French Quarter, New Orleans
During Mardi Gras time, the streets will be filled with people, some well on their way to intoxication. Still the police patrol on horseback and when they want the crowds to move, they mean it. They will warn you once to move if the parade floats are coming down the street. If you don't move and continue to move into the streets trying to "catch beads" you'll end up with the rump of a large horse pushing you back into line.
I came to New Orleans to live and the first week I was there, a friend (?) recommended I visit Louis Armstrong Park. I went into the park and there were about half a dozen big yellow school buses parked with teachers standing around talking to each other by the buses. There were at least over 100 - certainly more, students (am I not supposed to say what race? - well, anyway, I am a white female and they weren't white and most of them were teenaged males...) that crowded around me in a huge mass. - I was surrounded and finally they were so close that a few of them started poking me hard on the upper chest and arms with their fingers - I was lucky it was just their fingers. They called me foul names relating to my "cracker" race, and used filthy, threatening profanity. - They said they were going to "kill" me!
The teachers watched, chatted and did nothing. Many of them were smiling. - No help from them!
Well, my mind went into overdrive, as happens during extreme danger, and I started speaking in another language besides English.- Weird, but true. - It was a miracle because the kids' whole demeanor changed, and the crowd backed up, with some of the boys actually getting flirty with me. - "Hey man, she ain't American!" was the refrain. In other words, being a "foreigner" - and I don't think this applies anymore, meant I was to A-okay and my life to be spared. - I called the cops and the Chamber of Commerce and they did their job: they never mentioned it and the police did nothing. Nothing. - Toddies for the Tourist Bureau, of course. - It wasn't long after that, that a husband and wife stood in front of that famous statue and the man was shot while he watched his wife get a bullet through her head and die. - STAY AWAY FROM THAT PARK!!!!
Yesterday at about 5:30 I was hit hard on the head with a broomstick by a group of boys who asked me for a dollar. It was on Conti St about half a block from Bourbon St in the French Quarter.
I'm not a weak-looking person, it was early, it wasn't quite dark yet, there were people around. This is the first time I've been attacked in many years of travel and living in American cities.
Be careful when you travel to New Orleans - watch out for kids with sticks, wherever you are and whatever time it might be.
My tall, blond sister was arrested on Bourbon, while out celebrating her 21st bday, after being harrassed by a bouncer at the Old Opera House. She was then assulted by police when they hit her and her boyfriend in the chest with their "baton" because they were "raising" thier voices. They were just trying to tell their side of the story. Apparently, the bouncer new the cops. Luckily, we had a "good" witness that made a phone call and she was let go. In the mean time, she had been stuck in an alley while "paper work" was handled for over an hour, surrounded by 4 African American cops. Although she was released from hand-cuffs, she still received a "summons" for "disturbing the peace" on BOURBON street. For a city that has the "highest crime rate in the U.S., " can you believe they were going to take this young girl to a jail with murders, rapists, theives, etc... ? Needless to say, after driving two hours out of the way that Monday for her summons, the courthouse was closed due to some "Judge holiday." Come to find out, a summons is only for people that have been arrested and taken to jail. So, the whole thing was thrown out! Guess that officer wasn't trained very well on WHAT he can give summons for and WHEN to schedule them!
What a horrible experience that was both mentally and physically exhausting! We will not be back!
My husband and I were walking on Royal St. after a night on the town and we happened to catch a guy who zigzaged across the street about 20 yds in front of us so he was walking toward and on the same side. I looked behind me another guy crossed over now walking behind us. Oh yeah.... the radar went beserk! I grabbed my keys put them inbetween my knuckles...getting ready, not knowing what was going to happen. My husband jerked me to the other side of the street as they closed in. Smart, totally smart on his part. The guys did know each other. They met and ended up walking together in the same direction. Crisis averted. You have to keep your wits about you. We've been to NOLA a million times together, year after year. just because you are familiar with an area does not mean it has not changed. Yes,we all love the Anti-freeze drinks....you just gotta watch yourself. Drunk= TARGET! BTW we plan on moving to NOLA in 2014! Nothi9ng could change our minds, that City is Da Best!
I agree with most posts, you do need to be careful in the Quarter, especially at night. BUT, I have to say that for the most part, people are out for a good time, a little partying, a lot of good food and a few hurricanes. We have never had any problem. One year during Mardi Gras a guy came up and offered a "line"...... but when we refused (nicely) he told us to have a good night and left us alone. If you aren't looking for trouble, it won't find you.
IT SEEMS AS THOUGH MOST COMMENTS ARE REVOLVING AROUND MARDI GRAS, I HAVE BEEN ATTENDING JAZZ FEST FOR 9 YEARS, AND AM FEMALE. I HAVE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM IN THE QUARTER. I BELIEVE IF YOU ARE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS AND HAVE FRIENDS YOU ARE FINE. I THINK NEW ORLEANS GETS A BAD RAP SOMETIMES. YES BAD THINGS HAPPEN THERE, BUT KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN AND YOU CAN HAVE A GREAT TIME. JAZZ FEST IS BEST