Posts tagged Louisiana



Here’s a photo series from Saturday night, when my beloved Krewe du Vieux rolled through the French Quarter and Marigny.

Seeds of Decline 2012 Float

Seeds of Decline 2012 Float

Comatose 2012

Comatose 2012

C.R.U.D.E. 2012 Float

C.R.U.D.E. 2012 Float

T.O.K.I.N. 2012 Float

T.O.K.I.N. 2012 Float

Sign in the Krewe du Vieux Den

Sign in the Krewe du Vieux Den

2012 Krewe of Underwear Float

2012 Krewe of Underwear Float

2012 KdV Float

2012 KdV Float

3 KdV Floats Line Up- Spermes, Seeds of Decline, and Comatose

2 KdV Floats Line Up- Spermes and Seeds of Decline











A New Financial Order Comes to Slidell Area Parades!!


I have been going to Slidell for decades for parades, friends and clients. Slidell’s krewe of Claude is the first major parade of the Carnival season. It seemed after Katrina that Slidell’s growth was speeding to some sort of record. Welcome to the future, Slidell might be big but they are obviously suffering financial problems, as they are telling the local krewes to pay half of cleanup and security for their parades.

Only six of the eight krewes have to pay. These krewes share the main parade route. Digging a little deeper, sales tax revenues started dipping in 2007 and continued until 2010, the last figures released. It turns out that city and parade officials have been working on a new Mardi Gras ordinance for fifteen months, but it hasn’t been introduced and won’t be considered until after Carnival.

Meanwhile Mandeville recently waived billing its four Carnival krewes, which comes to approximately $70,000 in parade costs.

Slidell's Krewe of Claude Rolls 2011

Slidell's Krewe of Claude Rolls 2011

Krewe of Claude with LSU Football Team Members

Krewe of Claude with LSU Football Team Members Photo by Eliot Kamenitz, The Times-Picayune

There are other factors influencing this situation, such as the delayed opening of Slidell’s new municipal auditorium, the replacement for the trashed building caused by Hurricane Katrina. This forces the Slidell krewes to come up with a replacement site for this season’s balls. One ended up in a vacant food store, another is holding their ball after the season ends.

It seems someone needs to do an economic study of Slidell’s Mardi Gras krewes impact on the local economy to settle the big issue here, just how important the krewes are to the parish’s bottom line.



Mardi Gras Parade Rules of Conduct!!


There is nothing like Carnival in New Orleans. We have more parties, balls, parades, and events than any other Carnival City in the world. Therefore, following a few common sense rules will help all enjoy the festivities all the more.

1. Watch parking around parades Parking legally is more important than ever, as meter maids track parades big time and ticket on both sides of the parade. Neutral ground parking, which works when it rains real hard, doesn’t fly for parades.

2. Drinking and Mardi Gras  Booze and Carnival are certainly kissing cousins. Beer, wine, and hard booze are all featured each and every day of the Carnival season. Those that imbibe a bit much should call a cab! It’s way cheaper than a DUI.

3. Parade Watching  Most parades, especially the Super Krewes, have very large crowds. Acting mature is the secret; no one meant to run into you while jumping for a neat throw. Keeping your cool and a good attitude is paramount for maximum enjoyment. Stomping on anyone in pursuit of a hot throw is verboten.

4. Special Parade Cases  The old, very young, infirm and handicapped all love parades as much as anyone. If they sit in the front to watch the parades, please give them some space.

Children Having Fun During Mardi Gras Parade

Children Having Fun During Mardi Gras Parade

5. Getting Lost  Prevent it by making certain that everyone has a common meeting place, and has the funds and instructions for getting there or getting home. Pin name, address and phone number tags on small children. Police routinely gather up small children and take them to a central area, usually a mobile unit on Canal Street or St. Charles Avenue.

6. Bathrooms There is money in the bathroom business during Carnival parade season. On Napoleon Avenue and St. Charles Avenue, where most parades line up, there are a number of schools along the route uptown that offer indoor bathrooms or neat port-o-lets for a buck a session, or 5 or 10 bucks for the day/evening. Sophie B. Wright Charter sells fish/chicken plates with bread, macaroni & cheese, peas, and cake. They also have indoor bathrooms for a buck a time.

7. Grandstand Parade Viewing Area The City of News Orleans annually sells Grandstand tickets for most parades. Seating for parades as shown in the map below can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Grandstand Seating Downtown New Orleans During Painting

Grandstand Seating Downtown New Orleans During Painting

Grandstand Parade Viewing Areas

Downtown New Orleans Grandstand Parade Viewing Areas

New Orleans Parking
New Orleans Parking

Parking in New Orleans can be challenging, considering the millions of visitors who visit by car every year. Even local residents find the parking rules of the city daunting.

The many commercial lots in the French Quarter can usually accommodate enough visitors on a given day. At a few locations within the French Quarter, Early Bird specials are available to motorists ranging from $7.00 to $10.00 all day. With Early Bird deals, however, the driver needs to park by 9:00 A.M. and leave by 6:00 P.M. and cannot leave the parking lot before 3 PM.

After 9:00 a.m., prices rise considerably: hourly rates can run as much as $10.00 in some areas. Please check the hourly rate before deciding where to park.

More daring motorists willing to troll for a space on the street should remember the most important rule of parking in New Orleans: READ PARKING SIGNS CAREFULLY! Rules can change from neighborhood to neighborhood, and some violations can be very costly.

Violations range from $20 at an expired meter and $40 for parking too close to a corner, to $75 for parking on the median (called a “neutral ground” in New Orleans), $200 for parking on the sidewalk in the French Quarter, and $500 for parking boats or trailers in unauthorized areas (which is almost everywhere in the city limits).

Parking Offenses

  • Blocking driveways or fire lanes
  • On sidewalks or neutral grounds
  • Near fire hydrants (within 15 feet)
  • On corners and crosswalks (within 20 feet)
  • In loading and service zones (buses and cab zones too)
  • On a parade route within two hours of a parade
  • During rush hours (7-9 a.m., 4-6 p.m.) on major streets
  • On street cleaning days (usually Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 a.m. – Noon)
  • At bagged meters (during special events) and broken meters
  • Near railroad crossings (within 50 feet)
  • On-street for more than 24 consecutive hours
  • Vehicles longer than 22 feet overnight in the Central Business District
  • On a narrow street without allowing 10 feet of unobstructed roadway
  • More than 18 inches from the curb
  • Having 3 or more unpaid parking violations.

If your car is towed away (we’re sorry, but it happens), contact the Claiborne Auto Pound at (504) 565-7450.

Parking Meters

The city has modernized many of its parking meters, and some now accept dollar bills and credit cards which give you a printed receipt to place on your car dashboard. AS OF MARCH 2010, REGULAR TWO-HOUR METERS COST $1.50/HOUR AND LONG-TERM METERS (UP TO 10 HOURS) COST $1.00/HOUR. BOTH TYPES OF METERS ARE ENFORCED FROM 8 A.M. – 6 P.M. MONDAY – SATURDAY. Parking is prohibited at meters in designated rush hour zones from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Please read the meters before you park! Also know that broken meters are not free passes. They are technically off-limits and could land you a ticket!

Handicapped Parking

Don’t park in Handicap Zones without an official handicapped license plate. Drivers in rental cars may obtain a special handicapped placard by calling (504) 483-4610.

Park-N-Shop Lots

Many downtown businesses and department stores offer free or discounted parking with minimum purchases. Be sure to get your parking stamp, pass or receipt with your purchase.


Many downtown businesses and department stores offer free or discounted parking with minimum purchases. Be sure to get your parking stamp, pass or receipt with your purchase.

Two Central Business District shuttles routes are available. Please call for rates and shuttle information.

Park N Ride
900 Howard Avenue
(504) 307-5726

There are two Howard Ave Park and Ride shuttles that run every 6 minutes between 6am – 9:30am and 4pm – 6:30pm. The shuttle driver  is also on call between 9:30 am – 4 pm at 504-307-5726.

The shuttle leaves from the lot at 922/932 Howard, next to WDSU Channel 6, and costs $4/day or $75/month (monthly passes can only be purchased at the beginning of the month). It makes 3 stops:

  1. O’Keefe and Poydras
  2. St. Charles and Poydras
  3. Girod and St. Charles

Fulton Street Garage
901 Convention Center
(504) 891-2897

Drivers can also park outside the downtown area preferably near a Streetcar route, either at parking lot for a fee or on the street, and ride the Streetcar to their destination.


Parking is free on “meter” holidays observed by the City of New Orleans:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Independence Day
  • Martin L. King, Jr. Day
  • Labor Day
  • Mardi Gras Day (the day before Ash Wednesday)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Christmas Day

Airport Parking

Louis Armstrong International Airport offers plenty of safe, affordable, covered parking connected directly to the main terminal. For rates and more information, visit:

Numbers to Know

General Parking Questions & Parking Enforcement: (504) 658-8200
Administrative Hearing Center: (504) 658-8004, (504) 658-8005
Booting: (504) 565-7451
Towing Information/Auto Pound: (504) 565-7451
Parking Enforcement: (504) 658-8200

Thanks to New Orleans online for the above More Parking Information.


Twelfth Night 2011


I  bought two King Cakes in the last 24 hours, both strawberry, one from Rouses and one from Winn Dixie this AM for the wife’s work. Both grocery chains make their own King Cakes by the thousands during the season. The small filled King Cake sells for $7.69-7.79 at the two stores. Unfilled small King Cakes retail for around $5.59 or so.

King Cake - YUM!!- photo-

King Cakes are HUGE in New Orleans. From January 6 until Mardi Gras Day, March 8, 2011- this is a very late date, almost the latest date possible. The weather should be warm for Fat Tuesday 2011. This allows for over 2 months from January 6 until March 8. All this time is King Cake  time!! NOLA King Cakes feature more sugar than most.

Historically, King Cakes have been around Europe for centuries before New Orleans was settled. We had plain King Cakes for a long long time in NOLA. Then McKenzie’s Bakeries started filling their King Cakes, and charged like $9.95 for a Medium filled one. This was back in late 1970s as I recall.

Pretty soon, filled King Cakes had created a whole new King Cake Economic Model, based on a more expensive King Cake. Then the Mail Order Model was created, and hundreds of thousands of King Cakes started being shipped worldwide.

Who makes the best filled and unfilled King Cakes in the NOLA metro area?  There are a lot of entrants, since the shipping/local markets have exploded over the last is a King Cakes of the World article I found while researching this post. The blog is entitled- A Malaysian in France. Here’s an European King Cake:

Northern France King Cake

2009 PPP

Tonight the Phunny Phorty Phellows take a decorated, historic St. Charles Streetcar down St. Charles Avenue from the Willow Street Car Barn onto Carrollton Avenue then down St. Charles to Lee Circle, where the Streetcar turns down Carondelet Street to Canal Street, turning on Canal to St. Charles  Avenue, all the way back to Carrollton Avenue and the Willow Street Car Barn. They are accompanied by New Orleans own Storyville Stompers.

I’m a huge fan of the PPP, as they have a creative solution to float building. They take an already build historic street car, and decorate that! I’ve caught them for years on St. Charles. Cannot wait to catch them tonight.  Happy Mardi Gras to the World! Go Saints! Who Dat Who Dat Who Dat!!!

Why all the Who Dats? Saints play their first playoff game defending their World Championship Win this Saturday against the Seattle Sea Hawks- Jan 8, 2011. Sat 1:30 PM, Seattle,WA Qwest Field

I’ve loved King Cakes for many years. Over the decades, I’ve preferred various types as they are developed.

REX has a New Colorful Photo Book


Rex book cover

Rex book cover

This is an attractive book if you are into Rex, Mardi Gras, New Orleans,  pretty Carnival photos, etc.  Rex is a central theme of Mardi Gras, they are the original purple, green & gold krewe.  Rex is the second oldest Mardi Gras parading organization in New Orleans. Only Proteus is older, but they stopped parading in 1993 and resume parading in 2000. Rex didn’t stop because of Dorothy Mae Taylor’s ordinance.

Since its founding in 1872, the School of Design has added chapter after colorful chapter to the history of Carnival in New Orleans. This is a story best told in pictures, and a new book, Rex: An Illustrated History of the School of Design, does just that, and for a wonderful cause. All proceeds after publication costs go directly to the Pro Bono Publico Foundation.

Assembled by Rex archivist, Stephen Hales, this book is filled with more than 260 beautiful images telling the story of Rex, the King of Carnival, from his appearance on horseback in the first Rex Procession through the 2010 Parade and Ball. Museums and private collectors have allowed use of images never before published, documenting not only the history of the Rex Organization but also tracing the history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Photographs of modern Rex Parades and Balls show that the School of Design continues to build on its oldest traditions of beauty and spectacle.

Among the 12 chapter subjects are The Grand Ball, The Rex Procession, Rex and the Military, The Rex Den, and Rex: Symbols and a Song. The book’s final chapter, Pro Bono Publico, documents the new dimensions given to the Rex motto in the five years since Hurricane Katrina.

Priced at $35, Rex: An Illustrated History of the School of Design will be available for sale in area bookstores on November 15, in time for individual and corporate holiday giving. It is also available for online purchase here-

REX on Mardi Gras Day on St Charles Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana

REX on Mardi Gras Day on St Charles Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana

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