Tag Archives: mardi gras

Mardi Gras wrap-up

If you couldn’t tell from my lack of posts, we pretty much steered clear of the Mardi Gras festivities until right before the big day.

It was kind of nice – our street was like a ghost town, too far away from a parade to provide parking. No loud base from our neighbors, no one taking our parking spots…overall it was quiet but nice.

Joan Jett at aMUSEment, 2012

But the weekend of Mardi Gras, my friend Stacey joined us once again and we hit the town. We started off with Muses and the aMUSEment party on Thursday. Joan Jett was amazing and the best entertainment yet.

On Friday, we headed to Avenue Pub to watch the parades. We watched there last year and it turned out well – this year was even better. We caught so many coveted light-up throws that we could barely carry them all home. The only downside is that we pretty much missed the biggest parade, Morpheus, but the parades were so behind schedule. We left at 11 p.m. and the Morpheus parade had just begun. For those of you who don’t know, it lasts well over an hour and we had been out since 5 p.m. screaming our heads off.

It rained and was gross all day on Saturday, but we headed to Rose Nails for a really nice and relaxing mani/pedi – after trying a few places on Maple Street that charged three times as much. We headed to Bourbon that night with some family.

On Sunday we headed to the French Market and had poboys with an excellent view on a Quarter balcony. Great way to wrap up the weekend.

We thought about going to the parades on Fat Tuesday, but after five straight years of Mardi Gras I was a little sick of parades. Maybe next year.

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Love and liquor…

…not necessarily together.

Mardi Gras 2011

Mardi Gras is officially upon us here in the Big Easy. The first parade was last weekend (Krewe du Vieux) and the Muses had their float viewing party on Sunday.

We headed to Avenue Pub on Saturday instead of the parade because it looked like rain, and the last place in New Orleans you want to be when it’s raining is the French Quarter. I glittered some shoes yesterday for a friend riding in Muses and somehow managed to also edit the paper last night.

This weekend we may head to some Metairie parades, which I tend to like because they’re a lot more laid-back than parades in town. There is no pushing or waiting hours in advance for these week-before-MG parades. I usually get to the Clearview Mall about 40 minutes before the parades, waltz right out onto Veterans Memorial and have about 100 feet of roadside to myself. It’s a good warm up for the following weekend.

Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras 2011

Stacey will be coming in town again for the big parades in two weeks – Muses, Orpheus, Bacchus, etc. and for the aMUSEment party where Joan Jett will be performing next Thursday! I cannot wait to see her live; I really think she’s the perfect girl-power performer for the party. But my biggest point of interest in the coming weeks is that WILL FERRELL will be reigning over the Bacchus parade. I have waited a long time to see him – maybe I’ll get my chance next week.

And for once, I’m way ahead of the game for Valentine’s Day next week. I got Wesley something very sentimental and something very practical – they balance each other out I think.

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Law school limbo

I’m so tired of this dance. Waiting and waiting…if you know me you probably know I’m extremely impatient. I hate waiting around for things and that is pretty much what we’ve been doing for the past three years. Waiting for our “real” lives to begin. Waiting for law school to be over so we can actually spend time together again. Waiting for us to both be employed so we can keep our heads above the water.

This waiting is the hardest part of law school for me. I know Wesley is enrolled, but this has been just as big a commitment for me, as any law school spouse will tell you. And New Orleans makes it even harder to get through every day.

If it’s not our shitty apartment breaking or the filth covering our cars and shoes, it’s the bi-polar weather and the nearly constant smell of garbage in the air. Don’t get me wrong, there have been some good things here: the history, the food and the festivals. But for me, the city has made an irreversibly bad impression from its complete mismanagement and political corruption to the rude, clique-ish residents/drivers and pock-marked streets/sidewalks. Even things that most people like – for instance, the slow pace of life – I find horribly annoying. I mean, I’ve got places to go and things to do, I don’t need to wait an hour for you to bring me my lunch check! Not everyone here is on vacation!

I cannot wait to start the next phase of our lives – whether it’s in the Nola ‘burbs or a whole new place. The hunt for a job is on, and Wesley has been searching all weekend. In this laid-back environment it’s hard to even get that going – I keep reminding him that we have a lot to get done and only four months left to do it in. Come May, it will be decision time – whether we’re ready or not. I can’t wait – it’s about time something moved fast around here.

[On a side note, we’re gearing up for another Mardi Gras – one of the few things I love about this city. A friend invited me to a craft party yesterday where I made this awesome wreath. I am pretty impressed with myself if I do say so, lol.]

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Let Carnival begin!

Phunny Phorty Phellows on the St. Charles streetcar on Twelfth Night

Last night was Twelfth Night, a.k.a. Kings Day, a.k.a. the official start of the Mardi Gras season in New Orleans.

Wesley and I headed to the Eiffel Society for the Muses party and watched the Phunny Phorty Phellows ride by on the streetcar. The great thing about watching the PPP with the Muses is that they riders went all-out and actually got off of the car to greet people.

At the party, we  had the good – or bad – food experience of trying sausage wrapped in bacon for the first time. It tasted good, but I could feel my arteries clogging after one bite. We also got to have our first bites of King Cake for the season.

I can’t wait for this year’s Mardi Gras line-up; it includes Will Ferrell (my absolute favorite) as the Grand Marshall for Bacchus and Joan Jett headlining at the aMUSEment party! If I get a glimpse of Will Ferrell it will make up for me being the only person in Nola who has never spotted a celebrity in town.

The parades kick off in February with Krewe du Vieux – a personal favorite for me and Wesley. This year’s theme is “Crimes Against Nature” – last year it was a bunch of penises parading down Bourbon, so I can only imagine what this year’s outfits will be.

The same weekend, Muses will have their bead distribution and float viewing party. I can’t wait to get all of the swag I ordered last year and viewing the floats is one of my favorite parts of being a member.

Back in Uptown…

Today we took our bikes in to the shop on Oak Street – finally – and learned that they will be pretty easy and cheap to fix. The guy there was super nice, hopefully this experience is better than our bike-buying experience at Wally World. We also headed to Patisserie for lunch and had some really excellent sandwiches – I really cannot recommend them enough.

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Mardi Gras madness

The crazy whirlwind of Mardi Gras is finally over. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun but it was also hectic and stressful and hung over. Well, maybe just I was hung over – but you get the point.

This year, we made it to less parades – Krewe du Vieux, Chaos, Muses, Hermes, Krewe D’etat, Morpheus, Bacchus and Argus. We tried a few different locations for watching the parades this year, too. In the past, I have watched almost all of the uptown or midtown parades on Canal Street. This year, we watched from Napoleon and on St. Charles near The Avenue Pub – which was awesome because of the free bathrooms! [see below for a slideshow of my Carnival pictures.]

Besides our fun bead catching and restaurant hopping, those of my party did get a chance to have the stereotypical Mardi Gras experience.

When people think of Mardi Gras, they think of booze, boobs and beads. And yeah, there is a lot of that but there are also some downsides.

Using a taxi

During Mardi Gras, the best bet to get to or from anywhere is to take a taxi cab. Unfortunately, New Orleans has more than its fair share of horrible cab drivers. I have met a couple who are nice, but for the most part they’re all rude men who don’t know how to get anywhere. They all have GPS in their car, but apparently do not know how to use it at all. Here are some tips for navigating New Orleans in a cab:

  • Always know directions to where you need to go, unless it is somewhere as broad as “the airport” or “the French Quarter.” Two major roads in New Orleans are Carrollton and St. Charles, yet when I tell cab drivers to take me to the corner of those roads, they look at me with a blank stare not knowing how to even begin the drive.
  • Ask up front whether they will be using a meter or whether they will want a flat rate – especially during Mardi Gras. Some cab drivers, despite city codes and their own companies’ policies, seem to think that the entire week leading up to Mardi Gras is a “special event” denoting a $5 per person flat rate policy. That is, unless there are less than three people in the car, then they will want a $7-per-person flat rate at least. They also tend to not divulge this information until you have started the drive. City codes and the largest cab companies state that special events are only concerts, football, basketball, etc.
  • Don’t joke with others in the cab about not having enough money to pay for the ride. This will lead to the driver putting child locks on all the doors and refusing to let you out until you pay up. For real – this happened to us last weekend.

When you’ve got to pee

During Mardi Gras, one of the most valuable commodities is a bathroom. Restaurants will milk their public restrooms for all their worth, making you purchase something (or donate to charity as one Burger King bathroom did to us this year) in order to use the toilets. During Mardi Gras and the days leading up to it, expect coffee shops, fast food restaurants and drug stores to have a buy-to-pee policy. Your best bet for a good parade spot is to be near a bar (which usually don’t charge for bathrooms – especially if you buy a drink), a friend’s house or to just go ahead and buy the $2 coffee or burger for your pee ticket.

Invest in special MG clothing

Whether you’re going down Bourbon Street every night or just catching beads at the parades, you can bet that from the waist down (at least) you are going to be filthy. Best bet: wear closed-toe shoes and pants that cover your entire legs. You don’t want any of that filth on your legs or feet, trust me. Picking out some old clothes or some cheap thrift store clothes that you won’t mind throwing away at the end of the week is a good idea. I saved some old tennis shoes and ended up throwing them out on Wednesday. Don’t think that people are exaggerating when they say there is literally a sea of garbage and vomit in the streets. Don’t.

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Checking out

Super classy Mardi Gras decor

I am officially checking out until after Mardi Gras. Our apartment is clean, the beer is bought, the friends are on their way and Kitten is ready to be adored.

In fact, I think Kitten is getting a little anxious – she’s acting all crazy today. When she’s not running around the house frantically hiding under the shower curtain or jumping on the desk, the little lactose-intolerant cat is stealing a sip of milk and throwing up everywhere.

I’ve never met a lactose intolerant cat before, but Kitten definitely is. My mother claims she fed Kitten milk every day during the year they lived together, but I just can’t believe it. The first time I gave Kitten milk when she was a baby, she threw it up within minutes. A few months ago, I have her a tiny piece of cheese (about the size of half of a pencil eraser). She proceeded to throw it up within 30 seconds and then to gag at least 10 more times that hour. Today, she got one lap of milk from a measuring cup and threw up all her food within 15 seconds.

Anyway, aside from Kitten’s craziness we are pretty ready for company. We cleaned the apartment up as much as we could – there are somethings, like water damage, discolored wood and crappy repair work, that just cannot be cleaned.

Mardi Gras-flavored ice cream!

We also went by Rouse’s this afternoon to pick up some last-minute king cake, beer, liquor and Mardi Gras stuff, like awesome Mardi Gras-flavored ice cream and super classy purple and yellow (and green) flower decor.

 

I’ll be back after the big day with plenty of pictures!

Happy Mardi Gras!

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Muses weekend

New Muses necklace!

This was what the krewe calls “Muses Big Weekend.” We had bead distribution on Saturday and today we had our big float-viewing party.

I bought a lot of great throws from the Muses this year to share with family and friends. I also got a great Muses necklace! And the day really felt like a Mardi Gras kick-off thanks to the Krewe du Vieux parade in the Quarter.

 

Krewe du Vieux

I don’t know what was going on with the streetcar yesterday, but RTA really F’ed up. There were hundreds of people waiting for the trolley when we got to the stop about 45 minutes before the parade. The streetcar finally came about 15 minutes after the parade was scheduled to stop. We did make it to the parade, but then on the way home we took a taxi after waiting 25 minutes and there not being a streetcar in sight. We didn’t see one going down the line on St. Charles towards the Quarter until we were almost to Carrollton. Something just was not right.

Anyway, the parade had a lot of high-energy people and OK throws. Since we got there late and didn’t get in the front, we only got a couple of beads. But it was fun to just see the anti-Palin, anti-“Tea Party” floats go down the road.

 

Iconic Muses shoe float

Iconic Muses shoe float

Today Wesley and I headed to the West Bank Mardi Gras World for the Muses float-viewing party where the krewe debuts all of this year’s floats and some free food and drinks. The floats were super-awesome and really edgy this year so get excited – only 11 days left to wait!

 

A Muses shoe I decorated

After the party, I headed to a friend’s house for my first Muses shoe-decorating party. I loved the shoes I made and really, really hope I catch some in the parade! I already bought the ingredients for two excellent Muses signs for me and Stacey to hold during the parade.

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