Field Notes – New Orleans Version

I’m in New Orleans for a couple of days doing little more than loafing around. My wife is in the city for a professional meeting and I’m along for the ride.

While my wife was preparing to address a group of medical professionals, and ignoring the fact that I should not be allowed to walk the streets without supervision, I took a morning stroll around the French Quarter. Thanks to my wife’s employer we’re staying in one of the fancy downtown hotels and not somewhere in the bayou in an access-by-boat-only fishing shack, which are my usual accommodations, so the Quarter was within walking distance.  

Decatur Street, which more or less marks the Quarter’s south boundary, is about a pistol shot from the Mississippi River, which visitors can enjoy by way of the Riverfront walkway/park. There were few folks on the walkway at 9 this morning. The most interesting characters I met was the guy chugging beer from a plastic pitcher and his two companions, both of whom apparently weren’t aware that Mardi Gras ended two days ago. The guy with the pitcher kindly offered to share his drink. I thanked him but declined.

The Quarter itself is an odd place. Quiet (it was mid morning) and a bit nasty (although cleanup was underway). I noticed that Decatur Street has a strong tourist feel to it. A lot of people were out; mostly out-of-towners like me. And car traffic was steady. But as I moved north, crossing Chartres, Royal, Bourbon, Dauphine and Burgundy streets before emerging on North Rampart only a handful of folks were out and about. The only noticeable vehicle traffic were delivery trucks, most of which were hauling beer.

The Quarter was quiet, but simmering. Perhaps the deeper one moves inland the more potent the sin level – that which is best pursued under the cover of darkness.

The photos are a glimpse of the Quarter in the a.m. Most are self-explanatory.

I don’t know what the guy was doing with the boat.

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