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Hangover Observations from TOTC 2013: Part I

Carousel Bar.
Carousel Bar.
Photo: Facebook

Another Tales of the Cocktail has come and gone, leaving us with just a little bit of summer left before the city's school zones once again transform into sticky speed traps and the Weather Channel once again runs its annual horror movie special, otherwise known in the rest of the country as hurricane season coverage. In a lot of ways, Tales has become a sort of 'last hurrah' for summer partying in New Orleans (emphasis on the 'hurrah'), and this year was no exception.

Other than the Wednesday morning spectacle of a thorough Bourbon Street sweeping, few images say, "The party's over" quite like this shot, tweeted by the Tales folks themselves, of empty booze-boxes being hauled out of the Hotel Monteleone. By all accounts (and there are plenty circulating the internets today), this year's installment of Tales was a glass

· The Hotel Monteleone was a beehive of activity, with people zipping around the lobby searching for directions to their next Tales presentation, or mobbing the Carousel Bar for a mid-morning to-go order. The best way to figure out who was from out of town? Watching people sit at the bar, look around dazed after a few minutes and ask their immediate neighbor, "Hey, um, are we moving?"

· Tales tends to instill an outsized drinking ambition in most visitors, so, by the time Saturday rolls around, pretty much everyone is reeling and pretty much nobody wants to admit it, least of all a photographer I sat next to at Mandarine Napoléon's Imperial Breakfast. With plenty of breakfast cocktails to choose from, he ordered a bourbon neat, took two sips, and surrendered faster than the French at Waterloo.

· Speaking of the French at Waterloo (and rough segues), did you guys know that Napoleon Bonaparte didn't care that much for booze? You'd think he would have developed a habit, especially after that business in Russia, but he never did like the taste of liquor with one notable exception: he indulged in the occasional brandy, flavored, according to the legend propagated by Mandarine Napoléon frontman Marc de Kuyper, with some Sicilian oranges.

· It's official?girls are better than boys, and it only took a cocktail challenge to prove it.

· On Thursday night, the Joy Theater was transformed into, well, into this:

Heard on the street outside the Joy Theater: "Dude, I think something's happening at the Joy."

· Walking all the way to The Sazerac Bar seems like a great idea, until the long walk back to the Tales epicenter. It's funny that no one seemed to learn that lesson since last year.

· All Tales Coverage [-ENOLA-]