The French Quarter


So on our trip through the South, after cruising along the Delta Blues Trail, then through Plantation Country, it was time to hit the Quarter and relax.  We did.  My sons couldn’t believe how alive the place was, especially at night.  Yeah, it’s a different world–one you have to be careful in, which we discussed at length before I turned them loose, since you always have to watch your step in New Orleans.  With or without that, the food is incomparable.


Naturally they had to see the cemetery where that scene from Easy Rider was filmed.  This wasn’t it, but those punks didn’t know that.  They do know, however, that ER is an overrated flick which celebrates dope with uninformed recklessness–a fact that has done succeeding generations no good, including Dennis Hopper’s.  But it was a sign of the times, and of that insane war in Southeast Asia.  One thing that was great about the film, though, was how it really captured the spirit of revolution that was breaking out everywhere in ’69, which mainstream Hollywood was completely ignoring, being preoccupied with films like Beach Blanket Bingo.  Was that revolution necessary?  You bet.  It just came with lots of baggage.

We also hiked the swamps to the south of the city, where unfortunately the gators were all in hibernation but the armadillos and copperheads sure weren’t.


Our hotel, the Andrew Jackson, was built in the 19th century and had this fine courtyard with banana trees and a fountain.  A nice place to sip coffee and read a book during the day.  Also a good place in the evenings, before dinner, to sip wine and talk history.  It was here that my sons learned the definition of aperitif.

Tragically, a week after we left, a popular bartender was Shot and Killed during a holdup that took place at 8:00 in the evening, a mere three blocks east of our hotel.  This was a part of the Quarter that my sons were under strict orders to not enter.  The woman’s killers?  Three fifteen-year-old kids out of a nearby ghetto who got hold of a handgun, and doubtless fell under bad influences before doing so.  Their mothers convinced them to turn themselves in, and looks like they’ll be tried as adults.  Now, if it weren’t for America’s reprehensible gun laws, do you think this tragedy would have taken place?

On our last day we went to the Lower Ninth Ward, but that is a different post.

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