Don’t Be These 15 (and a Half) New Orleans Tourists
New Orleans is a major tourist hub, which by extension means it’s also a major asshat hub. Sure, the vast majority of visitors in the Crescent City are perfectly respectable & polite, but there are just a few who, when yanked from the reassuring context of their everyday lives, feel compelled to behave in ways that necessitate the mocking scrutiny of an Internet list. These are those people.
1. The person wearing store-bought beads out of season
Major NOLA rule: the only time it is acceptable to wear Mardi Gras beads is during Mardi Gras, and then only if they are caught or duly bartered for in the -- ahem -- “traditional fashion.”
2. The dude who asks, “How do you get to Mardi Gras?”
Take the next left, go 100 yards, wait four freaking months, and you can’t miss it.
3. ... and then asks, “Where do you buy tickets to the parade?”
Parades, common sense, and figurative neon signs saying “I’m an asshat” are all free.
3.5 Addendum: if at a parade, don’t be the guy who is a total dick
Like, for instance, not giving some of the better throws -- lighted beads, plastic trinkets, etc. -- to children, if those kids are clearly trying to compete with you. Just be a decent human being and share the fun stuff, which they will clearly enjoy way more than you ever will, and there’s more than enough for everybody.
4. The overly proud sports fan of a non-local team
New Orleanians love their local sports teams as much as you do (WHO DAT!). If you’re from out of town and enjoying your favorite team play a game in New Orleans, the city is genuinely glad to have you, and will happily share in the spirit of competition. To a point.
5. The combatant
It’s sad that this needs to be stated, but: avoid getting into fights, especially while drunk in the French Quarter. It doesn’t matter who offered to give your girlfriend beads, or spilled a little beer on your favorite Tapout tee -- if you cause a ruckus, the NOPD (and their giant freaking horses) will make sure it doesn’t last long.
6. The public drug user
Given the relaxed local laws when it comes to alcohol consumption in public in the Big E, it’s easy to extend that logic and think that the authorities don’t mind some innocent imbibing of illicit substances. And you would be wrong. Orleans Parish Prison wrong.
7. The mammary-obsessed shouting guy
The temptation might be great (especially if Joe Francis is in town) but do not, and that means EVER, be the guy shouting the phrase “Show me your t*ts!” Yes, these dudes exist, sometimes in large numbers, and it makes New Orleanians cringe, facepalm, and straight-up refuse to show their t*ts. And if one of your friends becomes that guy, cut him off, shove him in a cab, and lock him in the hotel.
8. The sneaky public urinator
Places like the French Quarter and its environs can get pretty packed, and getting to the john might be more difficult than you anticipated. But don’t try to be all sneaky and whiz on a dumpster in a side-alley and think you’re the 007 of public micturition.
9. The brazen public urinator
Or maybe you’ve just lost all reason and decide to just take a leak on the street in public view, because who cares? It’s party o’clock in the Big Sleazy! Well, you just got into a pissing contest with the aforementioned NOPD, and you sir, are about to lose.
10. The soon-to-be crime victim
Feel like wandering alone, drunk, down dark alleyways for a mile back to your hotel at 4am? In most places, that would be a bad idea. In New Orleans, that’s the king, CEO, president, four-star general, and head janitor of bad ideas. There’s safety in numbers and well-lit/populated areas, and there’s no shame in calling a cab to get you home.
11. The rube
NOLA is a tourist-friendly city, perhaps one of the most tourist-friendly in the nation. And with tourist dollars also comes the kind of fringe folks who want a piece of the pie. Don’t give it to them. Whether it’s “where you got dem shoes” (they’re on your feets) or other scams, if someone starts to hustle you, you have no obligation to take part in that person’s shenanigans. Just don’t be a jerk about it... politely declining should be sufficient.
12. The out-of-control bachelor/bachelorette party
In days of yore, seeing a limousine, one would assume it was a visiting celebrity, or some foreign dignitary. Now it’ll be filled with drunken asses who act like celebrities, and who might as well be foreign for all the sense they make.
13. The unconscious
Yes, New Orleans has more bars per capita than anywhere else in the US, which means we also have more drunken passed out tourists than anywhere else in the US too. Don’t be that guy.
14. The guy who takes souvenir items/cups out of the French Quarter
Keep the plastic yard of colorful booze and the “I got drunk on Bourbon Street!” t-shirts confined to the Quarter. It’s their natural habitat.
15. The one who says/mangles “N’Awlins”
Just... don’t. Once and for all, it is pronounced “New OR-linz” (and while you’re there, stop saying “‘frisco.” Christ, dude.).
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