Friday, February 12, 2016

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Under the Bridge

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On Mardi Gras Day, you don't want to be driving on Claiborne Avenue in the 7th Ward of New Orleans. That's the lesson I learned, when we headed up toward the Mother-in-Law Lounge to find the Mardi Gras Indians.

People were out in the neutral ground underneath the 10 freeway, spilling out into traffic lanes and crossing indiscriminately from road to sidewalk. Raucously buzzing four-wheeled ATVs raced up and through the traffic, popping wheelies, spinning, pivoting around.

All on a Mardi Gras day

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We woke up Mardi Gras morning without much of a plan, only a few ideas of what we wanted to do.

First was to get dressed. What to wear, what to wear?

Then we made our way to a location deep in the Bywater, no address, just a vague description. It was here, we'd been told, that the St. Anne parade would stop, and costumed revelers would gather before moving onward into the French Quarter to meet the Rex parade.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Using the ole bean

Lundi Gras is the Monday before Mardi (Tuesday) Gras. And in New Orleans, folks traditionally cook red beans and rice on Monday.

So it only makes sense that there would be a parade on Lundi Gras that celebrates the humble bean.

It's the Red Bean Parade! Everybody creates costumes by gluing dried beans on their clothes. The possibilities are endless!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Throw me somethin' mister!

 It's a brief but intense infatuation; a deep and yearning need. You vie with others for his attention, pleading.

Yes, humiliating as it may be, you even beg him.

You try to catch his eye - that cold, appraising eye. It assesses you, determining your worth. Do you deserve what he has to give you?

But he moves on, heeding the blandishments of others beyond you.

You fix your hopes on the next one that comes along.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Parading Uptown

The Mystic Krewe of Hermes is one of the old line Mardi Gras krewes, founded in 1938 by a group of businessmen. Their parade has been rolling on the Friday before Mardi Gras since then, their floats decked out with neon and accompanied by marchers bearing flambeaux, or flaming torches.

We finished up dinner at Pascal's Manale restaurant, and when we came out on Napoleon Avenue, we could see the parade moving on St. Charles Avenue a couple of blocks down. We headed down there, dodging around the construction barriers for the seemingly endless storm sewer project that's been tearing up Napoleon for months.

French Quarter high jinks

When most tourists think of New Orleans, they think of the French Quarter, the oldest part of the city. Full of bars, strip clubs, souvenir stores, and old-line Creole restaurants, the place is a magnet for bachelorette parties, spring-break frat boys, gay pride gatherings and vampire enthusiasts. With a liberal attitude toward public drinking, honky tonk music, and taking things to excess, the place is a people-watching Nirvana on a regular day. During Carnival season you can double that.

Friday, February 5, 2016

My haul

Muses rolls Uptown. Photo by Christopher Waterman
Last night was the Krewe of Muses parade Uptown. I was in class, so I couldn't go, but my friends Chris, John and Donna went.

Donna came back with a big haul of throws she caught. There are beads and flashing light-up things and a stack of cups. She even got a Muses tote bag to keep it all in!

This is the haul she generously shared with me!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Shelter from the storm

It had been threatening to storm all day. We were sitting on the front porch late at night when she showed up.

A stray pug, no collar. Out late at night, alone.

Who is she?

There's a storm brewing. I want to shelter her. We are keeping here over night until we can find her owner.

UPDATE: This morning I went out with her on a leash, and there was a woman stapling flyers on the phone pole. As soon as she saw the dog, she let out a cry of joy.

The dog is named Tulip and she's our neighbor around the corner on Royal Street. But last night, she had a great pajama party with Jack and our house guest Noodles.