This week my housemate and I decided that we missed clubbing. Back in Europe (and maybe also the rest of America?) a night out isn’t usually spent in bars and live music venues, but is more often Jager-fuelled dancing in a club. I am still only twenty so our options here are limited – we decided on Ampersand for our first venture into the New Orleans club life. This decision was our first mistake.
I began to be wary of Ampersand the moment we arrived - we were greeted with a queue of boys in baseball caps and semi-fluorescent polo shirts. My first impression wasn’t improved when one group of these boys began to run up to every passing car asking for cigarettes and yelling abuse at random girls as they drove by. We refused to be deterred though – maybe it would be nicer inside? We’d just avoid those guys and it would be fine, right? Just as we had decided that we were definitely going to brave it and go in, a girl was led to the door in a bra and skirt. I say led because there was literally a man leading her – she was wearing a dog collar with a chain attached and a suited older man was pulling her behind him.
I’m pretty sure that if we weren’t living in New Orleans we would have run home at this point (well, at least run to a nice normal bar - preferably one with a dress code). But two months of living in this city has desensitized me to weirdness – obviously I realised that this couple were a little odd, but I rationalized that in NOLA, where would we go were there weren’t people who were pretty weird? So we stayed.
All I can say of the inside of the club was that I spent my time there torn between desperately wanting to leave and being in drink-aided hysterics over the antics of my fellow clubbers. There were solitary men dancing (all with a lot more than alcohol in their system), a group of guys fully attired in 1940’s suits and trilby hats, another in high-res vests and a few girls who seemed to think it was highly appropriate to lean against walls and shake their as*es at every passer-by. I can also inform any girl who has danced in a repulsive way with a guy she has no interest in that she have never experienced unwanted male attention until a man has literally thrust his way across an entire dance floor to you.
So basically our trip to Ampersand was a bit of a failure – it was nothing like European clubs at all. Secretly I’m still holding out hope that we went on a really bad night (it looks fine in the pictures), or that Republic is good, or that there is a secret under-twenty-one club that is totally amazing that I just haven’t heard of yet. But until then there’s always Tipitinas…and House of Blues…and Frenchmen Street…and Maple Street and…ok, fair enough, why was I so set on finding a club when I’m in a city full of such amazing night-life? I guess I’ll just stop moaning then…