Bourbon Street reminds me of Burning Man
It's the middle of the night - 2am - and yet everyone's out partying. It's not cold - in fact, it's uncomfortably warm. There's no moon, but neon art dots the landscape as far as one can see, which isn't far because it's kind of hazy which makes everything look blurry, indistinct and mysterious. There are dark sheltered spaces featuring fire art.
There is a LOT of very loud music, chosen by people who like and know their genres. Many nearby venues have mutually incompatible themes, so you might find a cowboy bar next to a jazz club next to a hip-hop club, the sounds and styles and guests intermingling. There's a general aura of sex, music, and illicit drugs. Shock value is appreciated - a man walking his girlfriend on a dog leash elicited little interest or concern. And pictures can't do it justice - you just have to have been there.
Some partygoers look like tourists while others seem like they've found their true home and probably wouldn't fit in in the "real" world.
Even sober, the overall effect of a walk along Bourbon Street is profoundly disorienting. Like being in a dream. Or perhaps someone else's dream.
Regardless, the music is fantastic.
A key difference is that Bourbon Street allows commerce, so there's little risk of running short on drinks or pizza. Also there's no dust. And the hotels have showers and internet access and real toilets...
I like New Orleans!
In other news, my car has been fixed and I'll be picking it up tomorrow. Hurray!