Saturday, October 04, 2008

Savannah Is Cool

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K and I got into Savannah fairly late Friday night. After K got home from some out-of-town training and got herself packed (I'd already packed my stuff) and packed E's weekend bag for his stay with my parents and sister, we dropped off E and headed off to Georgia's first city. Our hotel was down on Bay St. (the street actual traffic uses that parallels River Street on the inland side, River St. being Savannah's version of Bourbon St. in New Orleans.

Actually, for those who haven't been to Savannah before, the New Orleans comparison is pretty apt (even to the fact that in the poorer neighborhoods outside of the historic district can be a little on the violent side). The historic district bordering the river is about the same age as New Orleans, and River St. and the nearby sections of the historic district are a lot like the French Quarter in the Big Easy, although Savannah's historic district is a little less homogeneous. The French quarter looks like it's all the same age. Savannah's district has everything from Colonial to Art Deco and fairly modern architecture with every other block turning into a square full of ancient live oaks.

One cool feature the two cities share is the open container law. In the historic district, you can walk into any bar or restaurant, order a beer or other alcoholic drink in a plastic cup and walk out the door with it. I'm sure state law would kick in if you should get in your car at this point, but as long as you stay out of vehicles, you can go anywhere in the historic district (one of the largest on the National Historic Landmark Districts listing) sipping your drink. Actually, unlike New Orleans, Savannah's riverside district isn't just bars and clubs and seems to be a good bit less about rapid acquisition of a drunken state in mass. Because of this, the bars in Savannah tend to have a better beer selection than what I remember on Bourbon St., where Corona seemed to be about as exotic as it got. Seriously, the Le Bons Temps Roule, where we went way off the French Quarter to hear some blues band sing about pot and eat sausages soaked in barbecue sauce on white bread, they had a respectable selection of beer. Back on Bourbon Street, it all went to what could be sold cheaply and in large quantities. The bars in Savannah are more like Le Bons Temps. Even the more meat-market like bars will at least carry stuff like Sweetwater and Sierra Nevada. We even went to a pool hall once that carried Rogue Old Crustacean on tap. That was a surprise.

Just avoid the place around St. Patrick's Day when all the rednecks from my part of the world flood into Savannah to drink Green beer, get pissed, and fall into the Savannah River. It's a little crowded and mullety then.

1 comment:

Julie said...

I have never desired a trip to Savannah around St. Patrick's Day or New Orleans around Mardi Gras. Ever.

I have thought about going to New Orleans again, but I'm just not sure I could do it as big as we did in college. Some things are better left as a perfect memory. I have not yet decided if this is one of those things.