I recently spent a long weekend in NOLA with a couple friends. I had been there once before but it was only for 10 hours and some of that time was spent sleeping. This time me and my friends spent the weekend getting to know the city, learning about the music scene, and over-indulging in food and alcohol. It was cool.
We spent two nights staying at an AirBNB in the garden district, it was very nice. Corey, the host, was quite polite and only interrupted our slumber once in an attempt to engage us in some social drug use, we didn’t accept his advances. On our third night in New Orleans the three of us decided that we needed to save money and not pay for another night in the hazy AirBNB. So we spent over 20 hours tramping around the rumpus streets of New Orleans with bags and little sleep. We spent the day eating, watching football, exploring parks, watching football, and googling facts about Treme and the 7th ward in an attempt to understand of our surroundings. At night we walked around, dodging eye contact with local homeless youth (as to not be identified as one), and sitting at a nice little (under staffed) cafe in the French Quarter. Unfortunately for us the New Orleans cafe we stopped in was only open until 2am and our buses wouldn’t arrive until 9am. Upon gaining the knowledge that the cafe would close at 2am and we would have no where to go the panic set into my own heart.
I was terrified to walk around NOLA with two lanky white males.
So, naturally, we found a Waffle House 2 miles away and walked there in pitch-blackness. We walked by one homeless clan that screamed at us, we walked by two older homeless (?) males whom potentially said “I’ll jump them and you can watch“, and watched several large animals crawl into sewers. When we finally made it to the Waffle House, rocks in our hands, fear in our hearts, and anger in our souls, we realized that New Orleans was not a city we could live in…
New Orleans faces many economical disparities, the people lack healthy resources, and citizens are still suffering from Hurricane Katrina; however, New Orleans is one of the most beautiful, and culturally fascinating cities I have ever visited. It is a must see.