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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Slocum in New Orleans 2007

Page address: http://sbs.mnsu.edu/government/faculty/Slocum/Slocum Travels/Slocum New Orleans 2007.html

New Orleans, Louisiana: 2007 SPSA

I attended the Southern Political Science Association's annual conference in New Orleans, January 4 through 7, 2007.  The conference returned to New Orleans after meeting in Atlanta, GA, in January 2006 - a diversion necessary because of Hurricane Katrina's damage to New Orleans in 2005.  At the convention, I presented a paper, "Militarism, Southern Culture, the 9/11 Attacks and the Bush Administration's Responses: The Implications for Contemporary Southern Politics," and was chair and discussant on the panel "Race and Democratic Politics."  New Orleans has wonderful food and entertainment, making it a terrific venue for professional meetings.

 

Dr. Jon Bond, a professor of political science at Texas A&M University and President of the Southern Political Science Association, delivering the presidential address, "The Scientification of the Study of Politics," January 5, 2007.

 

The Hotel Intercontinental on St. Charles Avenue, our conference site, is located about six blocks from the French Quarter.

 

Bourbon Street by day is relatively sedate.  At night, the "wildlife" come out to play!

 

This is one of my favorite buildings in the French Quarter.  Many of the most attractive buildings are along Royal St., which is one block distant from Bourbon St.  Royal St. is full of small shops and art galleries, attracting a different crowd from the bars, clubs, restaurants and beverage stands of Bourbon St.

 

Mike Miller, a 2005 alum of MSU's master's program in political science, and I enjoyed an evening on Bourbon St. on January 4.  We're at the piano bar in Pat O'Brien's, one of New Orleans' most famous bars.

 

Pat O'Brien's piano bar has a classic "dueling pianos" setup.  These pianists had the crowd singing in rollicking style.

 

On Saturday, January 6 I visited Maison Bourbon, a Bourbon St. club "dedicated to the preservation of jazz" according to its sign.  The house jazz band, led by trumpet player and singer Jamil Sharif (black shirt), was terrific!  The band played one of my favorite jazz tunes, "The Girl from Ipanema," recorded originally by Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto.

 

Well, I said the wildlife comes out to play on Bourbon St. by night, but that doesn't include nights of heavy rain, when Bourbon St. can go unusually quiet.

 

In much of New Orleans, you can be arrested for consuming alcohol on the streets.  Not so on Bourbon St., where public consumption laws allow you to carry your beverage with you on the street, as long as it's in a plastic cup.  The street is lined with beer and daiquiri stands, which aren't shy about letting newcomers to Bourbon St. know that the law reflects the more tolerant, "live and let live" social customs in this part of Louisiana.

 

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