Sunday, January 3, 2016

Perfect Gentlemen take to the streets

Click any photo to "embiggen"
Today was the 25th annual Second Line parade by the Social and Pleasure club Perfect Gentlemen, accompanied by Sisters of Change, Extraordinary Gentlemen and Ladies, and the King of Kings.

It was a cold and grey Sunday, and the crowd was assembled at the corner of Canal and Rampart Streets, just across the street from the historic Saenger Theatre.

This was a different scene than our previous Second Line experience; it was in the middle of downtown, not a neighborhood feel, and there were many curious tourists from nearby hotels caught up in the revelry. The parade traveled through broad streets flanked by parking lots and blank-faced sky-scrapers.

The Queens of the King of Kings rode in a white-trellised trailer at the head of the parade, followed by a group of dancing ladies in silver dress, and a brass band togged out in coasts and t-shirts, unlike the impeccable white shirted band that accompanied Black Men of Labor back in October.

Well behind them came the Perfect Gentlemen and Gentlemen Steppers; their feathered raiment in a gorgeous peach and olive color scheme. They had a brass band of their own accompanying them, and these guys rocked solid.

There were assorted tag-along marching clubs, especially the ladies, who wore outrageous hairdo and makeup and bright colored jackets.

A lovely lady in a matching orange ensemble, pouring herself another drink
There were the usual rolling beer and beverage vendors, a couple of truck mounted barbecue grills that leap-frogged along the route.

The lady in the white hat is seriously celebrating!
There were finely-dressed gentlemen and ladies, small kids in softball uniforms, dreadlocked hippies and every kind of folks you could imagine.

The parade swept you up and drew you along. Sometimes you pushed ahead to the front, other times you lagged back behind the band, among the trailing crowds and people pushing bicycles.

We marched under the I-90 bridge, where the music echoed off the concrete overpass like it was amplified, and then onto Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, into the Central City neighborhood,

Here the streets were more intimate; houses just alongside. People had tables set up to sell drinks and food. The long trailer hauling the reigning queens had a hard time negotiating the turn on the corner of Liberty and Jackson, so the bands and clubs danced and played in place for a while while the NOPD got it all sorted out.

Huge ancient live oaks spread their branches over the roadway among the small shotgun houses and storefront churches.

A gentle rain began to fall, and although it didn't dampen the crowd one bit, it and our tired feet were a good signal for us to make our way down to the St. Charles Streetcar, and head back to Canal Street for some food and drink. But I'll leave you with some more views of the afternoon:

A perfectly great day in a culturally rich town. Just another Sunday afternoon in New Orleans. Many more Sundays to come!


cookingwithgas said...

what a place you are living in.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

That looks like so much fun!

smalltownme said...

What a great parade!