Walking on Bourbon Street
Always serves to remind me of the difference between the French Quarter I live in, and the one the tourists wish existed. My neighborhood, just a few blocks off Burbon on St. Philip and Burgundy, is mostly residential, and the few bars and grocery stores in the few blocks around me tend to locals. They’re mellow and friendly, and the Quarter sometimes has a small town feel to it, where everybody knows each other. It was always a city of eccentrics and artists, and has a rich, fascinating history that locals often make their own personal hobby.
Bourbon is a fantasy of the French Quarter. I’m always amazed at the number of souvenir stores selling exactly the same merchadise, and none of it seems especially native to New Orleans to me. I’ve already written about how cajun and zydeco are not specific to the city, but if you want real New Orleans music, like the Boswell sisters or Eddie Bo, you’re going to have to look on a street other than Bourbon. And, man, look at all the beads