UJ celebrates another birthday today, which means that he is now officially a year old than me again. The picture is of UJ and me on our recent trip to New Orleans. We decided to take a picture at this Bourbon Street location because Lucky Pierre was Dad’s nickname.
We’ve stood on our third-floor balcony at the Royal Sonesta Hotel the past few days and watched a number of wedding parties go marching and dancing past on their way down Bourbon Street. Tonight’s wedding group was a particularly festive one, with some great music from a great band and a bridal party that was happy, energized, and ready to party and celebrate a fabulous day for their soon-to-be-married friends.
I don’t think anyone thought it was ominous that the bride and groom in their white outfits were walking past a “Temptations” sign.
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.
Bourbon Street is a pretty amazing place. An endless stream of humanity flows past, checking out the bars and strip clubs and oyster bars and other places to take a load off and sip an Abita and suck down an oyster with some lemon juice. Loud music, mostly from cover bands, floods out into the night air. Most of the passersby have that bright alcoholic sheen and stumbling step, and many are clutching an outsized beer bottle or a daiquiri glass.
Coming from the buttoned-down, Bible-thumping Midwest, it’s a culture shock to be in a place where people flout open containers of alcohol and a fine restaurant can be found right next to a sleazy strip club.