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Twenty three years ago, the Forty Niners played the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXIV, trounced them really, here in New Orleans.  The Crescent City put out a tremendous welcome mat, much like they do for visitors during Mardi Gras. I was all of 27 years-old and my first trip to New Orleans.  I remember inebriated rowdy crowds, raw oysters and French architecture.

The rest is pretty much a blur, except for an incredible meal at the Court of Two Sisters.  Then it was on to the football game.

After Hurricane Katrina, the city has faced immeasurable odds at rebuilding from destruction, heartache and death.  Some believe the city will never be the same, still others are more optimistic.  Indeed the downtown area is vibrant, especially this week.

On Friday night, Bourbon Street  and the French Quarter were alive and well.  It’s not how I remembered it though.  The blocks long venue has more neon now, the facades of buildings have been updated or repaired because of storm damage and old age.  More strip clubs and a lot more street performers line the road giving it a sort of red light mime weirdness.

Regardless, it’s party central during Super Bowl week.

Max Whitish and Shallon Bawden of New Orleans, perform on Bourbon Street, Friday Feb 1, 2013 as the French Quarter in New Orleans comes alive for Mardi Gras season and Super Bowl XLVII. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

New Orleans Bourbon Street is alive with street performers, Friday Feb 1, 2013 as the French Quarter in New Orleans comes alive for Mardi Gras season and Super Bowl XLVII. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

New Orleans Big Sexy tours Bourbon Street, Friday Feb 1, 2013 as the French Quarter in New Orleans comes alive for Mardi Gras season and Super Bowl XLVII. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

Homer Simpson flashes Bourbon Street is alive with street performers, Friday Feb 1, 2013 as the French Quarter in New Orleans comes alive for Mardi Gras season and Super Bowl XLVII. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

Frozen Red fish at a curbside restaurant on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, Friday Feb. 1, 2013. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

A mime performs in New Orleans on Bourbon Street, Friday Feb 1, 2013 as the French Quarter in New Orleans comes alive for Mardi Gras season and Super Bowl XLVII. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

 

Bourbon Street is alive with street performers and music, Friday Feb 1, 2013 as the French Quarter in New Orleans comes alive for Mardi Gras season and Super Bowl XLVII. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

A Baltimore Raven Lucha Libre fan on Bourbon Street, Friday Feb 1, 2013 as the French Quarter in New Orleans comes alive for Mardi Gras season and Super Bowl XLVII. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

With it's many baudy night clubs, Alexander Jensen found Bourbon Street, Friday Feb 1, 2013 the perfect place to quote bible scripture as the French Quarter in New Orleans comes alive for Mardi Gras season and Super Bowl XLVII. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

Football revelers jam Bourbon Street, Friday Feb 1, 2013 as the French Quarter in New Orleans comes alive for Mardi Gras season and Super Bowl XLVII. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

The Saint Louis Cathedral is the oldest cathedral in North America and backlit by television lights, Friday Feb. 1, 2013 in New Orleans. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

New Orleans Mounted Patrol unit patrol Bourbon Street, Friday Feb 1, 2013 as the French Quarter in New Orleans comes alive for Mardi Gras season and Super Bowl XLVII. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

No cameras allowed as a bouncer who declined to give his name stands guard at the entrance to a bar where the Coors Light girls were dancing, Friday Feb 1, 2013 as the French Quarter in New Orleans comes alive for Mardi Gras season and Super Bowl XLVII. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

A Ravens fan needs tickets, Thursday Jan. 31, 2013 as the French Quarter in New Orleans comes alive for Mardi Gras season and Super Bowl XLVII. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013

-Kent Porter

 

 

 

 

 

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