Unfortunately for Georgia and Texas A&M fans, the inevitable is unavoidable at this point…the Independence Bowl is mere days away and those two fan bases are on the precipice of a sporting and cultural experience like no other. The pageantry, the fanfare, the off chance you may be shot in a drive-by by a someone who appreciates the luxury and dependability that the Buick line of vehicles has to offer. Its the kind of atmosphere these teams and fans dreamt about when the season began.
As the resident expert on the Northwest Louisiana’s premier college football event, I felt I would be doing the Big 12 and SEC fans a disservice if I didn’t point them in the direction of the parts of town where those with child can feel safe to walk the city streets…but I can’t promise anything. So watch your back, and don’t venture out in public without consulting the following:
Where to stay
- The Hilton Convention Center: Out-of-Towners, consider this your Four Seasons. Its probably the only place in town that doesn’t have at least one room where violent crime was once perpetrated. It also features the novelty of rooms that dont open to the outside world, because usually, nothing says welcome to town like a drifter banging on your metal room door at 3 in the morning because he left his stuff in there the night before you got there.
- The Holidome: If the contractors for the Astrodome also built moderately priced hotels, it would look like this. Its cavernous lobby is only accentuated by its florescent 70’s carpeting. This has been the official hotel of many an Independence Bowl participant and, thanks to its proximity to the Pines Road area,its also the unofficial hotel for parking lot robberies.
- Tall Pines RV Park: Sure theres your standard Hampton Inn or LaQuinta in town but why not treat yourself to a little rustic living. Make the trip to Shreveport an adventure by pulling that Prevost tour bus beneath the nestling pines of West 70th Street. The owner claims that the spaces are far enough apart to ensure seclusion and privacy, virtues that are tantamount when you are yelling for help as a suspicious gentleman with a crowbar tries to forcibly enter your camper.
Where to eat
- Superior Grill: The whole reason you come to Louisiana in the first place, the Tex Mex. Make your way to the bar, by force if necessary, and order yourself a Margarita while you wait on what seems likes an endless stream of Ed Hardy shirts and bachelorette parties preventing anyone else from grabbing a seat and having a meal by a reasonable hour.
- Strawns: Come for the startlingly sensible whiteness of the clientel…stay for the pie. Mmmm pie.
- Mr. Jim’s Chicken and Biscuits: A proper Shreveport tailgate for the Indy Bowl is not complete without a harrowing trip into what would equate to a hot drop zone of urban unrest in order to pick up heavily breaded heaven with a side piece of dirty rice.
Where to drink
- Superior Steakhouse: Been looking for a place to wear those new Se7en jeans you got for Christmas and drink a few appletinis with the boys…this is the place for you, fancy pants.
- The Cub: Serving drinks and being the leading cause of emphysema among the fine patrons of the Port City for over 70 years. Theres something to be said for a bar where you can order a drink then turn around and attempt to win back your bar tab immediately on video poker.
- Stray Cats: Above average late night spot with the added bonus of watching actors who are in town filming get beat up and/or tased by local authorities.
Where to gamble
- Horseshoe Casino: Pretty much your standard riverboat gambling experience, but this casino stands head and shoulders above the rest for the people watching opportunities that abound. Venture in to CMT Lounge, adjacent to the casino entrance, at your own fortune and peril to witness the entirety of the modern class system all in one room at the same time.
- El Dorado: It has a WAR gaming table, thats all you need to know.
- All the rest: Rule of thumb, the further away you go from the Texas Street Bridge (aka “The Bridge of Activities” (c) 1998 Snyder News Network), the higher your chance of getting shanked while betting the $2 Yo.
Where all of those singles in your wallet will come in handy
- Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club: Really the only shake joint in town, reasonably priced with the added bonus of potentially seeing someone I grew up with dance on the main stage to Unskinny Bop.
Where you can expect gunplay
- Jewela and I-20: You’re in luck, not only is the street where you are most likely to drug pulled out of your car and beaten, its also the turnoff for Independence Stadium. If thats not killing two birds with one stone, I dont know what is.
- Hollywood: Its just like its famous movie making California namesake…except the explosions and stray gunfire are a little more realistic.
- Cedar Grove: The home of Hurricane Chris and also the home of one of the larger crip and blood populations in the 80’s…so a visit will at least up your street cred.
What about Bossier?
If you cross the river, you do so to your own peril and increased odds of taking a little something home with you that will later require a prescription to get rid of. Nothing good happens in Bossier. Its a lawless place where a woman’s desirableness is determined by the height of her Bumpit and the men are cloaked in failure and Affliction tshirts. I cannot recommend any place whose two main attractions on a Saturday night include cosmic bowling and riding a mechanical bull at a dance club. You go out in Bossier, you are on your own.
For a more proper education, may I suggest you go over to our sister site, As Seen In Shreveport, for proper edification.