I’ve been wondering for awhile now what my 500th post would end up being about. Turns out it’s an event I’ve never attended before – Tales of the Cocktail. What began as a cozy group of cocktail lovers in 2002 has ballooned into the spirit industry’s standard providing 5 days of over 200 events including tastings, networking events, parties, seminars and my event – a parade! I was already overheating just putting on my wig, corset and boots when my fellow Pussyfooter, Christine Miller, called to see if I’d caught the bus that just pulled away from a block down the road from me. I started running when she said she’d try to stop the bus at the next stop. She ran to catch it from 1/2 block away and I did my best with my 2 block sprint – in head-to-toe pink burlesque uniform.
Luckily, the bus caught the red light and I made it before it turned again. I had already been feeling aware that I would be walking a city street by myself in the middle of a weekday and taking the bus to the French Quarter. So, imagine how aware I was of the spectacle of having run all long-legged in hot pink fishnet stockings and landing in front of a bus full of bewildered tourists. The first guy I passed on my way to sit with Christine (my hero), held his phone up and said, “I got the whole thing!”
I’ve gone from a transplant returning to her roots to a full-fledged local to one of those things people post on YouTube with hashtags like #OnlyinNola. I’m local color. At least for anyone in those shops and restaurants I ran past today. When we reached the Hotel Monteleone, we breezed past Chris Owens. She gave us an approving smile and nod and I was thrilled to have the blessing of our city’s Grande Dame of burlesque.
DancingMan504 led the Sandeman-sponsored parade on its circuitous route through the Quarter. We danced to Big Fun Brass Band down a block or 2 of Canal Street – in the middle of a weekday. There’s a lot we’re willing to snarl up traffic over around here. When we reached the front of the courthouse, we entertained the crowd with a show. First was a gold man who put on a heck of a show on top of a milk crate then really took off when his feet hit the street. Then came a fun retro dance number from the Camel Toe Lady Steppers. Last up was the Pussyfooters Uptown Funk dance. It was hot as Hades and we were in the blazing sun so the crowd could enjoy the shade, but it was so much fun performing for everyone with some of the best women this city has to offer.
Our route took us to 2 bars. At Galatoire’s 33, I wasn’t drinking anything but water so I can’t tell you how good the cocktails were but I did hear they were strong. Luckily, so was their air conditioning. The 2nd bar was Patrick’s Bar Vin where we were treated to canapés and a variety of Sandeman Port-inspired cocktails. Many of our fellow paraders were dressed in the wine’s signature black hat and cape. We milled around their lovely courtyard then called it a day and headed back to the bus.
I’m kind of blown away to have reached my 500th post so I wanted to revisit my first one. Here is an excerpt:
I expected to cry for ten minutes to two hours on my way out of my home for nearly eighteen years. I didn’t. I actually felt a sense of freedom as the tangled traffic, materialistic masses and disappointed dreamers faded in the rearview. L.A. turns out to be like a boyfriend I stayed with too long after we both knew it was over between us….
I didn’t cry until after the truck crossed the Louisiana State line. I saw a swampy marsh alongside the road, autumnal trees shooting out of the water. Then the tears came, tears of recognition, tears of relief, tears of love. Though I can’t truly know, I imagined it felt like an adopted child looking into her biological mother’s face and seeing herself. Louisiana doesn’t feel like my next boyfriend, it feels like a soul mate.