We never went, and of course in our New Orleans days we avoided Bourbon Street in general. But this is one of those periodic reminders of the deep and beautiful weirdness of New Orleans. The story is full of astonshing details that may be facts, or may be legends, but are probably true enough. I’ll just mention one minor thing:
Bourbon Street in the 1970s, Jones remembers, was not for sightseers — or the faint of heart. He recalls a night when police lobbed tear gas grenades into the Bastille nightclub on Toulouse Street. At Funky Butts, a biker bar next to Molly’s on Toulouse, “you could buy any drug you wanted,” he says. You could even rent a handgun there.
That’s right — handgun rental.
Unbelievable. In the best sense of the word.