Virtual Bourgeois

Just An Analog Guy Trying to Upgrade For a Digital World

New Orleans Trip, Part II

Posted by Gerald on December 18, 2007


I rested up for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon after we got back from the National World War II Museum. Just for the sake of context, let me add that I had REALLY screwed up my ankle.  It was about the size of a grapefruit and my foot was turning into one huge bruise by that point. I emphasize this just to point out how completely STUPID it was for me to have been walking on the damn thing the morning after I sprained it.  All I can plead is that I hadn’t had anything like a vacation trip in years and I was determined not to miss out. Still, after dragging a mostly useless leg around all morning I was very tired and just crashed until late afternoon.

By dinnertime the four of us who had arrived on Saturday were joined by three other colleagues. Several of us, including me, had tickets to take a walking tour of the French Quarter that night. I knew that was out, but I wanted to join them for dinner in any case.

The cab ride to the French Quarter was an experience in itself. That we were in a cab was my fault. I just wasn’t up for the walk over there from our hotel by the convention center. Our driver was milking the run for every penny he could and put us behind a horse-drawn buggy giving a tour. This led to loud threats from the guy driving the buggy because our driver wouldn’t stay back the 15 feet mentioned on the sign on the buggy’s rear. We finally got out at the pub where the walking tour began. This was a night-time deal with a story-teller who was going to point out “haunted” sites and tell the ghost stories. We originally planned to eat there, but on arrival saw that wasn’t going to work. So we headed out looking for some place to eat.

Yay. More walking.

A random stranger in a bar on Bourbon St. over heard us discussing where to eat and suggested a place called the Clover Grill. It was an almost stereotypical greasy spoon but will very good food (breakfast, burgers, shakes, etc…). There was rock music, especially vintage tunes, blaring from the speakers. The staff varied from the, uh, flamboyant to the slightly creepy. After we finished eating I bid goodnight to the others and asked the guy running the grill to call a cab to take me back to the hotel.

I went outside and stood on the corner waiting for the cab. I was caught in the outskirts of the crowd from the rather loud gay bar across the street. I’m not sure if that doesn’t explain what happened next. One cab after another passed down Bourbon St. and wouldn’t stop when I signalled. After standing, quite sore, for awhile I decided that I needed to move to another spot. There was a more active intersection about three blocks down so I headed that way.

If you haven’t walked down Bourbon St. on a dark night, let me tell you that all of the more lurid tales you might have heard about the place are absolutely true. Some people have no sense of shame about what they are willing to do to each other in a semi-public place.

At the intersection I found out that the cabs were just passing folks by there to. Again, another gay bar, and again I have to wonder if that is why. I’m not sure, but I might have had a taste of the sort of what others have to face on a regular basis. On the other hand, it could have just been bad luck in a busy city. Another guy was looking for a cab as well, so we teamed up and took position on both sides of the street. After a couple of failures, we finally got a cab which took us back to our respective hotels.

It was worth it, but ibuprofen and ice-packs, take me away…

More later.


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