Thursday, March 29, 2012
Early morning walks up Bourbon Street to meet Cornell on Canal Street in front of the recently renovated JOY Theater to pick me up. I make it a point to say "Good Morning" to the statue of Ignatius J. Reilly. Bourbon Street at 7:00 am is busy with Quarter Rats cleaning up from the previous night's battle and rearming itself for the next night. Dozens of beer and liquor trucks with two men each delivering fresh ammo. Produce and food service trucks making deliveries as the morning crews hose off the icy slick brick sidewalks. The well worn bricks offer as much traction as packed snow when they get wet. If that doesn't present enough of a challenge to pedestrians, every step is aimed to avoid stepping in a crater of missing water meter covers or paving bricks. There are at least five potential personal injury lawsuits per block. Either the city doesn't care or never pays claims.
Early one morning about 4:30 am I was up and out of smokes. Like most people awake at that hour my main concern was feeding my addiction. At four in the morning however there would be people outside willing to kill to support their given habit. I strolled down Bourbon to find a place open with nicotine as barbacks dragged dozens of bottle clattering garbage cans out to the curb. Large rodents scurried about grabbing up dropped pizza crusts and chicken bones. I watched my back for any thug that might dart out from the shadows of a doorway to clock me in the head with a beer bottle with one hand as his other hand went for my wallet. I also had to watch my step as I navigated around numerous puddles of vomit. I looked down at a bright pink rice filled pile of vomit and commented to myself "Someone had Gumbo and Hurricanes last night."
Across Bourbon Street a van was parked with it's doors open and a thick hose led into a darkened strip club as the inside of the van whined with noise. Upholstery cleaner. He might be there for the rugs, but the odds are that right now at 4:30 am some poor guy was cleaning dried semen stains off of a red velor couch in the VIP room. Mike Rowe from the television show "Dirty Jobs" wouldn't last a day here.