Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Got beads?

I'm back from New Orleans, but not back to my healthy self.

I made it to the Hotel Chateau Sonesta after a 20 minute cab ride trying to desperately explain to the driver where it was. He insisted it was on Canal Street. I agreed, but tried to convince him the entrance was on Iberville Street. He won and dumped me by the back entrance next to the statue of the main character from "Confederacy of the Dunces." I'm convinced my entire New Orleans trip was jinxed because I wrote a blog about John Kennedy Toole and how ironic it was that he committed suicide before finding out his novel would be published and win the Pulizer Prize. Sorry dude. Peace, okay?

Anyway, the Chateau Sonesta was a beautiful five-star hotel within a block of Bourbon Street. I had this huge room over looking a side street and a parking garage. Despite a car alarm that went off every five minutes and the Harley's racing up and down the street all night, it was an okay room.

Friday and Saturday nights I spent wandering up and down Bourbon Street in pursuit of beads. And no, I didn't have to flash to get them. I have a system. I simply walk under balconies where drunken revelers are beckoning passerbys with colorful strands of beads. These days, all you have to do is gesture and some drunk will pelt you with beads. If they don't you simply scoop up the beads they are tossing at other more uninhibitated and drunken souls who are oblivious to where the beads are landing. You do have to use some disgression if the beads land in water, because odds are the puddle isn't rainwater. Needless to say, after two nights, I collected a ponderous amount of beads.

So on Sunday, I packed my beads and dirty laundry and prepared to come home. That morning I discovered I'd been sharing my 5-star hotel room with another guest...a small cajun mouse. I mentioned it to the concierge when I was checking out and he seemed pretty matter of fact about it. "Hope he was well behaved, " he drawled.

Now I'm back at work and still nursing my sinus infection. In retrospect, my trip to the Big Easy sucked. But I did take lots of cool photos. So when my nose stops running, I can look back and enjoy the city I missed.

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