Usually, Fat Tuesday – Mardi Gras in French – splits the city into parade-goers and costumers. Parade-goers attend the Krewe of Zulu and Krewe of Rex parades, with diehards staying for the long procession of truck parades – all of which were cancelled for COVID. We’re costumers so though alcohol sales were forbidden in the French Quarter, and our day started at 28 degrees, we masked up and masqued up and ventured out. Continue reading
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“Yardi Gras” is the 2021 socially distanced version of Mardi Gras, where instead of crowding around floats throwing toys and beads, we’ve been wandering the city on foot and by car to see house floats – thousands of homes and businesses throughout the city decorated as parade floats. 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. In the search for these fun and fabulous house floats, I’ve already covered St. Charles Ave., Magazine Street, the Irish Channel, Mid-City and the Garden District and Lower Garden District.
The historic French Quarter doesn’t have the luxury of large front lawns to take on their Yardi Gars displays, so lots of people chose to decorate their wrought iron balconies. My favorite is probably the Krewe of Sub-Krewe house with it’s life-sized paper mache 610 Stomper and Pussyfooters dancers. Continue reading →
St. Charles is famous in part for being the grand avenue the Uptown parades roll during Carnival in New Orleans. This time of year, the live-oak-and-manor-home lined avenue is normally crowded with ladder chairs topped with children, ice chests and barbecues, and throngs of festively dressed parade-goers snatching beads, toys and cups from the air as massive, colorful floats roll by carrying dozens of Krewe members scattering throws. Mardi Gras is an act of love and festivity with the members of the various Krewes paying for everything from the throws, floats, bands and dancers to the police and clean-up. But COVID interrupted that act of generosity.
Not to be undone, the city has embraced “Yardi Gras.” Thousands of homes and businesses throughout the city (and even the world) are decorated as parade floats. Continue reading →
In the search for fabulous and festive house floats, I’ve already covered Magazine Street, the Irish Channel, Mid-City and the Lower Garden District. New Orleans has been celebrating Mardi Gras in a safe, socially distanced way with City Park’s drive-thru Floats in the Oaks stationary parade and “Yardi Gras,” thousands of homes and businesses throughout the city decorated as parade floats. Krewe of House Floats promoted this safe parade concept, encouraging people to use local businesses and artists to help decorate their places as house floats, or go DIY, then register on their map. The effect is the city basically looks like a drive-thru parade. Continue reading →
New Orleans has been celebrating Carnival in a safe, socially distanced way with City Park’s drive-thru Floats in the Oaks stationary parade and “Yardi Gras,” thousands of homes and businesses throughout the city decorated as parade floats. Krewe of House Floats, a grassroots organization promoting this safe parade concept, encouraged people to use local businesses and artists to help decorate their places as house floats, or go DIY, then register on their map.
I’ve already covered Magazine Street, the Irish Channel and Mid-City. The next neighborhood we meandered in search of Mardi Gras merriment was the Lower Garden District. I loved the giant tropical fish of the Realm of Poseidon house. Continue reading →
Super Sunday is easily one of my favorite days of the years. The magnificent Mardi Gras Indians show off the plumed and embellished suits they spent the year carefully designing and crafting. Elaborately beaded panels often portray tales of fighting and loss. One family told the story of the wife’s battle with illness and her husband carrying her through the fight. One of the children in the Red Flag Hunters was adorned with sparkly images of Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and friends. Continue reading →
Between Mardi Gras Indians’ Super Sunday, Congo Square Festival, the Class Got Brass battle of the bands, the Pelicans game and the live filming of Tyler Perry’s The Passion, they was plenty to do today but, for once, the choice was easy. The Indians’ elaborately hand-beaded and feathered suits, weighing up to 150 pounds, costing $3000 or more and taking up to a year to design, construct and bead are the most beautiful suits in the world. (For more about the history and traditions of the Indians, click HERE). The parade opened with the Hot 8 Brass Band and the Lady Buck Jumpers then became a stream of rich plumes and intricately beaded stories of the soul. Continue reading →
For me, one of the benefits of working in film and TV is getting to judge contests. So far, I’ve judged a beauty pageant in Mississippi, the Royal Sonesta’s Greasing of the Poles and last year’s gumbo contest at Valero. As much as I enjoy beautiful women, I was thrilled to be asked back to Valero this year. Gumbo, the official dish of Louisiana, is my favorite metaphor for New Orleans – a melting pot where each ingredient added is meant to retain its original flavor. Even the history of the dish is a trip through the many cultures that have come to this city and the traditions they’ve added to our stew. Continue reading →
If you’ve read this blog’s ABOUT page, then you know that one reason I moved to New Orleans after 18 years in Los Angeles was to find my mate. “I followed my heart here. My gut told me that everything I was looking for, denying myself while I furthered my career, was right here where I always wanted to be.” I met Andy at the Lost Love Lounge (yes, really) 8 months after moving here and we’ve been slowly walking toward the altar ever since. A few weeks ago, we finally tied the knot – New Orleans-style with everything from DancingMan504 and The Roots of Music to the Pussyfooters and “The Dude” (okay, he’s not New Orleans, but he abides everywhere). Continue reading →
For thousands of years, people have been celebrating the arrival of spring with festivals and celebrations. In a city that celebrates everything from tomatoes to Jazz, of course there’s an entire organization to celebrate spring – the New Orleans Spring Fiesta Association. Founded in 1937, the non-profit’s mission is, “To preserve and share the cultural heritage of New Orleans, to promote the preservation of the region’s history and historic architecture, and to educate others regarding the importance of that history.”