Sunday, February 17th, 2008 at 12:41 pm  |  17 responses

The other side of New Orleans

By Sam Rubenstein

Flashy lights, drunk people, superstars walking among us. But it’s not all fun and games. After the dunk contest was creeping to a close, we had to walk back to the hotel cause the media transport from the arena to the hotel was to put it gently, a huge clusterf–k.

For the partying portion of the evening our group split into two. Khalid and Lang hit up the more exciting NBA star hosted party events, while Ben, Aggrey Sam, and myself did the Bourbon St. thing. It sounds weird to say this but drinking a hurricane and walking down Bourbon St. with the beads flying around and strippers running through the streets was the tamest part of the trip so far. New Orleans is a strange place. In the interest of balance, I would like to share a tale of adventure from yesterday morning…

As you know by now, we had to rent a car in Baton Rouge to drive here, and that car needed to be returned a few miles away from out hotel. I drove there, dropped it off, paid the ridiculous bill, and the whole process took about 15 minutes. I stepped out into the street to look for a cab or think about walking back, and as is prone to happen I was right in the middle of a feed the hungry parade. So I marched with hundreds of 12 year olds for a few blocks, behind the marching band, and then they suddenly turned left.

I was all alone on “the wrong side of the tracks.” This was not the touristy safe part of New Orleans. There is a place that is called Tent Town I believe, where the homeless live in tents under the freeway. It was a lot like the current season of The Wire, where the lying reporter spent the night with Baltimore’s homeless. One guy seemed to be walking straight at me. I’ve been in bad neighborhoods before, dodged muggings, been chased. But this time, I tensed up and I really thought he was about to stab me…

No knife, no stab wound.
Back to work. By work I mean brunch.

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  • http://tadone.blogspot.com TADOne

    Sam living dangerously.

  • peteb80

    A good American should always have at least one gun handy. I think it’s in your constitution.

  • http://www.lkz.ch/basket Darksaber

    Stay safe Rubenstein

  • http://www.another48minutes.blogspot.com Gerard Himself

    and with brunch you mean Burger King?

  • http://slamonline.com Russ Bengtson

    The last time I was in New Orleans was before Katrina–I was there to do a feature on Baron Davis. My hotel was on Canal Street, and one night, as is required by local law, I went for a drink or two on Bourbon street. I got to talking with the bartender, and when I mentioned where my hotel was, she made one thing VERY clear: When heading back to the hotel, take Bourbon all the way back to Canal. She said that if I tried to cut across the city and then down, that I WOULD get shot. Not that I MIGHT get shot, but I WOULD. Overdramatization? Perhaps. However, I didn’t feel like proving her wrong–or right. When I went back to my hotel, I took Bourbon to Canal.

  • RV

    Next time Sam, break the ice: “Can you believe that superman dunk??!”

  • http://www.INEED.ORG Tarzan Cooper

    thats why tmac didnt want to go.

  • Captain America

    Geez, Sam, be safe. Tent Town has me bummed though.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Jesus Christ, Super Star

  • Matt Wens

    Nice russ

    And talking about the superman dunk MIGHT get you stabbed.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    my daily exploits somehow made me learn something. I went to the mall with some friends and bought NBA Hoops Magizine. Little did i know that it told me Ben Collins got a pedicure. I guess you learn something every day.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    and yes, for all that are wondering i can talk to magizines. i deserve my own show, like that dog wisper guy. BET the Magizine strangler (psst ESPN told me it was gay)

  • peteb80

    Is that magizine like a piriodical or more like a journel?

  • riggs

    more like miss-spelled

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Khalid, Aggrey and I got a tour of the other other New Orleans (lower 9th ward, etc) today, and it was ROUGH. Two and a 1/2 years later and in horrible shape. As far as Tent City, check out the cover story in the city’s weekly paper, Gambit Weekly: http://www.bestofneworleans.com/dispatch/current/cover_story.php

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Scoop also did one of his best columns in awhile on the topic: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=jackson/080217

  • http://www.ravingblacklunatic.blogspot.com Allenp

    That wasn’t even the really bad part of town. You weren’t in that much danger. Now, if you had magically ended up in “Central City” well then you should have been worried.