Mardi Gras Redux Wednesday, Feb 13 2013 

In spite of my obsession with New Orleans, I have never made it Mardi Gras. A couple of years ago, I got there four days after the fact, but folks Uptown were still ready for the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Parade. It’s not the drunkenness or debauchery or “Girl’s Gone Wild” atmospherics that I miss; it is the cultural and social affects that I miss. The Zulus, the Mardi Gras Indians, the dogs in the Barkas Parade, and the neighborhood-centric goofiness of the St. Anne’s Parade. These are the things I long to see. And thankfully, nola.com provides me with photos and video to give me a glimpse into what those there are experiencing.

Mardi Gras Indian, February 2013.

Mardi Gras Indian, February 2013.

One of the things I used to put me in the spirit was the Times-Picayune’s JacksonSquareCam. Right now it probably shows people milling about and getting their palms read in the plaza between the Cathedral and Jackson Square, but during Mardi Gras it was abuzz with costumed revelers. And even from the distance of the camera, some appeared threatening and many of the rest, just plain weird and/or scary.

However, many of the photos and videos put on display by the Times-Picayune really capture the history and culture represented by Mardi Gras. And yeah, people are still having fun. Among my favorites, i.e. the ones that help me experience the celebration from afar:

The Skull and Bones Gangs — For some reason, these guys terrify me; however, there is a beautiful photo collection of the Northside Skull & Bone Gang waking up Treme on Mardi Gras day.

The Mardi Gras Indians processing in Treme under the I-10 overpass. I’ve seen it on St. Joseph’s Night, but not during Mardi Gras. One day. Here are photos and a video.

One of the things I’d most want to experience is thew history and tradition of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, 104 years old and going strong.

The Mardi Gras Day reopening of Ernie K-Doe’s Mother-in-Law Lounge by Kermit Ruffins.

To witness the neighborhood spectacle that is the St. Anne Parade that stumbles through the Marigny.

OK, I have to finally admit it. I have found a krewe that surpasses the 610 Stompers: the Laissez Boys Social and Leisure Club.

And, finally the ceremonial NOPD sweep of Bourbon Street at midnight after Mardi Gras.

I love it from afar, but one day I will actually experience it.

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New Orleans Happenings Thursday, Feb 5 2009 

OK, so it’s in the single digits here this morning, so I have to think of warmer climes. Oops, the strawberries and citrus in Florida are threatened by a freeze and New Orleans is in the 30s.

However, there are a number of interesting stories about New Orleans of late:

Zatarain’s, the New Orleans-area food producer, is petitioning to have Mardi Gras made a national holiday. Read (and sign) here: http://blog.nola.com/cest-la-nola/2009/02/zatarains_spearheading_petitio.html

An observant blogger (not me) discovered that if you search for “New Orleans” in Google, you can come up with a timeline of New Orleans history, with links from specific dates to open source content, a veritable “New Orleans History 2.0” (to use her words). For the blog and link to the timeline see:  http://blog.nola.com/cest-la-nola/2009/02/history_of_new_orleans_20.html

The NOPD is at it again. An autopsy shows that a man killed by police on New Year’s Day was shot in the back of the body nine times:  http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/man_shot_by_police_hit_nine_ti.html

And in spite of such news, Mayor Nagin and the city council have reinstituted “Disney-like” sanitation services for the French Quarter.  It’s good to see where their priorities are. Which raises some interesting questions: do tourists vote? Does the rest of the city get dumpsters? See:  http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2009/02/deluxe_quarter_cleanup_resumes.html