My first real glimpse of life here in the Big Easy was Saturday night on Bourbon Street. Talk about sensory overload. It’s a direct frontal assault of the five senses. From the bling of beads and the flash of breasts to the glare of neon selling everything from sex to cigars, I didn’t know where to look first. It was a kaleidoscope of color that changed from corner to corner as I made my way along the crowded street rubbing elbows (among other things) with all manner of people from t-shirt wearing tourists to conservatively clad businessmen.
Smells spilled out from the doorways; some were deliciously identifiable while others made my stomach lurch as I hurried past – exhaling all the way. Once inside Bourbon House, I was greeted by spicy scents that made my mouth water in anticipation of a gumbo so tasty there was only one word, newly invented, to describe it: gumbo-licious!
‘Round midnight, I went in search of a nightcap of a more musical nature, passing first one bar then the next. From the open doorways and windows, a riff or a phrase, would reach out to pull me inside. “Just two minutes,” I would promise myself – but then two became five minutes, and five became fifteen, before I forced myself to leave and search for my next musical fix.
Overall, the night belonged somewhere in the realm of the sixth sense, an otherworldly event that worked its magic – cast its spell over me. Ah, I thought to myself, so this is witchcraft (or maybe it was voodoo). After all, it is New Orleans.
photo: © istockphoto.com/ChrisSchmidt