Gaming · Life · Travel

Bourbon, Birthdays, and Vampires

Or: My Wild Week(end) in New Orleans.

Bourbon Street 2016
Bourbon Street during a weekday. That’s my poofy head on the bottom right!

Long time no see! So I just got back from NOLA (short for New Orleans, Louisiana) a week ago. I had spent six days in the city, partially as a vacation for my birthday but also for some business and a convention. I spent 99% of my time in the French Quarter as our hotel was on the corner of Canal and Bourbon (the very nice Astor Crowne Royal). There was much good food and good company, especially as a few of my friends came for my birthday and the convention (The Grand Masquerade, a celebration of the 25th Anniversary for Vampire the Masquerade).

Aiyee! Yes, I am a nerd! The Grand Masquerade is a convention, part of the Masquerade by Night conventions by By Night Studios, focusing mostly on LARPs (Live Action Roleplaying Games) and White Wolf and Onyx Path Tabletop RPGs. All I can say is that it was a very good time, the entire week, and if you happen to enjoy White Wolf-related LARPs, it’s something to really consider. The Onyx Path people are very nice and so are the White Wolf folks (or so I hear). I myself connected with Rich Thomas, owner and CEO of Onyx Path (he had sent me a–very kind–rejection letter for a job application on my birthday, haha!) and he was very nice and supportive. Bill Bodden, who I chatted with more at the OP booth, was splendid and didn’t mind I was too broke to buy their lovely books (hehe). The By Night Studios staff were also very friendly, even when tired (justifiably so). There were so many people I wish I had had the chance to speak to!

New Orleans, also, is a great place to visit. I highly suggest the Upperline Restaurant! It’s a bit of a trek from the French Quarter, but the trolley ride down St. Charles is cheap and very scenic. The plantation style architecture is beautiful beyond reason and the people all very friendly. The owner of Upperline is a sweet and wizened woman who took great care of us. Nevermind the wonderful food! Worthy of four stars, if not more! Every time I come to New Orleans, I always find a new and wonderful place. If you’re looking for cheap and wonderful creole, Cajun Mike’s is a wonderful small spot just outside the French Quarter.

But back to the convention! My involvement was mostly as part of the larp organization, One World by Night. The staff did their best and everyone had a great time. Though we only had two nights for our organization’s Vampire the Masquerade games, it was a very good experience and, given the short notice, we had a good turnout. Better still, we were able to use the extra time at the convention to experience more of the con and also the city! That’s not a bad tradeoff at all. There were always other larps to try and the biggest organizations in the United States were represented across the board, in addition to By Night Studios’ own games and White Wolf’s introduction to Nordic-style larps. I didn’t have a chance to experience the other larps, but I did see the sets and they were just beautiful and the people all too wonderful.

I was going to write something philosophical but time has just passed me and I have nothing to say at the moment. My mind is swimming with the next ideas, the next bit of prose. Until next time!

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