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Monday, January 24, 2005

Mardi Gras Mambo

The Quarter

I have been a bit preoccupied of late with a special someone coming into my life so it isn't a surprise that I completely forgot about the parade I was going to attend Saturday night. A phone call out of the blue with an unfamiliar voice on the other end woke me up with the realization that I was expecting a call from a fellow blogger who intended to meet me in the French Quarter! She told me to meet her and her friends at the Cat's Meow at the corner of Bourbon and St. Peters. I had never been to that bar before but I am very familiar with the corner. I decided to walk across the ferry at Algiers point which takes you to the foot of Canal St. and that's within walking distance of the Quarter. It started to rain while I was on the ferry and was crushed that the parade that night might be postponed but it was just a scattered shower and it stopped 15 minutes later, so I continued on to the quarter. I turned up Bourbon St and as I went the crowd got thicker and thicker the furthr up I went. There were a lot of people in the street and it was slow going at times but interesting to people watch.

The Cat's Meow

I arrived at the bar and made my way in and there was a crush of people inside and loud music and everyone having a great time singing aloud. It's a karaoke bar and it was really crankin' with a fun crowd. I walked around and I knew my blogging friend was going to be wearing a red shirt and after just a few minutes I found her! Her name is Laurie of the blog called "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans" and she had several friends with her that had all come in from Beaumont, Tx for the weekend. They were all nicely dressed in matching hats and shirts, each wearing matching beads as well,what a great idea! We had a great time chatting and meeting each other and we took a few pics you can see here. There were a number of good singers that got up plus there were a few notable locals that obviously came often and sort of ran the show. The best part was when 4 people got up and did the "YMCA" song complete with partial costume, they did a great job and everyone cheered them on. It was getting close to parade time now so I wished Laurie and her nice friends g'bye and headed over to Royal St. one block over from Bourbon and the site of the parade.

Royal St.

Royal St. was even more crowded than Bourbon and I staked myself out at the corner of St. Peters and waited for the parade to pass. I got restless and wandered around a bit after a while and browsed thru a couple tourist gift-T-shirt shops and found a shirt I wanted but they didn't have my size so I moved on. I went back to my spot as soon as I heard the sirens up the street signaling the front of the parade. All the street pictures I took were right near the corner of Royal and St Peters if you're curious, it turned out to be a pretty decent spot, not too jammed with people.

Krewe de Vieux

This Mardi Gras Krewe is totally irreverent and always puts on a great show, it's an all walking parade and the floats are all homemade and horsedrawn. Behind each float were groups of people marching in costumes that followed the theme of each respective float and they always lampoon some ideological subject. This year however they decided to lampoon many subjects and here is an excerpt from their news letter "Le Monde de Merde" translated "The World of Shit":

The Krewe du Vieux’s seventeen subkrewes will present their own biblical, babbling, bawdy,
bodacious, bi-lingual, cunilingual, cuneiform, reform, unrepentant, petulant, penile, papal and highly interrogatory interpretations of the theme. Sub-krewes include the Krewe of C.R.U.D.E., Krewe of Space Age Love, Krewe of Underwear, Seeds of Decline, Krewe of Mama Roux, Krewe of L.E.W.D., Krewe of Drips and Discharges, Krewe of K.A.O.S., Knights of Mondu, T.O.K.I.N., Krewe Rue Bourbon, Krewe de C.R.A.P.S., Krewe of Pan, Krewe du Jieux, Mystic Krewe of Spermes, Krewe of Comatose, and Mystic Krewe of Inane.

As you can see there were a wide variety of subjects and sub Krewes involved.

The Parade

The sirens got closer and then the sound from the marching bands took over the street as there were also small groups of just various musicians loosely organized behind each float, some in costumes and some not. Each float was lit with battery power and were somewhat crudely made but they were still able to portray their lampoon intentions quite well. Here is my favorite float called "Praise the Load" featuring a giant penis spurting into a wine goblet!

"Praise the Load"

Here is another float with a hilarious theme titled "Cock Fighting vs Cock Biting, notice the teeth on the penis!

"Cock Fighting vs Cock Biting"

The parade was disapointingly short but lots of fun to watch and the crowd was very well behaved. I have a few more pictures of the parade and the evening at my photoblog . I had a great time and can't wait till Mardi Gras day. Wish you guys could all be here!!