milk. Don't believe anybody who claims that chocolate milk is only for kids. ("I'm a big kid now...")
2.You can check out a lot of really cool Mardis Gras masks at the Flea Market (and take a lot of good pictures there too.) You might be annoyed by some guy claiming his tie dyed shirts require model releases. Just ignore him and keep taking pictures.
3. When you really want to make a right turn, you can't do that either. But, that's ok because, well, they almost always have some kind of alcohol straight in front of you (see #1.)
Until next Bourbon Street...