I’m a pretty lazy traveler and I’m a little ashamed of how little I research a place before I travel to it. I had no idea that po-boy’s were a famous New Orleans sandwich or that the city pretty much has it’s own swagger when it come drinking culture.
Staying in New Orleans is like staying in a fun park. You don’t have to plan anything, you just wake up in the morning and find out what’s going on. You learn about the good stuff by talking to people and you quickly learn what places to avoid. If you can think of or find absolutely nothing to do, just jump on a bike and cycle through Treme, the French Quarter or the Mardi Gras zone, just looking at the place and hollering at people is a great experience and cycling through the streets as the warm glow of dusk gives everything a yellowish glow is a beautiful thing to see.
On our last day in New Orleans we didn’t really make any concrete plans but did what we seemed to do almost every other day. We jumped on our bikes and cycled around town. We stopped by a local donut store and ordered just two donuts but ended up with five, visited a local cemetery and in the afternoon ended up semi-stumbling upon/arriving at our vaguely planned destination and partying behind the second line.
Basically a second line is when people follow a jazz band down the streets with batons and parasols. Apparently this happens every Sunday in New Orleans and apparently we went to one that was a little different.
Before the whole thing started rap music was pumping out of a corner bar and the street was filled with people drinking, dancing and generally having a good time. Four wheelers and motorbikes screamed down the main road and more than one blinged up car passed by before the second line hit our part of town.
I can genuinely say I had no idea what I was in for, but when I saw two police on horses kicking back having a smoke and drinking straight spirits, I knew things were going to get a little crazy.
And it did.
The only way I can describe the atmosphere is to say it was ‘hysterically happy’. Women were dressed up in there best and as we followed the second line down different streets for about two hours people streamed out of houses, danced on roofs and balconies and hollered at people they knew. In saying that, it wasn’t all drinking and crazy vibes. Families followed along, little kids busted moves like Michael Jackson and there were plenty of babies in prams or snuggled up in their parents arms.