Going to meet some friends up St Charles, the parades were going strong. Mid-City was just passing through and it had quite a crowd, but you could tell that the real anticipation for the Parade-goers was the arrival of Bacchus, the first to break with tradition and stage night time parades, using the Flambeaux to light the way. It's always a fantastic parade and the night was just right for it.
It was really good to be up where we were on St Charles. It was a different perspective. The parade was great and moved rather more efficiently rather than sporadically as is sometimes the case.
Orpheus, was a little lacking in attendance though because of all of the rain that been coming down, but during the parade itself it hardly rained at all. That's ok. More beads for us. The parade itself was nearly as good as Bacchus had been. Somebody mentioned that some of the bands had dropped out. That wasn't really too surprising since we had heard on the news earlier that some of the other parades that evening were being rescheduled for Tuesday.
Mardi Gras arrived for us sometime around Noon. After crossing the river and driving through some bizarre side streets to avoid parades, we finally scored a really sweet spot at the meter on Elysian Fields when some huge caddy pulled out leaving space for a little CRX or something, who was cool enough to cut me in on his find. After a brief stop at Buffa's, to visit one of our favorite bartenders, we headed off in to the Quarter.
Deeper in on Bourbon we ran into the usual traffic jam of people, near Lafitte's Black Smith Shop. People coming and going out of there, since it's the first bar you really hit going in from our side, unless you're like us and stop at Buffa's for cocktails first. So, while we were kind of stuck there for a moment, I snapped a few photos and then moved to the next Human Traffic Jam, St Anne. The costumes were everywhere it seemed all of a sudden. I got a few got shots there, even one of a girl that I photographed at Southern Decadence a few years ago.
Of course, the balconies were start to fill up as well, beads were flying in every direction. You have to keep on those balconies too. Because sometimes, people think you're looking at them and throw them at you. The next thing you know, you're getting a strand of beads upside your head.
Abandoning this woman to her quest for more beads, we wandered further down Bourbon. It was warming a little and Sherri decided that she wanted to costume after all, so we stopped in at some random lingerie shop on Bourbon and she found something to her liking and was soon stripped of everything except the new costume and tennis shoes. This seemed to please quite a few people, but we couldn't linger. We needed to get back to the car so we could ditch her clothes.
We looped back the other direction, in a roaming sort of way. There were costumes, but not as many as usual. I think the rain had damped a lot of costuming spirits. It really hadn't rained that afternoon though. It was just a little misty sometimes. The funny thing about the costumes too was that it seemed to be mostly men that were costuming.
Walking back in to the Quarter, through Jackson Square where we found some guys doing a fire-eating thing, then headed for Bourbon as the sun was starting to sink, for one last walk down from Canal. At some point, I ran into Masa' Smoke, who gave me a copy of his latest cd "Institutionalized: Vol 1 / From Prison to the Pro's" being distributed by Blunt Wrap Records out of Mandeville. Pretty good HipHop.
Breaking free of the mass of people intent on being beaded or getting beads somewhere around Lafitte's, we headed to Buffa's to hang out for a little bit with some friends that were just off of work.
Around midnight, after a blessing from the Voodoo Prince, we decided to head over to the street party that's always going, but apparently not this year. That was completely disappointing. Having not had quite enough, we walked the block back to the car, dumped the camera off and everything else off and headed back to one of our favorite places to go dance, The Bourbon Pub & Parade Disco.
There, Mardi Gras night was no different than any other night there and we were soon dancing to some wonderfully banging House tracks for three or four hours. I don't really remember how long we were there. The whole day and evening had been a really great time and we had met some really strange and interesting people along the way. When it was all said and done, going to sleep at 6 am, seemed only natural really.
A special note of thanks to all of our friends in New Orleans. We miss You! And, we would also like to thank Michaul's on St Charles, the River Market, Lucky's, Buffa's, Checkpoint, Coop's, CC's, the "boutique" (sorry, lost your card) on Bourbon, The Dark Entry, the lady at the Toll gate on Wednesday morning, The Saturn Bar, Pascal's Manale, The Clover Grill, The Bourbon Parade & Disco and last but not least FreeBass Society and Disco Productions!
Curious to know more about Mardi Gras, drop in on MardiGras.com, for all the latest information.