The Real People Of Bourbon St. New Orleans
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The Real People Of Bourbon St. New Orleans

A close up of the world famous street.

The Real People Of Bourbon St. New Orleans

Bourbon Street is a civilization of its own. Nestled into the free-spirited city of New Orleans is a place that is a snapshot of humanity and its extremes. Juxtaposed together on one stretch of road are some of the cities finest upper-class establishments and its hardest stricken poverty. Here you can find some of the most authentic art, and some of the most desperate people. Bourbon Street is New Orleans condensed down to one frenetic punch of energy that has minimal control.

Lined on both sides of the street are old french style buildings that have seen it all through the years. The only thing you'll find inside are: restaurants, bars, and strip clubs, with a few novelty stores here and there. The street is crowded with people of all types. There are many tourists and there are people who aren't scared to express themselves. They act and dress how they want with no worry of judgment. Intermixed through all of that is art. There is live music playing everywhere and street performers dazzling with their style. The street itself is amazing to look at, with every angle telling a story.

People visit it so much every year because the place is a constant party. Everywhere offers temptation to let loose, or for many, lose control. Unlike the artificial edifice of 'The Strip' in Las Vegas, Bourbon Street exists in its history. This desire to party is ingrained into the fabric of its being. Bourbon St. isn't popular because it was initially designed to be this way, but rather because it just is. It was born from humanities natural need to celebrate.

This natural feeling from Bourbon is charming. There is a lot to be fascinated by from this street. The constant energy and strong sense of an ingrained cultural tradition makes it really feel like no other place. But there is a duality to this street. Living with the high end restaurants, and world class street performers is a sadder story. You can see those who have been consumed by Bourbon Street. Poverty stricken people try to find a way to survive. There are children spaced throughout the street, banging buckets with drumsticks, trying to get money. Many are very young and look tired and frustrated from their lack of progress. The homeless convene and try to find ways to score some money. On my last trip, one homeless man had trained a dog to lay down and let people take pictures with it, for money, all while it wore a dirty pair of sunglasses and had a cigarette in its paw. These people wear a mask trying to show the energy and charm of the street, but deep down inside their desperation is the only thing that can be seen.

Bourbon Street is a very human place. It wants you to have fun, but paired with that is a very realistic look at human struggles. Behind the clubs, the bars, and the tourists are the real people of Bourbon Street. They aren't there because they want to be, but because they have to be.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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