Waking mid afternoon we set out to explore the Quarter. It is what you see in photos. Narrow streets, elaborate wrought iron, balconies lush with boston ferns. Courtyards can be seen through archways. Music seems to be ubiquitous, as are the historical markers on the sides of the venerable, 18th century structures. Fussy victorian antiques are displayed in shop windows next door to establishments vending standard souvenir fare. As we pass one of the shotgun houses the door is open affording us a glimpse of the expensively furnished interior. Living in the Quarter does not appear to come cheap.
We have dinner on a balcony while a band plays in the street below. The seafood ravioli and crayfish poorboy sandwich exceed the culinary heights of the breakfast. Midway through dinner my friend mentions that I will be in the background of countless vacation shots as we are above one of the most picturesque corners in the quarter and hordes of tourists are snapping photos like people gone mad.
It is the weekend prior to Halloween and, unbeknowst to us, there is a large gay "circuit" party taking place in the city this Saturday night. As the party's start time approaches costumed revelers begin to fill the streets. Many are in groups, some are couples. A group appears on a balcony in bare chests, black pants with long black capes and top hats in a variety of colors. Two hugely muscled men walk by in tank tops, not bothering with costumes. We see them on several occasions throughout our time there, always wearing tight fitting sleeveless shirts to display their formidable arms and chest. Vampires, gladiators and fanciful drag queens wander down the history filled streets of the Quarter. The gay bars in the area are lightly populated for a Saturday night as most people seem to be going to the party.
Me and my friend split up and go our separate ways for the remainder of the evening. I return to the guesthouse earlier than he and fall into bed.