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Day 533: New New Orleans During Carnival Season 2007

And it’s not just about Carnival. Follow along with this exercise in linearity; often, it’s the only way to keep communication complete and straight.


1. Mardi Gras 2007 Gallery As Carnival season progresses, I will upload pictures to this gallery. The season has been brrr … cold … brrr so far, but a lot of fun when bundled up and with friends. D and I caught Oshun and Pegasus in the Lower Garden District with our friends, Dave and Jenny. All of us are Wisconsin alumni and were out in our Wisconsin regalia to greet Arnie Fielkow, New Orleans City Councilman At Large, also a Wisconsin graduate and king of Pegasus this year. Arnie was so excited on seeing us that he yelled, “Go Badgers! Go Badgers!” at the top of his lungs and forgot to throw anything. So busy jumping up and down and screaming back, I neglected to get a picture of Arnie in bearded glory, so all is even.


Behold our very own Humid God of Mischief shakin’ his groove thang on St. Charles Ave. On Sunday, D, Loki, Lex and I enjoyed a nice brunch at our house after which we wandered to the Avenue to watch Pontchartrain and Shangri-La with Dave and Steve, where we were joined by GB and dsb. The Pontchartrain floats and throws were lame as usual, but Shangri-La was great (I admire the Chinese float motifs and Fu dogs). We caught the evening parades, Sparta and Pegasus, farther Uptown with other friends. After Pegasus, a guy visiting from Atlanta stole some throws off my friend Jared’s pile. When questioned, Atlanta got up in Jared’s face with profanities. D and I didn’t have to look around for more than a second before four NOPD officers descended on us and asked after the problem, following which all was well in the world once again.

Two observations: It’s amazing how willing one is to practically jog half the length of St. Charles Avenue, all the way from near Lee Circle to past Napoleon and back, during Mardi Gras. This would be balked at any other time. Also, this year, it’s just Mardi Gras, i.e. the OMG We’re Back And The Parades Are Really Happening feeling has worn off. I wonder if this return to the former attitude is related to the lack of progress in the city.


2. D & I Rode In King Arthur

a. Throwing stuffed animals to children is extremely satisfying, as is tossing pre-packed bags to friends yelling for you along the parade route. Being on the second tier is a bonus because you can throw to people way in the back who wouldn’t normally get throws.

b. Panorama Brass Band is a hoot to have on the float. Between traditional klezmer tunes and brass-band renditions of Bollywood music, all of us on the upper deck were shaking our behinds while eating, drinking and flinging throws. New Orleans is a small town: I ran into my friend, Boyanna, drummer extraordinaire, who used to play with Saaraba and is now with Panorama among other great New Orleans bands.


c. Call me strange, but I don’t think being in a big parade is all that compared to Krewe du Vieux or Barkus; I’m definitely more of a parade walker and throw catcher than a float rider. All of that work – buying, hauling, packing, re-packing, hauling on float, makeup, yadda, yadda – is not worth 2-3 hours on a ride through town. D LOVES King Arthur and he can have it – next year, I’ll walk a puppy in Barkus and meet everyone at the after-party.

3. American Experience: New Orleans, a two-hour PBS special, airs tonight at 8pm CST. The theme: What would America be like without New Orleans?

Focusing primarily on the century from Reconstruction to school desegregation in the 1960s, the film offers a portrait of New Orleans that both explores its unique and distinctive culture and illuminates its central place on the American landscape.

Featuring the city’s rich archival resources and a remarkable collection of on-camera commentators, the film also includes a series of verité-style portraits of New Orleans residents. The resulting cinematic narrative is a dialogue between past and present that highlights New Orleans’ particular brand of humor, fatalism, and wry rebelliousness, while raising critical questions about what lies ahead for the city and the nation.

Precisely why the government should cut funding for public broadcasting, right?

4. Today, Police Chief Warren Riley and District Attorney Eddie Jordan appeared before City Council on the crime problem. Karen G and Laureen Lentz attended what was described as “sure to be a throwdown” – awaiting details.

Jack Ware nicely describes the core of the conviction issue, “If 1000 of your closest friends and family were murdered by 1000 different people who had no relationship to you at all. At the end of the day 290 people would have been arrested and only 123 people would have been tried in a court of law. Only 6 people would have been convicted while 102 people would have been killed after being arrested but before trial.” Chris Martel adds, “If people in this city think the police can stop the murdering, they’re wrong. As long as we have a culture of murder that’s this pervasive, it’s never going to stop … Now let’s all go inside and watch the Bravo network on our LCD TVs.”

If you want to know how nola.com readers feel about today’s meeting, observe the results of the following poll:

Do you think the council meeting with D.A. Jordan and Supt. Riley about N.O. crime problems will spark drastic changes in either department?
Yes 7.0%
No 93.0%

5. New Recovery Planning Team Announced Oh boy, we’ve put former HANO, BBNO and Archdiocese people in charge! Can you feel the recovery zooming past underfoot? *rolls eyes*

Hope to catch more of you starting Wednesday!

6 comments… add one
  • liprap February 12, 2007, 7:46 PM

    I’m so sorry you missed Barkus. It was a hoot! Look forward to seeing you next year amongst all the dogs. Too bad there won’t be a load of Stanley, Stella, Blanche, and Streetcar-clad dogs, though…

  • ashley February 12, 2007, 10:55 PM

    So that was you screaming at me. My buds John and Cindy were on the lower deck, and I was trying to catch up wif them.

    Thanks for the ziploc!

  • Maitri February 12, 2007, 11:07 PM

    Oh good, thank Yahweh your wife was paying attention.

  • Maitri February 13, 2007, 9:59 AM

    This is a comments test. This is only a test.

  • jeffrey February 13, 2007, 11:47 AM

    Menckles and I live on Third Street near St. Charles. Our tribe, which will continue to grow as the weekend approaches, is usually hanging out at or near that intersection. Stop by and bathe in the Babbling Brook if the mood stikes.

  • Adrastos February 14, 2007, 9:59 AM

    Hmmm, another bathroom on the parade route. You never know what kind of scary people might show up…

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