Parades, Festivals, Saints and Treme

Is there another city where 4 parades cross your path by 6pm? It’s not even Mardi Gras, but Saturday was one of those days. There’s nothing like hearing a brass band heading your way, running to door and finding a birthday girl leading a second line, or the talented kids of The Roots of Music marching past or an endless stream of women in neon-lit hats or poodle skirts passing by. The city was hopping this weekend with the Treme Creole Gumbo Fest, Ladyfest, the Falcons getting their asses kicked at the Dome and Veteran’s Day doings. Good thing so much of it passed in front of our door since we were nursing a change-of-season cold and barely left the house.

Ladyfest sponsores the city’s only all-women walking parade with over 25 women’s groups including: Sirens, Lady Buckjumpers, Pussyfooters, Camel Toe Lady Steppers, Bearded Oysters, Lady Rollers, Jazzy Ladies, Muff-a-Lottas and more. Other activities included spoken-word poetry, a discussion of women in the Bible, book signings and lots of wonderful music from women.

The people who did venture out last weekend were treated to free concerts, festival food, and a great match-up at the Superdome. Grammy winners Rebirth Brass Band played in Champions Square before the game. I can only imagine how fun it was to sing and dance to Saints optimism anthem Do it Again in an ocean of black and gold clad fans. Before the game, we did make it to Armstrong Park to pick up some early lunch from the Treme Creole Gumbo Fest. Baby Boyz Brass Band was onstage as we gathered food from several booths including: Fried Catfish with Potato Salad ($7) and Andouille & Sausage Gumbo ($6) from Dunbar’s Creole Cooking as well as  Shrimp with Roasted Corn and Cheddar Cheese Grits from Brocato’s Eat Dat ($7). During halftime, I ran back for a helping of Banana Bread Pudding ($4) from Miss Linda’s Creole Catering (by far, the longest line at the fest) and Peach Cobbler ($4) from Olivier’s Creole Restaurant. Treme Brass Band was on the stage and, though I danced the whole time I was in line, I’ll admit it was odd to see them without our beloved Uncle Lionel. Then I raced back to watch the Saints defeat the undefeated Falcons. Who Dat!?!

The weekend ended with the latest installment of HBO’s Treme. For those of you who wondered why there were baggies filled with water hanging around the patio at the Parkway Bakery and Tavern, the baggies, each containing a penny, are thought to keep flies away. Though some say it’s an old wives’ tale, the idea is that the water refracts light confusing the thousands of eyes on a common fly. At the very least, it can’t hurt.

Kim Dickens‘ “Janette” finally opened her restaurant and served a table of NOLA culinary royalty including: John Besh, Susan Spicer, Donald Link, Scott Boswell, Wayne Baquet and JoAnn Clevenger. I’ve been privileged enough to have eaten food by 4 of these magnificent chefs but Upperline‘s  Miss JoAnn gave us more than an amazing culinary experience, she told us stories of New Orleans in days gone by and local characters like Ruthie the Duck Girl then gave us a tour of her vast art collection (mostly for sale).

Seeing Sonny Landreth on the show brought me right back to my first day of my first Jazz Fest when I saw him play for the first time. Of Landreth, Eric Clapton once said, he is “probably the most underestimated musician on the planet and also probably one of the most advanced, and it puts me to shame.”

NOLA native Donna Duplantier‘s “Renee Dufossat” made another appearance in a scene with my character’s ex-husband, David Morse’s “Colson.” Like many local actors on the show, Donna can trace her New Orleanian roots back to the 1800’s. (My brother has traced our own roots in New Orleans back to the 1700’s). Even “reality” shows don’t have casting this authentic.

If you don’t already know, Steve Zahn’s “Davis McAlary” is based on a real guy named Davis Rogan who sometimes appears in the show. Maybe you think all the quirkiness in the show is just to keep things interesting, but the people of New Orleans are at least as colorful as the characters attempting to capture them. The actual Davis can apparently be a real pain in the ass sometimes and the show’s reference to the sign hanging over the bar is just as real. After an incident involving Rogan, the owner of d.b.a. had a sign made that read, “If your name is Davis Rogan, please leave.” When I moved here in 2009, most bars and restaurants and some stores had a similar sign, “Be nice or leave.” Yep – sums it up.

I love how Treme keeps bringing my memories to me and shining light on the unique beauty and complexity of this city.

3 Comments

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

3 responses to “Parades, Festivals, Saints and Treme

  1. Pingback: List of Songs for Season 3 of Treme

  2. Thank you for mentioning Olivier’s Creole Restaurant! We had such a wonderful time and we’re glad you did too!

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