Thursday, July 23, 2009
Road Paved, Etc.
1. New Orleans is not, like Asheville, a beer city. We are spoiled, yo. In New Orleans at your average bar they have Abita and 3 national brands. I kept losing potential new friends by saying snootily that every single bar in Asheville (except Broadways, I know) offers at least 4 local microbrews on tap plus a huge selection of imports and others and there is no bar at all (including Broadways) that doesn't give you about 20 choices of beer. I can't help it; I know I only drink PBR and Bud Light with Lime (shut UP. It only has 100 calories and it's delicious and it doesn't give me hangovers, so there) but I could be drinking really good beer at any time if I wanted, so there, and now I am permanently spoiled.
2. 630 miles is a really long way and 11ish hours each way is a long time to spend in the car but my friend Jay is like the best traveling companion in the world, so, all good. Also, Alabama is apparently terrified of curves - they have big signs, Warning! Curve! Look Out! It's Dangerous! You Might Tip Over! Help Oh God!, on these pathetic little curves that are as nothing - and I sincerely hope their drivers don't come to Asheville any time soon because if the curve from the Patton Avenue bridge onto 240 didn't get them than they might try to drive to Lake Lure from Fairview and then we, the taxpayers of North Carolina, would have to pay out for straitjackets and mental wards. Also, on the roads between Asheville and New Orleans, UFDT (unidentified dead thing) beats out armadillos in the roadkill census, but only just.
3. Two and a half days is nowhere near long enough to spend in New Orleans, particularly when you're going to spend most of one day dying of the worst hangover in the world in a hotel room. I want to kick myself for that but then I sort of think I was punished enough.
4. (This is where I get lynched.) I was not impressed by the food. Okay, I also totally admit that I didn't plan the food out right - I should have made lists and stuck to them and done research instead of expecting luck and magic to lead me to good restaurants, but still. The only incredibly delicious thing I encountered in New Orleans was the coffee at Cafe du Monde. This bums me out and next time I will do actual research and be careful about where I eat and then if the food is still no good? I'll be angry instead of rueful. Oh well. Shit happens.
5. Turns out I am still mildly shockable. Bourbon Street, or, really, the knowledge that my son had been to Bourbon Street when he was 13, succeeded in shocking me a bit. Live sex shows! Stripper cards! Guys dressed like hand grenades advertising what were almost certainly horrible mixed drinks! Drunks staggering around and vomiting in the street at like 2 in the afternoon! Yeah, it was all a bit much for me - sort of a perpetual Bele Chere. I could get philosophical here too and go on a bit about a larger question, which is to say, what is the role of the post Katrina New Orleans in America? I didn't find a stat quoted in some in hotel tourist mag, to wit, that there were about 90 bars in the French Quarter before the hurricane and now there are 150, reassuring or such a good idea, really. I think there's more to the city than becoming a kind of southern Las Vegas but maybe I'm wrong and that's all there is left. Hell, that may be all there is left for all of us - tourism would appear to be the last viable American industry - but that worries me.
6. Could I be more in love with Banksy? No. No, I could not. Granted he is not really New Orleans specific but I'm so impressed that he did what he did and if you don't know what he did you can find it here by scrolling all the way to the right. I turned Annie on to Banksy last night and she loves him too. And now I want to go stencil stuff.
7. I will be safe from that terrifying alligator headed voodoo creature in the voodoo museum because he is afraid of frogs. I, sensibly, have a frog tattooed on my ankle, so, hey, I can wander around swamps without fear. That might explain a lot of my twenties, come to think of it. Anyway, I find that fear kind of charming in a demon and I hereby decree that all demons should have some obscure weak point.
8. Coming back to work and vacation ending and all that kind of thing sucks donkey balls. Yes, yes it does. I want to be perpetually on vacation - oh yes, yes, I do.