Category Archives: Charity

Irish Channel Parade 2017

The Mardi Gras parades just ended and already St. Patrick’s festivities have begun. Time again for floats and throws, dance troupes and walking krewes. The major difference is the occasion. And the green. Green beers, green wigs, green beads and glittery green beards abounded. Throws included Irish Spring soap, anything shamrock-shaped and fresh cabbages for soup.

We go to the parade every year but this year attended some of our friend’s parties as well. The spreads included Irish dishes along with crawfish and other local favorites. Continue reading

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

Krewe of Thoth Parade with the Pussyfooters

Sunday was the Pussyfooters last parade of the season, Known as the “children’s parade,” the Krewe of Thoth parade has the longest route of Carnival in order to pass in front of Children’s Hospital. My phone counted 29,000 steps (14 miles). We lined up at 11am and spent our down time visiting with the 610 Stompers, the “Ordinary Men with Extraodinary Moves.” Roux La La rested nearby as the marching bands of De La Salle and John L. McClellan High Schools practiced.

This was my third time parading in 10 days. In between, I’ve been attending parades – and that does require an endurance of it’s own. But whether you’re dancing, twirling a baton, blowing on a giant tuba, walking on stilts or throwing beads from a float, parading is a labor of love that tests commitment and physical limits. Continue reading

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

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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Southern Decadence 2016

Southern Decadence is a 5-day weekend of costumes, parties and parades celebrating the LGBT community. The events attract over 150,000 people and create a nearly $200 million economic impact. The Sunday parade is always the highlight for me. Drag queens, dance troupes, pride groups and other revelers worked with the “Decadence Takes The World” theme in costumes accented with red, white, blue and purple.

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Filed under Charity, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, parade

Louisiana Rain

Though the news has been slow to cover it, you may have heard Louisiana is suffering the worst US flooding since Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast. This is not Katrina (for too many reasons to list) but it is devastating and it’s not even close to over. Here’s a partial listing of places to make donations of goods and/or money. Reminders from my mom – when donating undergarments, remember that many people need larger sizes and remember to buy hair care for every ethnicity. Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, Mama says

Festigals Parade, Mardi Gras World and Food!

I love sharing my city my way but one of the best things about having out-of-town guests is that it can push you to be a tourist in your own city. My mother has been coming to New Orleans throughout her life so we have things we ALWAYS like doing – like getting beignets at Cafe du Monde or snoballs (from my fav – SnoWizard). But we also like exploring new things, even taking a tour. Last week had plenty of both. Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, Culture, decorations and costumes, festival, free events and lagniappe, parade

Car-less in New Orleans

Shortly after moving here, I wrote a blog post about driving in polite and patient New Orleans as compared to traffic-laden road-rage Los Angeles. Driving was so often miserable in L.A., that I did it as little as possible and almost always tried to make it fun – convertible top down, taking winding roads in the hills rather than freeways, music cranked. That could be downright joyous.

New Orleans has SO much less traffic but my little low-to-the-ground ragtop hated the weather here. Floods, sap and sun tore holes in my ragtop, rusted my brakes and rotted the floor. During rainy seasons, enough tiny plants grew around the ragtop for me to joke that the car was a terrarium on wheels. The air conditioning broke the first summer here. And I could only put in 3 gallons of gas at a time. It was okay though – between the streetcars, busses, carpooling and walking, I averaged less than 900 miles a year of driving. Today, I donated the car and am starting my new life as a person without my own wheels. Continue reading

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Filed under Charity, moving, walking