I had a truly lovely day today; surprisingly, I had it in a car. A convertible, that is. A. was kind enough to drive us several hours south to Avery Island, Louisiana, and the rush of wind far exceeded any I am able to work up on my bicycle. When I got home I considered giving the bike a rest for the day, but I was feeling a bit itchy. So I jumped on and headed down to the Quarter to see what folks are up to on a Sunday night. Bourbon Street was hopping, with beads falling from that balcony above Tropical Isle #3, drunk women holding hands and weaving through the crowd, men luring customers with promises of bargain Jaeger bombs (whatever those are) and Big Ass Beers, and all the other myriad folk who wander the streets on a Sunday. I snapped this photo of the carney outside Larry Flynt’s Barely Legal because he just looked so out of place in his vested suit. Moments before he gave a few bucks to someone who clearly needed them. All the while summoning customers from a shop openly capitalizing on the sexual allure of girls. In other words, stuff’s complicated.
I expect to see this sort of scene on Bourbon Street. I visited Las Vegas once, and this strip reminds me of there. Except in Las Vegas, they go to great lengths to make it seem like you are outside even when you are inside: ceilings painted with clouds, lighting dimming like a sunset at regular intervals, canals running through the building. Bourbon tries the opposite–it makes you feel like you are inside–or better, inside a place that is trying to make you feel like you are outside. But with terrible air conditioning. At the end of Bourbon tonight, though, past St. Ann’s, I saw this scene that I actually wasn’t expecting: a veritable ticker tape parade of napkins. I wonder what went on here. I know how the streets get wet with booze and vomit. Perhaps this stretch of Bourbon is trying to clean it up. I tooled to the end of the street, over to Frenchman, and then stopped for my own bourbon on Decatur. I, like everybody else up past my former bedtime, enjoyed taking in the sights.