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The Sporting Life
by Nevada Kerr

Each day brings a new adventure: shotgun shacks on the verge of collapse, infamous stories of termite infestations, "three for one" Happy Hours, late night dancing on the brink of coma, a crawfish picnic in Audobon Park that we missed because of the torrential rain, the ghosts of Storyville on Basin Street, a casual walk into a voodoo shop on Rampart searching for candles the night the electricity went out.

Bourbon Street is a temptation I could live without, a circus life of carnal and occult proportions. Morning, noon, and night the streets are flooded with beer, disinfectant, and the acrid odors of urine and vomit. Tourists from North and South come here to drink the night away and it gets redundant quite quickly once you view yourself as a full-time resident.

Sterling and I are living in an area on the edge of Treme and Esplanade Ridge, a walk across the street to the Quarter. It is a southern ghetto of sorts, complete with ghetto-blasters and street hustlers. Our landlord is quite a character; formerly a bull fighter, her previous occupation prepared her for the cutthroat business of land speculation. She invests in rundown properties, buying up New Orleans on the cheap and selling it back for four times it's worth. Our realtor Connie gives us tours of the city. She grew up in the cajun back country. As a young girl she sold baby alligators for milk money.

Nature holds sway in this city. Giant cockroaches, dragonflies, chameleons and every other swamp bug manifestation you can conjure up strut their stuff. And just as the graveyards here are considered "Cities of the Dead," the nightlife is anything but. The tourists who come for the swamp tours, the ghost tours, and a taste of the Sporting Life finally disappear in the hot summer months when the rain and the wind reign as the governing forces!

Written by © Nevada Kerr
June, 2003.

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Created: May 2003 © Paul Kinder Last Updated: 10/5/03