Monday, March 1, 2010

A Honey of a Mardi Gras

What a fabulous day, that day before Ash Wednesday where it's just Tuesday in the rest of the country! I'll bet most other places even have more bills to pay because they get mail delivery on Mardi Gras!

We actually thought about logistics this year, and the ability to move through the city without getting trapped in an enormous Mardi Gras Indian gathering under an Interstate overpass or stopped by a police line closing streets for truck parades or walking groups, so we parked roughly halfway between Krewe of Eggs/Parc St. Charles balcony and the Whiddons' house in the Quarter. Unfortunately, we didn't plan on getting delayed on Prytania so Pete Fountain's Half Fast Walking Club could cross on its way to St. Charles, and we were almost a little late for our first stop. But, we soldiered on and made it in plenty of time -- even scored a 50th Year Commemorative Half Fast Doubloon later in the day! Kismet!

Krewe of Eggs was delightful, as usual, at Li'l Dizzy's at the Whitney, with this year's theme of "Gone With the Hen." There were the standard rubber-fried-egg food fight and movie-chicken-and-wind themed door prizes and favors. My favorite was the squawking rooster and hen -- now added to the Krewe of Eggs Mardi Gras Shrine in the powder room -- and the folding fans for "Hot, Flashy Chicks." The joint was "buzzing" with swarms of bees -- "The Bee Team." There were, among others, Worker BEEs, BUMblebee, Queen Bee, O-BEE-GYN, BEEwitched, BEEdeviled, BEEdazzled, BEE Hive, BarBEE, and, naturally, starring Moogie as the fabulous Queen of De-Nial, BEEopatra. That's me up there between BEE Hive and BarBEE, but I seem to have lost my "asp" in the picture. You know how it is with Moogie -- she goes to the casino and loses her asp; she goes to Mardi Gras and loses her asp . . . !

After the "Corr-egg-nation" of Royal Rooster XX and revelation of The Pretender to the Perch, the Krewe headed to the Balcony. It was blooming COLD!!! I dressed in layers upon layers and still shivered myself sore on the balcony trying to capture a picture of our friend, Lisa, riding in the Mr. Big Stuff float in Zulu. And Zulu ran really late -- later than its "traditional" fashionably late a la Zulu -- due to a breakdown, so I had plenty of time to shiver. I now think I understand why one doesn't see many bees during the winter!

We skipped Rex this year -- the atmosphere on the Balcony was just a little off-putting for some reason, so we headed early to the Quarter to ooh and ahhh over the creativity and downright brazenness of many a body. We didn't make it in time to see the St. Ann's costume contest, but we did manage to catch a number of the costumes later as the contestants strolled around Bourbon and Dumaine. Bobbie once again outdid herself in the hospitality department, and we just enjoyed the company and revelry all afternoon.

The truck parades were just making the turn onto St. Charles when we hit Napoleon on the way home, so we did have to do a little time in traffic (and roll over thousands of beads!). The first pic shows the condition of the street as we passed. It never fails to amaze me how much trash is generated during Carnival, and how very quickly it gets cleaned up by the Prison crews who pile out of their buses and attack the parade route with rakes and construction-grade trash bags. A few hours after the parades clear, the only remaining trace of the revelry and excess is the beads that never made it to outstretched hands hanging from the trees that line the Avenues. And they'll stay there as a promise of next Carnival season, barring any big gusts of winds (please, please bar the big gusts of wind for another year!) during the summer and fall.

I can't wait for St. Patrick's and St. Joseph's parades in a few weeks! They throw groceries!


  1. Nice pics, and good write-up. Sounds like a good time was had by all.

    BTW, at that St. Patrick's Day Parade, they don't throw tomatoes, do they? Just curious.

  2. Ah. Oooh, too! I never did Mardi Gras as an insider so I'm all too aware of what I've missed, which is to say every-damned-thing. Great pics... all y'all are lookin' good, with or without asp.

    Your pics and narrative bring back some fine old memories, Moogie. I thought I'd met the love of my life at Mardi Gras '64... she was literally a waitress in a café, a young woman from New York who'd came to Mardi Gras the previous year and stayed on. It was the start of something big... but not something lasting. (sigh) There are probably millions of such stories...

    And those turquoise tights were very nice. Thanks for that! ;-)

  3. You should see those turquoise tights in action, Buck! It'll make you believe in perpetual motion!

    Andy -- I've never seen tomatoes, but they do throw cabbage, carrots, onions, and potatoes. My future SIL's uncles are firefighters, so the family takes all the captured produce to the firehouse and they make a stew!