Thongs Throw! Weird Throw!
Parades start again tomorrow with Druids and NYX. NYX has worked hard to establish their own icon throw, similar to the Krewe of Muses Shoe and the Zulu Coconut. The NYX Purse is a hand decorated purse or small hand bag. Their krewe has grown substantially the last few year as their parade presence has grown. Looking forward to their parade tomorrow night.
Working on my purple, green and gold costume for Fat Tuesday. Always celebrate Fat Tuesday in the official colors of Mardi Gras. Though Blaine Kern Artists remain the largest of the float builders, Royal Artists is my personal favorite. I catch Zulu on Jackson Avenue, then head to Harmony and St. Charles for REX. After REX I follow the truck parades downtown, and meet my girlfriend Sue Repasky. We ate at Mandina’s later that afternoon, and it was very good.
I’ve been in New Orleans for a long time, now, and I’m excited about Mardi Gras like I was brand new to it. There is something about the combination of bands, floats, crowds, ambiance, friends, family, and tradition that makes me very happy.Happy Mardi Gras!
The men and women in blue, our own New Orleans Police Department, aka NOPD, are the coolest cats on the parade route. Virtually nothing nonplusses them. They have seen it all on St. Charles Avenue during Carnival literally. They almost always have time to answer a question from a tourist or local. Most often they have smiles on their faces, except when something goes awry on the parade route and they must intercede.
Police in New Orleans are in what’s called Mardi Gras mode. No days off until the day after Fat Tuesday, and all shifts are 12 hours. That is a stressful combination. Other police forces in the metro area are coming to help out. State police, Probation and Parole, Kenner, St John the Baptist, St Bernard and Jefferson parish police on the way. That’s a lot of police.
I like to wish the police a good day or night on the parade route, as I have a high regard as a general rule for NOPD during Carnival. They are working while we are playing, and on really beautiful days like today, that’s not so easy. One thing about New Orleanians during Mardi Gras, they like to drink a beer or a cocktail while socializing out on the parade route.
Other situations can develop quickly during Carnival- float breakdowns are a possibility. People joining the parade ad hoc for the sheer fun of it (that’s not allowed). People getting run over by a float or kicked by a horse (these are fairly rare occurrences).
There is a Mardi Gras fugitive roundup going on, just this weekend 34 people were arrested for 54 offenses.
Those little black squares on their chests in both pictures are the cameras that record everything that goes down. That’s a good thing. Of course, the cameras can be turned off, and don’t always work.
Rolled in Krewe du Vieux’s Krewe of Underwear last Saturday through the French Quarter, Marigny, and CBD. Ate excellent tacos with my Kazoozie Floozie girlfriend, Sue Repasky. Had more fun last night than is humanly possible. Participating in a Mardi Gras parade is the most fun you will have all year. And the fun goes on all day. All KdV floats are designed and completely built by krewe members. It’s a pain in the ass but a labor of love. Seeing your disgusting, ribald designs come to 3D, animated life is very gratifying. The public loves our floats for targeting society’s worst nightmares. This year, it was all Donald J. Trump. He’s an amazingly easy target. There were lots of drawings of Trump, his name was mentioned throughout the parade, and there was quite a few paper mache trumps. He was depicted giving and getting golden showers and getting assaulted in various ways numerous times.
The Krewe du Vieux’s seventeen sub-krewes will each present their own interpretations of the theme. Sub-krewes include the Krewe of C.R.U.D.E., Krewe of Space Age Love, Krewe of Underwear, Seeds of Decline, Krewe of Mama Roux, Krewe of L.E.W.D., Krewe of Drips and Dis- charges, Krewe of K.A.O.S., Knights of Mondu, T.O.K.I.N., Krewe Rue Bourbon, Krewe de C.R.A.P.S., Mystic Krewe of Spermes, Mystic Krewe of Comatose, Mystic Krewe of Inane, Krewe du Mishigas, and Krewe of sPANk.
This year the King in absentia was well known artist Bunny Mathews, who is suffering from cancer and couldn’t march with the krewe. One of his most famous creations is the Vic and Nat’ly cartoon. I hope your health improves soon, Bunny!
Rolling with a parade is truly the most fun I have all year, and I like to have fun. Handing out throws, dancing to the funky brass band marching with us, shaking a lot of hands and screaming, Happy Mardi Gras is a blast every New Orleanian should experience.
I’ve always found that eating around Mardi Gras parades, parties and events is a big part of the fun. The better the food, the better the experience. It’s very simple. On the parade routes, BBQ is often king. Cooking your own ribs and meats on the parade route is super cool, and a great BBQ experience. Preparing your food before going out on the parade route is the best way to guarantee a superior result.
If you start your fire early enough, you can cook meals that take hours to cook, including ribs, brisket, etc. Slow cooking is a required part of better BBQ and grilling at the Mardi Gras.
Other folks prefer premier deli meats and cheeses, plus gourmet breads and condiments for a fantastic sandwich. I used to go to Martin’s Wine Cellar after they built a deli and buy a few pounds of their wonderful roast beef and roast turkey, etc. We made high grade Fat Tuesday grade sandwiches for years for our friends and guests.
Ate few of just OK sandwiches, chips and powdered donuts at the Krewe’s of Underwear pre parade party last night. The krewe gets to start drinking here, but the refs don’t as a rule. That was the worst food of the day, and it wasn’t that bad. After the parade at the ball site we found some food and the lines were short. There is free krewe food brought by the each of the 17 individual sub krewes and free beer. Each truck specializes in something different so the choices abound. The eating was a highlight of the night as we were quite hungry by the time the 2.5 miles parade ends after 3 hours of marching and lots of dancing. I generally bring my own booze to the party, so I stay away from bar lines, but I chose not to drink at all this year. I still enjoyed the crap out of the evening.
We paid $9 for three freshly made beef tacos we got from a taco truck parked across the Civic Auditorium where the parade ended and the ball took place. They were scrumptious to say the least. We were starving. There were other food trucks parked in the same parking lot, so choices abounded.
Chicken Fried Catfish Plate
King Cakes are the dessert of Carnival New Orleans and they are often served on Fat Tuesday. There are a lot of king cakes out there- every bakery and grocery within a 100 miles sell them successfully. I have a couple of favorites, everyone who eats them does. Gracious Bakery stands out in my mind. Though they certainly aren’t King Cakes, I have Brocato’s cannolis in my fridge right now and will resupply throughout the season. That’s the best of the best of the commercial desserts out there.
So eat well during the Carnival season, and especially well on the big day, Fat Tuesday, February 28 2017. We wll. Happy Mardi Gras to the world!!