Sanitation in the French Quarter

by Gray Cargill on January 11, 2009

Bourbon Street

Bourbon Street

I saw an article this a.m. from the Associated Press titled “Low on cash, the French Quarter may stink again.” With a title like that, I had to read it, didn’t I?  It opens with:

Since Hurricane Katrina, the beer-soaked, urine-splashed, puke-puddled French Quarter of old has been scrubbed clean. But with the city facing tough financial times, it may no longer be able to afford to pay for all the services of an army of sanitation workers who pick up after the partying.

Wow.  If that doesn’t make you want to rush right down to New Orleans for a visit, I don’t know what would.  Sheesh.  Way to boost tourism, guys.  The sanitation workers are obviously doing a great job, because I did not even catch a whiff of vomit or urine while on Bourbon Street; if I had, I definitely would not have returned. (I did smell beer, of course; that can’t be helped when hundreds of people are milling around carrying go-cups of beer.)

Let’s be honest here:  The first people who would complain about such smells and filth would be tourists.  I can hear the comments now:  “Ew!  Gross!  How can they live like this?”

Well, I’ve got news for you. It’s not the locals regurgitating hurricanes and peeing in the streets.  It’s drunken tourists.  The poor city of New Orleans, which is trying to rebuild its economy, is forced to squander money on cleaning up after immature, drunken revelers when it really needs to spend that money on reconstruction so people can live there.

(PSA:)  So for God’s sake, people, please remember when you visit New Orleans that you’re human beings, not animals.   We’ve had indoor plumbing in this country for a looooong time.  If you love this city and you’re having a good time there, be considerate and use a toilet to eject fluids from your body. Thanks. (End PSA.)

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