“Yardi Gras,” the 2021 socially distanced version of Mardi Gras, has turned houses and businesses throughout New Orleans into parade floats. The grassroots Krewe of House Floats promoted this safe parade concept, encouraging people to use local businesses and artists to help decorate their places, or go DIY, then register on their map. The Krewe’s founder, Megan Boudreaux, lives in Algiers Point and we found her headquarters, the USS House Float. I can’t imagine she realized thousands of people would create house floats as far away as Australia and Abu Dhabi when she first came up with the Krewe.
I’ve already covered the Marigny, the French Quarter, St. Charles Ave., Magazine Street, the Irish Channel, Mid-City, and the Garden District and Lower Garden District. Some of the neighborhoods were more quirky and DIY, others featured professionally crafted spectacles like gargantuan dinosaurs, flowers and bees. Algiers had plenty of both.
Algiers is across the Mississippi from the French Quarter so we rode the ferry. I took it as a good omen when we spotted a pelican while boarding. The first thing I noticed was how many people in Algiers participated in Yardi Gras. There were house floats everywhere we walked. I especially loved when a street would choose a theme like the Lego village and the shark street. One street went with a bubbles theme to honor Ellis Marsalis, who passed last year of COVID. His most famous quote is, “In other places culture comes down from on high. In New Orleans, it bubbles up from the streets.”
We also loved The Birdcage house, the punny Edgar Allen Poe-Boy house and the Schitt’s Creek Rosebud Motel. But we were actually in search of another house – the Pussyfooter house honoring my parade-dancing sisters. It was wonderful – decked out with pink and orange tulle and life-sized cutouts of Pussyfooters in pink and orange corsets and ruffles, wearing masks over their smiles.
People kept putting up houses long after I started photographing neighborhoods so my next post will be house floats from all over the city.