Illegal New Orleans Date Ideas That We Absolutely Do Not Condone
Dating in New Orleans is fun (if a little different), and this city provides an almost infinite number of options for a romantic twosome. So if you just can’t stand the thought of a humdrum, ugh, legal date, we have a few ideas for you. Which, naturally, we in no way recommend you do. Especially the one with the alligators.
Ride some “fancy” bicycles!
How to pull it off even though this is not something we condone: Buy, build, or rent an elaborate bicycle, and ride it around the city's nicer sights with your beau. Despite NOLA being one of the most bike-friendly cities in the USA, doing so on a “fancy” bike will apparently land you in the clink. So keep that ride nice and basic, or live dangerously. The choice is yours.
Laws you’ll be breaking: Only one, namely a strangely antiquated prohibition on ornate velocipedes.
Go urban spelunking at the bomb shelters on West End Ave
How to pull it off even though we really frown upon it: Grab a camera, a couple of flashlights, some bolt-cutters, and your date. This one's going to be fun. When the end was nigh at the hands of our Commie oppressors with their fingers on the button, New Orleanians knew that the place to go were the sweet-ass civil defense centers buried in mounds underneath West End Ave in Lakeview. They are currently in a severe state of disrepair, which makes them popular destinations for urban spelunkers. It's a bracing, exciting way to head out on a date.
Laws you’ll be breaking: Breaking & entering, trespassing, loitering.
Go on a photo safari at Six Flags NOLA (“Jazzland”)
How to pull it off, even though we’re highly discouraging you from criminal behavior: Go on a very special photoshoot with your partner by heading down to Jazzland, which sadly went the way of the dodo after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. But no one has actually gone about demolishing and cleaning up the place, located in New Orleans East, which makes its urban decay a delightful visual treat for shutterbugs. You have to break in to get those shots, though, so be prepared to run if noticed by the authorities.
Laws you’ll be breaking: Trespassing, breaking and entering, loitering.
Bring snakes to a Mardi Gras parade
How to pull it off even though we’re not monsters that approve of this type of thing: Sorry, herpetologists, you cannot, by law, bring a snake within 200 yards of a MG parade, which is totally going to spoil the idea of you and your special someone going on possibly the coolest Mardi Gras date ever. Boo. Thankfully, if your snake happens to be of the tame variety (and we hope it is), chances are the local 5-0 will be more concerned by public intoxication, so you have a pretty good chance of getting away with this one.
Laws you’ll be breaking: Bringing goddamned snakes to a parade.
Giving someone the gift of surprise pizza
How to pull it off even though we barely understand this law, let alone approve of you breaking it: It seems like a very noble and kind act to buy a person pizza when they are hungry and unsuspecting. But apparently you cannot order a pizza to someone’s house without them being fully informed about the operation. Screw that. Surprise your date with dinner in, and order them a pie with their favorite topping.
Laws you’ll be breaking: Ordering pizza for someone without their express advance notice and approval.
Go fishing in City Park
How to get away with it even though we're begging you not to do it: Fishing together can be a great, relaxing good time. But despite being one of the largest municipal parks in the nation, and also despite the fact that there are some really beautiful ponds, swamps, and lagoons there, you can’t legally fish them. Which is weird, because there’s actually a statue in Audubon Park (fishing also illegal there) of a man and a young boy fishing. How counterintuitive is that? If you want to attempt this one, we suggest feigning ignorance if approached by park security, and also not being totally sober at the time.
Laws you’ll be breaking: Fishing in a public park.
Fake a wrestling match
How to pull it off even though we’re saddened by your life choices up to this point: Obviously there's no better way to get playfully intimate with someone than fake wrestling. But unfortunately, wrestling is REAL in Louisiana. By law. So gird your loins, folks, and make sure your game is believable.
Laws you’ll be breaking: Falsifying a wrestling match. Also, you’ll be breaking the hearts of many law-abiding local wrestling enthusiasts.
Throw some beads from on-high
How to pull it off despite us repeatedly asking that you don’t: Another Mardi Gras date, but this one is slightly more sedentary, requiring a third-story parade-adjacent balcony, some beads, and probably a whole lot of booze. Toss the necklaces to enthused carnival-goers (but be careful, nothing smarts more than a faceful of plastic, which is why it’s illegal to toss them from on-high), and use the birds-eye view to watch out for 5-0.
Laws you’ll be breaking: Throwing Carnival beads from a third-story or higher.
Take an alligator out for an afternoon stroll (and tie him up improperly)
How to get away with it even though you shouldn’t even THINK about it: OK, this will be a tough one to pull off, because alligators tend to be conspicuous, even in a city like New Orleans. You'll need a close friend with a pet 'gator (and the accompanying license), then you and your date can take it on a stroll, and just loosely leash him/her to a fire hydrant. Also, according to one local firefighter, the boys in the firehouse have a particular taste for gator meat, so don’t let them go unattended for too long if you don’t want him to be filleted and deep fried, which will also likely kill the mood of your date.
Laws you’ll be breaking: Tying an alligator to a fire hydrant.
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Scott Gold is a writer in New Orleans, and he'll give people pizza wherever he damned well pleases. Follow him on Twitter @scottgold.