New Orleans was fabulous, what little I got to enjoy of it, because of that schedule, y'know. We were gone over a week and spent probably 6 hours total in NO, with 4 of those hours sitting in restaurants or waiting for a tour guide. So. On day two, I was insistent that there were places I wanted to go in NO that I wasn't going to miss, even if it meant the schedule was shot to shit. I didn't sit in the backseat of a car for three days just to stretch my legs for a minute in NO and then scurry off to somewhere less 'dangerous'. I still didn't get to the French Market, and I didn't get to have beignets at Cafe du Monde, as I had planned. For two days, that's all I asked for -- that and Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo -- everything else was just window dressing. I got one of the three. Am I disappointed? What do you think? Next time -- and there will be a next time -- I'm going without the anxious scheduler and I'm going to explore to my heart's content. Except for Bourbon Street. Once I caught a whiff of vomit on the sticky, humid air, and saw a dead, bloated rat lying next to an ice cream wrapper on the sidewalk, I decided the party street probably wasn't for me. Apparently, that image is what the scheduler based all of his perceptions of New Orleans. He didn't say a word to me, but when we made it back home, he told anyone who would listen that 'New Orleans is filthy' and 'crime ridden', and full of bums and junkies, and stank like puke and rotting garbage, and that he'd seen enough and wouldn't be returning, and kept repeating the phrase, *"Murder Capital of America". Really? All I could think the whole time he was saying those things is did we go to the same place? I mean, yeah, there are elements of that (just like in every large city), but there was also the Garden District, and everywhere else in the French Quarter that wasn't Bourbon Street, and the Mississippi River, and the wonderful food, and the historic shops and houses, the people of NO, and the artists around Jackson Square, and the St. Louis Cathedral, and the history of the place, and did I mention the wonderful food? I saw potential for more exploration, and he'd 'seen enough'. Geesh.
*New Orleans ranked 7th in the nation for murders in 2015, just behind Gary IN, Detroit, and St. Louis. Since 2014, it has fallen on the list from 4th to 7th.