I recently returned from three days in New Orleans. Contrary to popular belief about this mystical, artsy, energetic city, that may have been 2.75 days too many.
Some observations from the front lines:
Starting at hour 36 the allegedly romantic fog stops being mystical and starts being a fortress of vision-sabotaging pneumonia pellets.
New Orleans feels less like a city and more like a really involved flea market for ulcerous faux-voodoo and faux-jazz. As you walk from Chotsky Hut to Chotsky Hut, the ten worst songs of the '80s seem to be playing on a loop (did Def Leppard just come out there?).
On Bourbon Street you seek cute, young women baring it all for beads. What you actually see are blackout drunk eyesores screaming to be heard over other blackout drunk eyesores. After five minutes you start looking for ways to turn those beads into tongue clamps.
The streetcar moves so slowly you sometimes get off and find yourself in the 18th Century. Other times you sit helpless as you get passed by a snail...crawling backward...while wearing ankle weights.
The much discussed "energy of the city" does not prevent tourists from stopping in the middle of the sidewalk. The local drivers are quite courteous, so it wouldn't exactly be lethal for these map-bearing cinderblocks to take half a step off the sidewalk to consult their guide. Hey tourists, if you want to find the French Quarter just follow the vomit. Think of it as a North Star you can step in.
I only noticed the balconies because I was looking for one high enough to throw myself from.
But fear not, I have already booked my return flight (I mean c'mon, it's New Orleans).
P.S. witches: if voodoo worked, the government would outlaw it and keep it for its own arsenal.