Raw Orleans

The city is gloomy, hot, sweaty, alive. Raw and awake, energy surges on every corner.

It’s hard not to notice the life here. Perhaps it’s the surge before Jazz Fest really hits. Perhaps it’s the notion that everyone here can get drunk easily, will get wasted in ten minutes flat.

You can. You can do that here.

Alcohol is cheap. So cheap that you can wander into a pharmacy – I shit you not – and buy almost a litre of Corona or Vodka-hybrid-something for under three bucks.

Insanity.

And on Bourbon Street where all the action is, you can find yourself with a plastic alien filled with all manner of colour and alcohol while five bucks goes missing from your wallet.

Down several of these and provided you’re not me, you’ll think the alien is real.

And it might be. And then your attention, your lifeforce, and your energy will be a part of the throng that floats in this place.

Walk up and down that place, the red and blue and green and gold slushy in your hands and you’ll see people.

Crazy people, happy people, lost people, found people, we’re-going-to-shit-ourselves-if-we-don’t-find-something-to-screw people, and no one is sad. It’s the life here. It keeps you focused on nothing, alive and relaxed, provided you realise that New Orleans is that.

It is everything and nothing, and to be honest, it’s best not to think about what New Orleans is or isn’t.

It’s far easier to look at the strip clubs that line the roads, the beer sold on the side of the heavy traffic crowding Canal Street, the fluorescent red lights on a pharmacy that sells liquor, and the smells of a place that cannot be denied.

It’s far easier to take all of this in, to breathe it all in and realise that this is New Orleans. This is raw, uncut, and completely fucking brilliant.

So why the bloody hell aren’t you here?