The Essence of Old New Orleans

In a recent trip to New Orleans, my wife and I found that Bourbon Street, once the capital of genuinely wonderful smarm in the deep south, this place where dudes went to get away from their wives, has, despite this classic old sign, become a version of Times Square lite. What was once so flavorful about this liquor mall has been swept away. In its place are crowds unsteady from too many Hand Grenades, whose major ingredient is Everclear 100 proof alcohol. What was once low down has become low rent. Admittedly, Bourbon was never a cultural mecca unless you consider going blind from booze to be an artform, but damn all the great cheesiness, like this sign, has been wiped away in favor of a Bourbon Street of shoulder to shoulder crowds, drunk on hooch slushies and entirely too many kids in strollers!

Bill Leebens's picture

What a great line! I wish I'd written it.

I've encountered similar sad Disneyfications elsewhere: during the 25 years I lived in Memphis, Beale Street transitioned from dives and ancient pawn shops full of elderly men who argued in Yiddish, to a theme park.

One visitor from France cased out the New Old Beale Street and said, "eet looks like a mooovie set."

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

MaxH's picture

You need a better guide to New Orleans.
Tonight I'm listening to Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Eric Revis, Justin Faulkner, and Kurt Elling in a small jazz club on Frenchmen St.
New Orleans has never offered a greater number of music venues or a greater variety of music styles as it does today.
Ask around;it's easy to find legitimate live music.
As for Bourbon Street, it lost most of it's valued entertainment by the mid-60's.

doak's picture

It is NOTHING BUT a public admission and demonstration of the FACT that you know nothing about New Orleans.

YES, Bourbon Street sucks. Everyone knows that (except you obviously).

There is a myriad of wonderful things to see and do on any given day in and around the city including, literally, dozens of live music venues. But, you apparently failed to do your homework or even ask. Your loss.

Anton's picture

No such thing as "100 proof Everclear," unless Coors bought them and invented Everclear Lite.

Really, Robert, I would expect you to know better.