A couple weeks ago, some friends and I took a trip to the world-famous New Orleans, Nawlins, Big Easy or whatever other name this city has. I personally have many friends from there and I always heard interesting stories about it. Everybody who’s been there comes back with great memories, stories of drunkenness, and debauchery. You look on your Facebook Newsfeed and you see updates of people feel like they have let the world know that they’re going or about to go to NOLA. Then they come back and talk about beads, Bourbon Street, Hurricanes, Jambalaya (and sometimes Jazz). So we thought why not go see what the hype is all about? Two of my friends talked like they were NOLA veterans and even came up with some sort of catchphrase that was to be interjected in every other sentence or sometimes for no apparent reason but the fact that we were on road to Nawlins: Weezy Baby! I still don’t understand how they came up with that but whatever…
After 10 hours of driving, given we left Austin at 2am, including a stop in Lake Charles to satisfy my friends’ need to gamble, we finally get to Nawlins. And we actually found a cheap hotel that was only two blocks from Bourbon Street on the other side of Canal Street. And by cheap I mean, no shower curtains, malfunctioning elevator and a clogged tub. Hey you get what you pay for, right? The five of us stayed in the same room which ended up looking like the room from the Hangover by Day 2.
As far as nightlife, we, of course, went to Bourbon Street which is like a condensed 6th Street, except there’s more live music, a less strict dress code, and people walking around with big cups of Hurricane. Some people carried beads around just because. Maybe they hoped to see titties but they did not get the memo that Mardi Gras happens in February. Maybe it’s just the thing to do. I don’t know.
The sun was not even down that people were already drunk. I’ve seen people lying in the streets at 8pm. Drunk homeless people would start dancing on the street to the music playing inside a venue. I did go into a few spots that had bands because they were covering some funk classics by Earth, Wind and Fire and Kool And The Gang. Those bars were packed wall to wall, and grown ass people in their 30′s and 40′s were just jamming and dancing to the oldies. I almost felt like I was one of the youngest ones in the bar. But the music was dope so I didn’t care.
Then I started to look for an actual club, with a DJ. As I walked around, I noticed that most of the people around me were in groups of 4+. I saw a lot of bachelor and bachelorette parties (clickety-clack!) and birthday parties. If you thought you saw a lot of bachelorette parties in Austin, NOLA got ATX beat ten-fold. I’m talking about very excitable parties: I was surrounded by WOOHOO screams, dildos, Team Whoever, pink sashes, crowns, and dudes with the same shirt that had the bachelor’s face on it. Nawlins is non-stop party city so why not celebrate there?
The first club we found into was The Swamp. I’m guessing that spot is quite popular because it was packed. The club had MC would walk around yelling on the mic every 5 minutes. His job was to ask people to raise their hands if they’re from out of town. That’s fun twice at most but doing that every 15 minutes gets annoying. Also telling everybody in the joint to yell out the city they’re from gets irritating after a while too. He also gets to bring as many bachelorette and/or birthday parties on stage to shake their ass to the crowd. Sometimes, he’d give the birthday girl a lap dance on stage. That’s the man’s job. Pretty easy, isn’t it? I enjoy an MC at parties but only if they keep it to a minimum or if they are creative in terms of how they interact with the crowd. Jump into a dance circle, start a little contest, buy someone a drink because he/she did something cool, go outside the club and drag people in, turn the club into a giant karaoke and have people sing the song. I don’t know but do something other than making people scream out their hometown all at once every 15 minutes.
Now I thought the DJ was not impressive at all. There was no mixing whatsoever. He’d play the entire song, however long it was. The selection was pretty much what you’d hear on the radio or on Dirty 6th. He didn’t mind played the same song twice in one night either. I guess I am spoiled because we have great DJs in Austin that know how to work a crowd, play the right tunes and show some DJ skills at the same time. I totally understand that the people in those clubs in NOLA don’t really care about what music get played and how it gets played. Most of them are already drunk and they just want to have a good time. So doing the Cupid Shuffle for 4 minutes straight is not really a concern. By the way, I’ve never done the Wobble so much. After a couple of Hurricanes, we all stopped caring and pretty much took over the joint. Dance circles were starting around us. People started looking at us like “these people seem to know how to dance and know all the dances to the songs the DJ is playing“. And of all people, we partied with a crew of Austinites.
By the time 4am hit, there were still people partying. Bourbon Street is more like a survival game: how late can you stay out partying knowing you’ve been drinking, walking, and yelling all day and night? Only the strong people are still around at 4am, still roaming the streets, going from bar to bar, or even strip club, somewhat dragging their feet but thinking “this is NOLA, I gotta make the most of it. Sleeping can wait.” The weak are already back to their hotel rooms, passed out on the floor to rest up so they can do it all over again the next day. My advice is obvious: if you’re going to be out all day and night, pace yourself or you will end up in your hotel room at 8pm.
I could go on and on about NOLA but I’d rather show the video of our feedbak:
To sum up our observations:
- Hot white women (which I totally missed).
- Good greasy food and really good fried chicken (and boudin balls).
- Walk outside with your drinks (especially in front of the cops).
- Clubs and bars don’t kick everybody out at 2am.
- Talented artists on the streets: from dancers, bands, drummers, and singers.
- 2 drinks will get you drunk and they’re cheap.
- You will LOSE money at the Harrah’s casino!
- The city stinks and the streets are dirty.
- Club DJs do not mix. They just play the entire song and crossover to the next song.
- Homeless people are allowed in the club which is quite entertaining as they hit on girls and dance like crazy.
- You get to walk a lot because there’s stuff happening all day and all night long.
All in all, it was a very fun trip and I’m glad I got to experience this city full of life. This was definitely one for the books. What about you? What’s your feedbak about NOLA?