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Old 01-13-2013, 07:34 PM   #21
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I have not ever parked my car overnight here, except in my driveway. Would they tow it away if you parked at one of the big malls out in Metairie or Kenner? You could park it at the airport safely enough, and I used to do that when traveling, but there is a fee. I am as perplexed as you on this one, Aaron.

Edited to add: Alan, our thoughts were the same.
What about the 24-hr Walmart 3-4 miles east of the French Quarter on W Judge Perez Dr? A car being parked there overnight wouldn't seem out of place and it's legal to park at walmart overnight. It's free but is it safe?
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Old 01-13-2013, 07:40 PM   #22
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Personally, I wouldn't park there. Besides, it is further than it seems, clear on the other side of the Lower Ninth Ward. There is a drawbridge over the canal involved.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:02 PM   #23
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I like Alan's suggestion about parking at the airport. When I went back to the airport, I would go inside and sleep for the couple of hours. There are always people sleeping at the airport and there is security around.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:10 PM   #24
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I like Alan's suggestion about parking at the airport. When I went back to the airport, I would go inside and sleep for the couple of hours. There are always people sleeping at the airport and there is security around.
Also, there are lots of cabs there. Cabs charge a uniform (set, non-metered) fee from the airport to the French Quarter, I think maybe $28? $30? I am sure it has gone up in recent years with the gas prices. Maybe there are shuttles?
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Old 01-13-2013, 09:44 PM   #25
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That sounds like a good option

Looks like the airport costs about $10 for 24 hours then the taxi to the FQ and back. I guess there's not really a CHEAP alternative to a hotel just a "cheap-er" alternative. I guess it could be worth it.
Partly depends on what you usually pay to see bare breasts. What do they cost in your hometown?

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Old 01-14-2013, 09:24 AM   #26
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I once parked about 5-6 blocks north of St Charles during a day parade. A man came out of the house and said he was "collecting" for parking there. I told him it was a public street and I wasn't obstructing his driveway. He told me if I didn't pay him he would have my car towed. While I knew the chances were low that my car would be towed, the chances of me returning to it sitting on cinder blocks and busted out windows was high. I moved my car.

Another option is you could park over in Algiers Pt and ride the ferry back and forth. When I lived over there all my friends would gather there and we'd walk to the ferry, enjoy the parades and come back to my place.

Personally, I'd rather be uptown than in the French Quarter. If I was single and wanted to see Carnival, I'd buy a one way ticket to Rio.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:09 AM   #27
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Partly depends on what you usually pay to see bare breasts. What do they cost in your hometown?

Ha
I've lived 5 miles round trip from a strip club for 5 years and have never gone. I wouldn't drive 2000+ miles for that. I just want to take in the whole experience one time. It's not too far of a detour on my way to Florida.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:49 AM   #28
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I've lived 5 miles round trip from a strip club for 5 years and have never gone. I wouldn't drive 2000+ miles for that. I just want to take in the whole experience one time. It's not too far of a detour on my way to Florida.
It is a great experience and I've done it twice in New Orleans. Once with the family (DW and 2 children) in Metaire and once downtown with my sister, who was 22 yrs old at the time. She didn't bare her chest for some beads.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:17 AM   #29
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Never been, and never will...

Went to NO once, in August, on the way from TX to FL. Enjoyed the food! But SO and I wondered onto Bourbon Street, which was packed, had a hurricane at Pat O's, then wondered around some more. Two punks started trying to shine my running shoes, then shake me down for money. Rather than be stabbed to death, we headed into a crowded store, which finally got rid of them.

I do not need that ****, and refuse to go anywhere where I have to worry about it...

YMMV
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:29 AM   #30
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Never been, and never will...

Went to NO once, in August, on the way from TX to FL. Enjoyed the food! But SO and I wondered onto Bourbon Street, which was packed, had a hurricane at Pat O's, then wondered around some more. Two punks started trying to shine my running shoes, then shake me down for money. Rather than be stabbed to death, we headed into a crowded store, which finally got rid of them.

I do not need than ****, and refuse to go anywhere where I have to worry about it...

YMMV
My understanding is that cops are everywhere in the French Quarter during Mardi Gras. Many of them are on horseback. At my height, I can easily see over the crowd and i'll always know where the nearest cop is. I don't plan to get drunk but I do plan to do what you did, go to Pat O's and get a Hurricane. I'd probably get a go-cup and walk the streets while sipping the drink for a couple hours.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:40 AM   #31
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Two punks started trying to shine my running shoes, then shake me down for money. Rather than be stabbed to death, we headed into a crowded store, which finally got rid of them.
Were you wearing fancy clothes that made you a target? I'll be wearing a hoodie, Wal-mart jeans, and cheap shoes. I'll look more like a "punk" than someone loaded with money.

I have a whistle on a string that I could put around my neck and tuck under my shirt. If anyone gives me trouble, I blow the whistle. I'll know where the nearest cop is and when he looks to see who blew the whistle i'll flag him down.
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Old 01-14-2013, 11:55 AM   #32
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Were you wearing fancy clothes that made you a target?
Uh, no...
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:08 PM   #33
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Aaron, have fun and don't worry.

New Orleans is likely a bit more than you are used to, but no harm in stretching. Still, since it is very likely that you will never do this again, or even want to once you have seen what it is, consider spending a bit more money than you are currently planning to make it a safer and more pleasant time.

Ha
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:46 PM   #34
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You don't need to be staying in or near the Quarter, but I'd get a better place to sleep than the lounge at Armstrong Int'l, or in a parked car. Get a hotel somewhere. Or Craigslist is your friend for this, as all the hotels are probably booked up. As a big dude walking around unfamiliar streets late at night by yourself, you are a target in some parts of town.

A lot of the fun stuff is uptown anyways, not even close to the Quarter. I recommend checking out the parades uptown, then later head to the Quarter if you want to see the drunk tourists.

Having lived in New Orleans for a few years, it is a lot of fun. Except for some areas of the French Quarter, and certainly Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras is actually a family friendly event. My kids enjoyed it and we sure will miss it (we moved away last summer).
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:39 PM   #35
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Aaron - I've never been to NO but it's on my future bucket list. A few ideas before your trip......

Craigslist - post a few ads and see if anyone wants a ride to/from your destination in exchange of gas money. Also, post/review ads for a place to stay during your visit in NO and/or FL.

Couchsurfing.org - never tried it, but heard a few people talking about it. It could be an option for a place to crash in NO and/or FL, or in between.

Good luck.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:05 AM   #36
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New Orleans is a interesting place to see but to do it the way you are contemplating is slightly crazy . I think you are way underestimating the crowds and the dangers . Consider waiting until you can do this in a reasonable fashion . The same goes for the two months in Florida.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:28 PM   #37
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I'd agree with the suggestion to work on Couchsurfing for some places to stay along the way. You'll get to meet folks who live where you are visiting, and they are usually quite interesting people. I have a friend who has hosted and been hosted many times through the site.
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Old 01-15-2013, 10:30 PM   #38
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You might want to rethink your plans...

From personal experience, skip Mardi Gras, and the first 2 weekends in May is the Jazz & Heritage Festival. That's the real party!
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