Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Mardi Gras will be unrecognizable this year. Most parades have been cancelled. A few have regrouped, creating drive-thru parades. The dancers, bands, and krewe members throwing beads and masks “parade” on either side of a road as parade-goers in cars pass. With no parades, people are taking their house-blinging to the next level this year. Krewe of House Floats, a grassroots effort to give neighbors a safe, socially distanced parade experience, encourages people to use local businesses and artists to help decorate their homes as house floats. I’ve already seen 3 homes done as floats and they totally brightened my days (PHOTOS below).Continue reading
Category Archives: Mardi Gras 2010
My family is from Louisiana for generations on both sides but I didn’t move to New Orleans until late 2009. I’d lived in Maryland, Japan, Washington D.C., Alabama, New York, and almost 18 years in Los Angeles before finally following my heart home. Looking through photos for this blog post, I saw the story of a New Dat becoming a Saints season-ticket-holding Who Dat, a parade-goer becoming a Pussyfooters parade dancer, strangers becoming friends, and a blogger becoming an author. I saw the evolution of my love story with this city, and with the man I met my first year here.
I’d just produced Hell Ride with Quentin Tarantino when I decided to leave Los Angeles. Continue reading →
Whenever I go too long between writing posts for this blog, you can rest assured I’m still writing. When I started this blog in 2009, I wrote all the time – at least a couple posts a week. Then I took a job writing for a local paper and it cut into my blogging time a bit. In 2012, I published my first book, Know Small Parts: An Actor’s Guide to Turning Minutes into Moments and Moments ints a Career with foreword by Richard Dreyfuss and endorsements from Kevin Costner and a dozen other industry luminaries. Next came Lemonade Farm, my first novel. Award winning and New York Times bestselling author Tom Franklin Continue reading →
If you’ve read any of my books, perhaps you’re already familiar with Charlotte Reade, the L.A. actor who returns to her family home in New Orleans to attend a funeral and ends up helping to find a birth mother in The Secret of the Other Mother: A Charlotte Reade Mystery. Charlotte’s search takes her down a path that starts in a laundromat in the 1950’s and winds through costume experts and a burlesque tour before landing her on the infamous Bourbon Street. Set during the Saints’ 2009 march to Super Bowl victory and the most-amazing-Mardi-Gras-ever, many of the details of those events are based on this blog.
Charlotte’s back in this second installment of the local best-seller Charlotte Reade Mystery series, The Hidden Huntsman. Continue reading →
Super Bowl-winning Saint, Will Smith, was murdered last week attempting to save his wife’s life after she’d been shot once in each leg. The second line celebrating his life and return home started at the Half Moon Bar, not far from where Smith lost his life, and was headed to the Ooh Poo Pah Doo Bar in the Treme. James Andrews led the band as Baby Dolls, Saints fans and local-born Saint, Keenan Lewis, gathered to hug, dance, sing, pray and cry. The 4 mile parade started with a moment of silence and some words of hope in front of the memorial that’s been climbing up the fence and spreading across the sidewalk. Continue reading →
My family is from Louisiana for generations on both sides but my path home was winding. After living in Maryland, Washington D.C., Japan, Alabama, New York and Los Angeles, I finally moved to New Orleans in late 2009. And I’ve never been happier. When I got here, the Saints were on their way to winning the Superbowl and the city was vibrating with optimism. Most of the people who would come home after the Storm were back. Katrina money was being spent on street repairs and schools were getting instruments from places like Tipitina’s Foundation. Buildings, homes, t-shirts and more exclaimed, “Believe” and “Renew, Rebuild, Rebirth.” It was intoxicating. Continue reading →
My first year living in NOLA, I was fairly new to Carnival. I hadn’t expected all the tents and barbecue grills and grandparents and the fun adult dance troupes like the Pussyfooters and the 610 Stompers. Now I know people in both groups and get hugs and waves when they pass. I went to nearly 30 parades that first year, mostly alone. But, in a city this friendly, I was never alone for long. Families brought me into their fold, groups of friends and couples too. I learned early to “protect the head,” to try to make eye contact with a thrower to get beads and that kids and industrious adults will find whatever you miss. I also learned to admire someone’s Zulu coconut and started hanging Krewe medallions on my Mardi Gras tree. Continue reading →
The Krewe of Muses, an all-female krewe, began parading in 2000. Like the 9 streets between Felicity and Howard Ave., the krewe is named for the 9 daughters of the Greek God, Zeus. Their over 1100 members are the only female krewe that parades at night and the women of the city get into the spirit donning wigs and tutus to join in the feminine festivity. Continue reading →
The Knights of Chaos is one of the city’s newer krewes. Founded in 2000, their satirical floats are fashioned by fantastic float makers – Royal Artists. Their name comes from the Greek word meaning, “A great confusion out of which a supreme being created all life.” This year’s theme was, “Chaos Eats Out, No Reservations” and though much of the humor is bawdy, the krewe is very family-centered. Continue reading →