Mardi Gras Is Coming!

Every year, just as the rest of the nation is winding down after the 1-2-3 punch of Thanksgiving-Christmas/Hanukkah-New Year’s, we in New Orleans are just getting started. The festivities begin on Twelfth Night with the Phunny Phorty Phellows riding the streetcar down St. Charles, heralding the start of Carnival season. The night is also Joan of Arc’s birthday which is celebrated with a parade through the French Quarter. Though not everyone attends events that day, most offices (and many homes) commemorate the season with King Cake. In the last few years, King Cake has become the focus of parties with people bringing cakes from their favorite bakeries and sampling them all.

In our home, Twelfth Night’s passing means turning the Saints’ Who Dat wreath into a Mardi Gras wreath and switching the tree decorations from Christmas to Carnival. Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Charity, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2017, parade

Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes & Culture

I was delighted to attend the opening of Carl Mack’s Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes & Culture this weekend. It was the perfect way to kick off the first day of Carnival, especially since they had plenty of King Cake on hand. The walls displayed vibrant photos, mostly by Carlos Gonzalez, celebrating the year-round costuming culture of New Orleans. There were even a couple of photos from our wedding in a display book. I especially enjoyed when the photos were placed next to the actual costumes they captured.

The fancifully displayed costumes are the real stars of the show. The majority come from the personal collection of Carl Mack Continue reading

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Christmas in New Orleans 2016

This is my 8th Christmas in New Orleans. But not really since I’ve been coming here to visit family my whole life. More accurately, this is my 8th Christmas tree in New Orleans. If you know me or this blog, you already know I make most of my ornaments using polymer clay, beads and crystals from an old chandelier. I’ve been far too busy to even blog much less make ornaments, but I did manage to add a few to the collection. New additions include my Pussyfooter uniform from the 2015 Krewe of Jingle parade and our wedding day in 2014.

New Orleans is always beautiful but Christmas can add another layer. It’s one of my favorite times of year to walk around. Homes in the historic Garden District use a lot of boughs and bows. The French Quarter tends to use a lot more lights and whimsy. Continue reading

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Krewe of Jingle Parade 2016

The Canal Street Home for the Holidays Krewe of Jingle Parade features dance troupes, stilt-walkers, marching bands, majorettes, floats, Santa and local favorite – Mr. Bingle. Organized by the Downtown Development District, the parade rolled for the 9th year, attracting locals and tourists – many in festive costumes of their own. Krewe of Jingle is one of my favorite parades to dance in with my “pink sisters,” the Pussyfooters. Continue reading

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Krewe of Boo Parade 2016

 The Krewe of Boo parade gets bigger and better every year. “Chief Spookster” Brian Kern adds a “greener” point of view to his family legacy with locally-made throws and food items like Pralinettes from Aunt Sally’sChee Wees from Elmer’s Fine Foods and PJ’s Coffee packs. This year’s parade featured king Morten Andersen, legendary kicker for the Saints, and queen Trixie Minx, local burlesque diva. Their floats led a procession of 14 separated by brass bands like Soul Brass Band, marching bands from local schools like Renew Cultural Academy and 30 carnival marching groups including Tap Dat, Camel Toe Lady Steppers, Sirens, Krewe Des Fleurs, Skinz’n’Bonez and the Pussyfooters! Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Local Cuisine, parade, the Saints

Louisiana Comic Con

The Louisiana Comic Con invited me to it’s second showing in Lafayette this weekend. I’m still fairly new to the convention circuit. There seems to be some skill involved in knowing how to make a fan’s experience fun and memorable and I’m still learning what to write on my different photos. I may not have always had the perfect inscription, but I genuinely enjoyed meeting so many film and TV lovers. And as a Comic Con, there were many people dressed as cosplay characters – which was a lot of fun. Suicide Squad‘s Harley Quinn was definitely a favorite. Hosting the Con at the Cajundome Convention Center in Lafayette meant that after cosplay characters, the second most popular “look” was Saints clothes. It may have been the Saints’ bye week, but the Who Dat Nation doesn’t take the week off from showing their devotion. Continue reading

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Street Musicians – Doreen Ketchens

The heartbeat of New Orleans is music. Between the music clubs, parades, second lines, festivals and buskers, it’s nearly impossible to go a whole day in the French Quarter without hearing live music. For everyone from Trombone Shorty, who’s played in the White House twice, to Grammy winners Rebirth Brass Band, their journey started in the streets of the French Quarter. They stood on corners performing behind a pail, an upturned hat or an open guitar case hoping for some financial gratitude. One of my most popular posts of all time is about violinist and guitarist, Tanya and Dorise. Another of the city’s most beloved street performers is Doreen Ketchens and her band, Doreen’s Jazz New Orleans. Continue reading

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