Friday, July 23, 2004

The City of Honest Corruption

New Orleans.  Charming, dirty, beloved moral cesspool of the South.  It isn't so much immoral as it is amoral.  Sin just doesn't seem sinful, and the black and white absolutes of your ordinary life become a deceiving rainbow of glorious vice.  Sex, gambling, violence, larceny become as natural as breathing.

Jethro and I went there about 2 years ago for a romantic weekend.  I left more tired than I came.  I, like the freakin' girl that I am, made him go on a historical tour with me.  Waste of time.  We kept ducking into bars to get drinks while the guide would go on and on about the difference between cast iron and wrought iron.  Boooooooooring.  I did learn one thing from it though.  Louisianna politicians, and New Orleans politicians in particular, are expected to make money while they are in office.  They are actually expected to get rich.  If they don't, they will have failed in their duty as politicians.  The reasons were complex and I was pretty drunk, but I think it stemmed from the notion that the best way to generate wealth in the city is to have the politicians generate personal wealth from the city.  I really couldn't tell how it was working out for them, but apparantly business-people from other cities have a very difficult time dealing with New Orleans business-people.  They just speak another language in which corruption is expected - and not actually considered corruption.

I won't lie and say we saw everything.  We spent all of our time in the French Quarter soaking up the sin and delighting in the debauchery.  We stayed at the Maison Dupuy.  It was right on the edge of the French Quarter - far enough away from Bourbon Street to be quiet, but close enough that you could walk there in two minutes.  The hotel had gotten mixed reviews from patrons on Travelocity, so I decided we had to stay there.  The bad reviews came from people complaining about how old it was.  One of the good reviews said that they had gotten very drunk and the bellboy helped him up to his room and got him in bed without a muss or fuss.  I thought it sounded perfect, and it was.  Very reasonable rates, and it was charming.  It had a courtyard that was beautiful with a pool and a fountain and garden plants all around. http://www.maisondupuy.com/guestrooms/panoramic.html 

And the eating!  We ate more than we drank and we were stewed almost the entire time.  There is no cooking like Cajun cooking.  Shrimp gumbo, crawfish etouffee, fried alligator, frog legs - we tried everything we possibly could in a 48 hour period. 

We went to bar after bar and ended up in a strip club.  It was the 2nd time we'd been there.  One of the girls eventually came over and started talking to us.  She was so cute and normal - she was talking about how she was going to buy all her Christmas presents at Target.  Then she asked if we wanted a lap dance.  I thought it would be rude not to get one, but I was also pretty sure that it wouldn't do a thing for me.  I also couldn't be sure of how to act while she was doing it.  How do you make yourself appear appreciative, but not lecherous?  Jethro was a beast and didn't help me out at all.  He just sat there smiling, waiting to see what I would do.  I chickened out, of course, and hightailed it out of there.  I'm pretty sure he followed me.  I can't remember now.

I could write on and on about that city.  The history of voodoo and Santeria and the cemeteries and haunted houses are fascinating and I encourage anyone who hasn't been bored enough to read this far to check out some of the histories online: http://www.prairieghosts.com/neworleans.html

Definitely my favorite city in all the world so far.  But I shall keep looking.


19 comments:

Greg said...

Hmmm...You seemed to have glossed over how many beads that you got.....

jp said...

I love The Big Easy!! The best part is waking up in the morning (or not going to bed), sitting eating begniets, drinking chicory coffee and watching the steam rise off the Mississippi River. Definately my favorite city as well!

Zelda said...

Greg - I didn't get any beads this time. I had gone to Mardis Gras about 3 years before that. This time was purely for romance. We did go back to the strip club though.

JP - I don't know what it is about N.O. that I just can't get enough of. It represents everything that is cool about America to me - I think because it doesn't try to gloss over its past. Also, it is a very Catholic city, not puritanical at all. I don't know what it is about Catholicism that brings out the debauchery in people :-)

jp said...

z - it's because you can do whatever you want, then go to confession and be absolved of it all. :o)

Zelda said...

Please. The Protestants don't even have to go to confession. All they have to do is believe and say "Sorry God." No. It is something completely amoral that has nothing to do with religion. I can't put my finger on it, but it's there. Maybe I'll have time to figure it out one day.

jp said...

Maybe it's all of the sex the supposedly celebate pastors have been having???

Zelda said...

Could be. Or the slave owners, or the voodoo priestesses, or the drag queens, or the formerly legal brothels - I think the whole spirit was born before a priest ever set foot there. No. It's an ancient amorality born before the Church and untouched by the Puritans. Very Intersting.

jp said...

Heee, heeee...you said brothel.

Zelda said...

Yes I did. Loud and clear. Brothel. Brothel. Brothel.

:-)

jp said...

Something you said reminded me of Naked Gun 33 1/3 - When Lt. Drebin said "I haven't had this much sex since I was a boy scout leader." :o)

Zelda said...

Never saw that Naked Gun. That's funny though.

Vadergrrrl said...

New Orleans... My heart wants to move there so bad. Being a fan of Ann Rice, I always dream of New Orleans. That and Easy Rider.

Im comming Captain America!

xxxxoooooo

jp said...

If I didn't have kids, I'd seriously consider moving to The Big Easy. Love that place!! Although, I'd have to learn a whole new type of law. They use Napoleonic Code, not regular statutes and such like the rest of us.

Zelda said...

I don't think I'd move there. The mystique is too great. I wouldn't want it tainted with the everyday. But it is always a great place to visit.

jp said...

Ah, I'd take some ruined mystique for the availability of that food 24/7.

Zelda said...

I see your point, but I'd be one chubby voodoo mama.

jp said...

Nah, you can only eat so much. Just work out more. :)

Inanna said...

I love New Orleans!!! My aunt lives about 20 minutes away and I spent a lot of time there as a kid. Now, I would just like to go and not have to peek under the doors of the strip clubs but actually go in... lol

jp said...

There's NOTHING like a NO strip club. On second thought, I better not move there.