The people of Plaquemines Parish and several other surrounding areas continue to suffer the effects of Isaac. In New Orleans, there are still many without power, phone, wifi or cable TV. That said, Isaac was not Katrina and last weekend, the French Quarter was filled with revelers attending Southern Decadence. For them and the many people who found themselves on an unscheduled week off from work, this week could be called a “Hurrication” (got the term from a local). There were repairs to be made and debris to pick up, but the French Quarter, with it’s allure of electricity and satellite TV, beckoned.
Bourbon Street was busy, hotels were filled and restaurants bustled serving tourists as well as locals seeking air conditioning and food. Of course, our city’s slip was showing. As many of the restaurants in the city had to get rid of their food and deliveries were disrupted, most of the restaurants had very limited menus. Some could print them out but most didn’t which led to a long ordering process.
“Is the sirloin stuffed potato as good as it reads?”
“We don’t have beef.”
“Oh, okay. How about a bowl of chili.”
“We really don’t have any beef.”
“Right. How about the chicken tortilla soup?”
“No chicken tortilla soup.”
“Okay. Do you have…”
You get the idea.
But the show must go on. I was glad to see how many tourists were around to greet people with, “Happy Decadence.” Though it may feel strange to dance in the streets while people are suffering, tourism supports this city and no good can come from being a party pooper. The people who made it to Decadence had to reschedule flights or find open, un-submerged highways to get to town and they looked forward to filling the city’s coffers just when we need it. For more of the history and founding of Southern Decadence, click here.
Like the city’s menus, the parade was impacted by Isaac. The procession may have been abbreviated with so many people not able to attend, but there’s nothing like watching sparkly, beaded people take to the streets in a mobile party. Ashley, the Traffic Tranny led the parade down it’s last leg from Armstrong Park to her home intersection on Bourbon and St. Ann. I am not part of the LGBT community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender), but I love seeing the streets filled with rainbows and glitter. It seems the only people who don’t enjoy Decadence are the street “priests” who carry signs reading things like, “God Hates Fags.” The old leader of this gang of bullies, Pastor Grant Storms, was arrested in 2011 for masturbating while watching children on a public playground. This year, 9 more of these preachers were arrested for yelling anti-gay slurs (and Katrina victim hatred) over bullhorns. Another man was arrested for punching a cop who was attempting to take his bullhorn. As I said before, no good can come of party-pooping.
Yesterday, Labor Day, we spotted Air Force One coming in for a landing carrying the President while we ate at a restaurant. I lived in the D.C. area most of my childhood and into my 20’s and never once saw that plane in the air. We ended the summer’s last weekend with a sno-ball from SnoWizard.
Today, the Hurrication is over. The lines at the bank were forever long and the grocery store shelves were still pretty empty. Some stores are still closed, having had to throw out all their fresh food and still waiting for deliveries. On every sidewalk, piles of branches and bags of leaves are piled high next to trash still waiting to be picked up since last week. Recovery is a slow process but this city was lucky to have escaped the worst Isaac had to offer. Enjoy the photos and be advised that some contain nudity or profane language.