T-shirt Shop on Bourbon Street

T-Shirts on BourbonI rode my bike down to the Quarter tonight, hoping to see some Saints fans getting their party on after a nice win this afternoon. As I walked my bike down Bourbon Street I noticed quite a few Bush and Brees jerseys, and some folks decked out in Atlanta Hawks gear, but all in all, it seemed a quiet night. Bourbon puts on a show every day and every night. Bars open on to the street, blaring the greatest hits from the 80s, 90s, and today. Some bars have live bands, like tonight’s rock and roll accordian battle band, and others host drunken karaoke. These bars are interrupted by daiquiri places, strip clubs, and, of course, souvenir shops. New Orleans has what some people call a t-shirt economy, and these stores literalize this, lining their windows with t-shirts bearing various and sundry bad puns and dirty jokes. I wondered, as I tooled through the drunken semi-crowds, how all these stores stay in business. Because the t-shirt economy doesn’t appear to be booming, folks. Walking down Bourbon tonight felt like walking through a casino in Vegas, where you are inside and it’s the same time all the time–party time–and you are supposed to feel like you are outside even though you are inside, inside where the ceiling is painted like sky and a fake river runs through it. Except on Bourbon you really are outside, but it feels so false, so fabricated, that you might as well be inside in a copy of the outside you’ve seen in movies. The streets were quiet tonight, on the Sunday after a big home game win by the Saints. Maybe it’s time the city look in to hiring extras. There are plenty of folks looking for jobs.

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