Streets, Places & Byways in New Orleans

Bourbon Street was not named for the booze, but it should have been. It was named for the French royal family for whom the booze was named.

The area attracts tourists whose only interest in New Orleans is as a place to let it all hang out. Part state fair carnival, the slightly off, scary part, reminiscent of “fun” houses and questionable rides run by prison-tattooed men out of backwoods hollers. Alive, alive oh! Pigalle. Cacophony. Garish lighting and “famous” kool-aid colored too-powerful drinks in gimmicky plastic vases to tote up and down the blocks. Taking their toll and knocking ’em down like ducks in a shooting gallery. An assault on the senses. No prize.

Bourbon Street is historical. Some people might say it’s history. Nevertheless the Old Absinthe House is still there, standing across the centuries. And Galatoire’s restaurant, founded in 1905 and a real place.

Frenchmen Street — located just to the east of the French Quarter within easy walking distance — might be what the uninitiated unknowingly thought they’d find on Bourbon Street. Interesting bars, restaurants, great jazz and other musics, a vibe, a buzz… Hey even the Louisiana Music Factory Record Shop is here!