Bourbon Street, April 21, 2012, 1:30 a.m.

Few places in America, perhaps, can match Bourbon Street on a Friday night.¬† The flood of humanity, the debauchery, the awesome, unrelenting, potentially debilitating drunkenness — this is what has made our country great.

Well, perhaps not — but it certainly has made our country unique.¬† The opportunity to smoke a cigar, drink Abita Amber beers, and then toss gaily colored¬† beads to drunken, overweight people reeling down the street after midnight has to count for something.