The French Quarter in New Orleans

Last Monday, which was Veterans Day, I took the opportunity that being off work afforded and visited the French Quarter and Bourbon Street while I was still in New Orleans.

Frankly, I was not impressed with the city of New Orleans and, after spending a few hours strolling through the French Quarter, was at a loss to explain why anyone would be attracted to this part of the city either. The only clean part of the Quarter is Decatur Street, which is like a several-block long tourist trap full of little shops selling cheap trinkets, T-shirts and other various over-priced junk.

So, of course, I bought some.

A block or two over is a completely different story. The streets and sidewalks are cracking, crumbling and difficult to walk on safely because of their unevenness. The walls of most buildings are in the same condition. The streets are filled with bags of garbage as well as loose garbage and the air itself is filled with the stench of that garbage. I watched shop owners hosing down the walls and sidewalks around their businesses to wash off the urine and vomit that had been “deposited” the night before.

Maybe it’s a different experience in the darkness of night with some alcohol in you, but in the harsh light of day and clear-mindedness of sobriety, it is not a pleasant encounter on the senses.

I have photos from my visit that you can see by clicking on the Flickr badge over on the right column.

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