Out visits Bywater



This website inadvertently turned into the city's archivist for Internet idiocy. Today's submission: Out's city guide for New Orleans, an alternate universe in which Plessy v. Ferguson was a Reagan-era triumph and a bar that opened last year saved the "unmoored" people of the 9th Ward — either the "end of the world" or "beginning of a new one."

I am the first person in the room to groan loudly at tired "dey stealin' our cultcha" bullshit, which often is just xenophobia wearing a Saints T-shirt, but this is just pure ignorance and insult. The self-righteous arguments over cultural preservation (that seemingly only take place on Twitter and not where it matters), as if it's a thing that can be jeopardized by whimsical cocktails, will likely have a field day with the Out piece, but for the wrong reasons.

It's not just about the major factual error in the New Orleans timeline. (It's just a typo, but still.) What irks me most about the whole "new New Orleans" mentality is how it remains blissfully unaware of the city as a whole. It falls for what they see as the city's seemingly detached sense of the world. I don't care what anyone does here, to be honest. Want to open your dream business selling vintage sex toys? Go for it, dude. Build a house that's a ball pit? Live the dream, my man. What irks me is dressing that up as some kind of agent of salvation. New Orleans needs saving pretty much 24 hours a day, and it's not up to someone's bathroom art project to do it. Don't let that stop you from doing it. But Out perpetuates the idea that New Orleans begins and ends in someone's fantastical idea of whatever neighborhood they moved into. In New Orleans, can "business" just be that, or is tied to "big important cultural moment"?

The plans were controversial at the time — comments surrounding New Orleans alt-weekly The Gambit's coverage range from praise for Booty's "salvation" of the neighborhood to criticism of "hipster pretense" pushing out natives — but Booty's has in short order become an anchor in a formerly unmoored neighborhood

If Out believes Booty's is somehow the savior of an "unmoored" neighborhood, I'd hate for them to tell me what Cure did for Uptown.

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