Tag Archives: Laura Cayouette

Krewe of Boo Parade 2021

It’s been over a year and a half since New Orleans hosted a big parade with floats – since Carnival 2020 – so the crowds were out in droves for Brian Kern’s Krewe of Boo Halloween parade. Meters’ bassist George Porter, Jr. served as King, and the Grand Marshal was rapper, producer, DJ Mannie Fresh. I dance with The Pussyfooters, a non-profit body-positive group of over 100 women over-30 in pink corsets, so my only chance to see all the floats and attractions is during the lineup. Continue reading

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Hurricane Ida – Wed. the 1st

We’ve been without power since Sunday. As I said yesterday, life is very simple now. Breakfast today was cereal with juice. We charged our mobile devices at the neighbor’s porch/local-hangout and swapped rumors about where there might be power, gas or ice. A couple more neighborhoods had power and that kept us all optimistic for a reasonable recovery time.

Today’s hunt was for ice. Continue reading

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Hurricane Ida – Tues. the 31st

Life is very simple now. We wake when it’s light out and sleep when it gets dark. I’m a night owl who works until very late most nights so it’s quite an adjustment to get so little regular work accomplished and go to bed when early risers do. 

We eat. Breakfast today was scrambled eggs with softening cheese and defrosting shrimp. We tested the eggs in a cup of water but neither of us could remember if it was a bad thing that they were sinking and there was no internet to consult. We chanced it. Continue reading

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Satchmo Summerfest 2021 – Day 2

We started the second day of Satchmo Summerfest – a celebration of Louis Armstrong’s birthday – with the Treme Brass Band. The traditional jazz band has always evolved to accommodate additions, departures and passings. I was happy to see that this iteration included Corey Henry, who I’ve loved since his Rebirth Brass Band years. 

It was another steamy day in the 90’s with a heat index over 110, so people seemed glad for the tented stages on either side of the Old U.S. Mint – home of the New Orleans Jazz Museum where you can find Armstrong’s first coronet. We found shade at an umbrella-topped table and feasted of food booth yummies from local vendors. We started with Red Beans & Rice (w/ Fried Fish) ($10) from Krab Grab Seafood. Having enjoyed their Jerk Chicken on Saturday, we stopped at 14 Parishes for Jerk Pork – but they were already out. Must’ve been good. We got the Rice and Peas ($5) instead and rounded the meal off with a refreshing Tropicalia Salad (w/ Red Onion, Lettuce, Tomato, Celery, Corn, Pepper & Almond) ($6) from Carmo’s.

Midday, it sprinkled for a time, then full-out stormed for a bit but the 2 stages of music never stopped. We returned to find Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns transporting the crowd to a sultrier world, free of the slick grass and trails of thick mud left after the recent drenching.

We’d really enjoyed Theaudric’s Real Clever Cuisine’s Vegan Fried Sprout of Brussels and Potatoes (with Truffle Fig Glaze) ($10) on Saturday so we returned for another serving as well as an inventive Shrimp Poboy Fatoosh (w/ Creamy Creole Remoulade) ($13) and Creme Bru Leches Bread Pudding ($7). Again, all plating and utensils were 100% compostable and bins were provided. 

Rounding the back of the Mint, I could see right away that Hot 8 Brass Band was hosting a full-on party from their stage. The band played a supremely funky version of Atomic Dog as the crowd gyrated in a soup of grass and mud. Dancing along to the beats ranging from funk and traditional brass to reggae and hip hop, I could feel my soul’s battery recharging. It has definitely been too long since New Orleanians have gotten to to be joyful together. 

Within the ranks of these brass band heavyweights, I was thrilled to see the young trombonist I’d first photographed playing with TBC Brass Band at Satchmo Fest 2018. Before the pandemic, I’d seen him learning his craft and getting stage experience with various bands so it was wonderful to him back – a bit taller and older – still working with our best. 

Kermit Ruffins & the Barbecue Swingers closed out their stage to another delighted, but decidedly less rowdy, crowd. It’s hard to know if COVID will continue to interrupt our celebratory way of life, but it was nice to gather for a  festival and enjoy days of local food and music. 

(For some reason – WordPress won’t allow my post to be in an abbreviated preview mode. Apologies for the entire post appearing in the feed.)

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Satchmo Summerfest 2021

Cancelled last year for the pandemic, Satchmo Summerfest made an abbreviated return with 2 days of music and food celebrating New Orleans native, Louis Armstrong’s birthday. The heat was extraordinary, dangerous even, as The Roots Of Music started things off with a concert outside the Old U.S. Mint, home of the New Orleans Jazz Museum where you can find Armstrong’s first coronet. Continue reading

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A Parade, 2 Festivals & Fireworks!

With a parade, 2 festivals, and fireworks – things felt almost back to normal this Independence Day weekend in New Orleans. Our normal is always a bit festive. The Creole Tomato Fest at the French Market featured (limited) food booths, virtual events, and trails of specialty menu items at participating bars and restaurants throughout the French Quarter. I was able to get my annual favorite – the Pontchartrain from George’s Produce ($10) – sliced tomato topped with lump crabmeat and remoulade sauce. 

The first NOLA Zydeco Fest took place next door on the lawn of the U.S. Mint, home to the New Orleans Jazz Museum. Continue reading

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Easter 2021

Though New Orleans is busier than it’s been in a year, Easter had to go without our fabulous day of parades once again. Like with Yardi Gras’ house floats, some homes and businesses turned their places into festively decorated floats. Restaurants and churches were open for masked and distanced indoor seating. Our plans revolved around me wearing my fabulous new hat. A week or so ago, a package arrived with an Easter-bonnet-worthy hat in the hot pink and vibrant orange colors of my parade dance krewe, the Pussyfooters (about 100 women over-30 who dance in Mardi Gras and other parades and serve in non-profit events year round). Continue reading

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House Floats Wrap-Up

This year’s Carnival season was much quieter this year. No parades with their marching bands and screaming crowds. No music venues packed with dancing patrons. Bourbon Street was closed. In fact, the French Quarter shut down liquor sales in the French Quarter for the final weekend of Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday. But New Orleans managed to make the best of a bad situation and came up with some fairly marvelous distractions. City Park created a drive-thru parade – Floats in the Oaks – as a safe way to see the floats, maybe catch a dance krewe, and relive some memories. I got to dance twice with my fellow Pussyfooters and it was pretty great being able to make people smile as they drove by.

But is was “Yardi Gras” that really gave the city something to smile about. Another socially distanced version of Mardi Gras, Yardi Gras turned thousands of houses and businesses throughout New Orleans (and as far away as Australia and Abu Dhabi) into parade floats. Continue reading

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House Floats – Algiers

“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 QuarterSt. Charles Ave.,  Magazine Street, the Irish Channel, Mid-City, and the Garden District and Lower Garden District. Continue reading

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House Floats – Marigny

If you read my last post of the fabulous costumes of Fat Tuesday, you’ve already seen a few of the house floats in the Marigny, the neighborhood across Esplanade from the French Quarter. “Yardi Gras,” the 2021 socially distanced version of Mardi Gras, has turned houses and businesses throughout the city (and even the world) 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 spectacular displays by float artists like Kern Studios have turned one St. Charles Ave. yard into a circus and another into a jurassic park – with top hats and masques. Continue reading

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