New Orleans

Philadephia Society and New Orleans, Part I

By on 3.30.09 | 11:51AM

The Philadelphia Society's New Orleans meeting has concluded.  This was my first time to be invited.  I have some impressions to report about both the society and the town.  For this post, I’ll focus on New Orleans.

If I can judge from the French Quarter and the rush hour traffic, New Orleans is back.  The downtown area was absolutely hopping and it wasn't Mardi Gras time.  I've never seen an American city other than NYC with so much night life.

However, I have to admit I was taken aback by Bourbon Street.  On Saturday morning, I visited Cafe du Monde with a fellow academic who'd been a Bush appointee.  After eating our beignets, we walked along the sidewalks and were nearly flooded out by a street washing machine that literally poured soapy water all over the streets and walkways.  I wondered how often the city conducted that operation.  My guess now is every night.  By the end of Saturday, I'd seen the Quarter in operation.  You run into an awful lot of questionable liquids on the street and sidewalks.  Come morning, the wages of overindulgence (and a lot of horse droppings) need to be washed away.