Surgeon General’s Warning

 

 Sorry about last week, I was in New Orleans and am still trying to recover.  Whew!  The city was founded in 1718 by the French Mississippi Company and was named for the Duke of Orleans whose title came from the city of Orleans in central France.  It became Spanish under terms of the Treaty of Paris in 1763.

  During the American Revolution, it was an important port through which flowed aid to the rebels enabling the successful southwestern campaign against the British.  New Orleans reverted to the French in 1801 and was sold by Napoleon to President Jefferson as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.  It’s been part of the states ever since.

  Probably the most, uh, colorful part.  Waves of immigration have included Acadians, Haitians, Germans, Irish, Africans, and more yielding an incredibly fertile and febrile mix.  Leavened by multiple sources of mayhem, religion, and natural disaster, Jazz, Who Dat, and Cajun cuisine grew therefrom.  And 24/7 party central.

  The city tops many of the polls ranking tourist destinations by different criteria.  Many, but not all.  The place is the polar opposite of Disneyland.  Great fun and food is there to be had, but it is not way family friendly.  Makes Donkey Island look like recess.

  Life in the French Quarter maybe epitomizes the ambience by the way it juxtaposes normality with sinful ravage.  The swath Bourbon Street slices through that part of town opens all the way to the underworld.  You swear you’ve seen it all before in a Bosch picture. 

  On top of this post you’re looking inside a fine refined one hundred year old Bourbon Street restaurant.  Jackets are required for men.  No one is allowed to sport jeans or shorts.  Cuisine ranges from red fish to crawfish etouffe.  Bring plenty of dough.

  Wipe your mouth and step outside though and you realize that you’re living on borrowed time, break into a sweat, and hope to borrow more.  Below you see the occupants of the doors on either side of that sparkling establishment. 

  There are intermittent impromptu jazz parades, cops on horseback, and folks doin’ all sorts of different things for tips.  Very few of which would be tolerated, let alone legal, just about anywhere else on earth.  Ought to be a surgeon general’s warning on trip tickets with a NOLA destination.  I love it.

 

 

    

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