Sunday, January 31, 2016

Going to the dogs

Today was the Krewe of Barkus parade in the French Quarter; a canine Mardi Gras. The elected King and Queen of the year are dogs, naturally.

Silly little things

The 'tit Rex parade is a silly little thing. Literally. This odd-ball Mardi Gras parade consists of teeny-tiny floats, all built on the base of a shoe-box. 'tit Rex's name (pronounced "Tee Rex") includes the Cajun diminutive for "petit," and it's a joke, playing on the venerated and famous super-parade, Krewe of Rex.

Though small, the floats are often marvels of engineering, with mechanical figures and flashing lights. The wee, intricate floats are pulled by ropes, their black-clad marchers like so many children with pull-toys. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The devil you know

Mardi Gras version.

The dancer we watched at the Krewe de Vieux parade last weekend reappeared at the Krewe of Chewbacchus parade. We were standing on the porch of a neatly shuttered church building, drinking  Heineken out of red solo cups and watching the costumed wookies, star-troopers, leia-jorettes, and han-solos pass, when she sauntered by, wearing her devil horns and brandishing her prop cross.

"Oh, hey!" I shouted and waved. "We saw you last week. We love you!"

She gave me a big smile and posed for a photo.

I love this town. No matter where you go, you run into people you know.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Strength in Unity

This past Sunday, the Social and Pleasure Club Ladies of Unity rolled their Second Line.

There were two groups of steppers and two brass bands. We caught the parade about halfway along its route, at Toledano and Roman Streets.

Here are some photos.

Young dancer
Neighbor kids dancing on the stairs

Another beautiful Sunday in New Orleans!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Ole sober

My friend Sylvia, me, and Miss Linda
In New Orleans, Yakamein is a neighborhood thing, a dish you get at corner stores or markets. It's a take-out thing, a styrofoam cup of beef broth, jacked up with soy and hot sauce, laden with spaghetti noodles, some meat if you're lucky, and a half a hardboiled egg. No one really knows its origins - food writers and folkways scholars speculate it might have been an adaptation of recipes brought back from the Korean War theatre by returning veterans, or, alternately, an evolved artifact of New Orleans' 19th century Chinatown, once home to railroad laborers.

Today's Yakamein is a rich, salty tincture, buzzing with sodium and the chemical zing of concentrated beef bouillon. It's also known as Ole Sober, because this assertive salty brew is a touted remedy for that aching head and unsettled stomach that follows too much revelry.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Tiny dancer

At the corner of Mandeville and Royal Streets, in the hour before the Krewe de Vieux parade starts, the intersections becomes a stage for an extraordinary dancer.

Tall, tan, toned and supremely self-confident; profane, funny and provocative, she takes command of the crowd. 

Mama spank!

Then she drops the mic,

and moves on. Bitchez.

Views of Krewe de Vieux

There's too much to do this weekend with little time to write about it. Last night there were two parades back to back - Krewe de Vieux and Krewe Delusion, rolling in the Marigny.

Both these parades have adult content, political satire, and utter craziness. Here are some views, with NSFW views beyond the fold.

See the parade with friends!

Photos beyond the fold are NSFW.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Sending them off easy

Last night in the Bywater, the 800 block of Lesseps Street was rocking. When we arrived at Vaughans, on the corner of Lesseps and Dauphine, there was a band playing in the front room. The band was fronted by Butch Trivette, an older man in a wheelchair, playing some serious roots music, country and blues. He was getting a little down and dirty with the tune "Who were you thinking of when we were making love last night?"

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The ghost of Ziggy Stardust

Dozens of Ziggy Stardusts on Royal Street
This weekend, a second line parade was organized in the French Quarter to honor the late David Bowie.  It was a short enough parade; beginning at Preservation Hall, it wound a few blocks down to the Mississippi riverbank, then returned to the streets of the quarter to end at the night club One Eyed Jack's,

We were in the Quarter that day for celebration of our own, and to do some frivolous shopping. Mardi Gras is coming up and we need festival attire! It seemed like the perfect thing to do - buy silly stuff to wear, then parade through the streets and end with a drink or two. This time of year, everyone breaks out their best decorations, and the streets are glittering with purple, gold and green.

What a handsome dude!
We checked out the art galleries, and then had some lunch, Then we did more window shopping.

I was thinking of a costume in green, but I happened to have a red dress. So I bought a hat. What do you think?

Then we stopped in for a Pimm's Cup at the Court of the Two Sisters, an old-school Creole restaurant. I remember eating here with my parents the first time I ever came to this city when I was around eight or nine years old.

The Bowie second line parade would pass just outside the restaurant on Royal Street, so we found a place on the sidewalk and watched the gathering crowd.

The crowd began to build. We could hear the music and see the police lights, but it was impossible to see anything but other revelers.

Standing on the corner, we heard the parade pass us by, and never saw a bit of it!! There didn't seem to be a point in following it, so we changed plans.

It was good people-watching, but a French 75 in Antoines Hermes Bar seemed a better idea. Don't you agree?

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Undefeated Divas

Click any image to "embiggen"
The annual second line for the social and pleasure club Undefeated Divas, Men and Kids rolled today through the Treme.

This time, it was the ladies' chance to shine.

These ladies are bad-asses
Here's some nice photos.

Yes, ma'am.

The gents are welcome, too.

Girls, you go!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Mud bugs

Vaughans Lounge is kind of a magical place. You show up there, belly up to the bar for a $5 glass of wine or a $4 beer, and after a while someone might nudge you and say, "you know, they got a pot of chile over there." Or "Stick around, they doin' a crab boil. It's gonna come out in a minute." 

We showed up today and there was a stack of styrofoam food containers near the back bar, and after a while, the bartender, Krinkle, let us know they were full of steamed crawfish. "It's for the drag show later tonight," she said, "but these are ready now." 

We got a container of about thirty or so perfectly steamed crawfish. Our friend Ronald Lewis showed us how to eat them - break off the heads and suck the fat and juice out of them, then peel and eat the tail meat. A couple of bar-stools over, our friend L.J. was working through another big container of crawfish. 

The chef is Chris, who's been affiliated with the bar for decades. He makes chile and sloppy joes and spaghetti and red beans and rice and steamed crabs whenever the spirit moves him and the bar is full of customers.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New friend

Baby blue bike in the Bywater. I think I'll call her Bluebell.

Crossing St.Claude.
A sweet ride.  Thanks to Megan at Gerken's Bike Shop in the Marigny.