The True Wasteland Begins

“Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins.”
― John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

waiting for a parade Nola Brewing New Orleans, Louisiana

waiting for a parade
Nola Brewing
New Orleans, Louisiana

“there was something about
that city, though
it didn’t let me feel guilty
that I had no feeling for the
things so many others
needed.
it let me alone.”
― Charles Bukowski

waiting for a parade Nola Brewing New Orleans, Louisiana

waiting for a parade
Nola Brewing
New Orleans, Louisiana

“Yes, a dark time passed over this land, but now there is something like light.”
― Dave Eggers, Zeitoun

waiting for a parade Nola Brewing New Orleans, Louisiana

waiting for a parade
Nola Brewing
New Orleans, Louisiana

“Times are not good here. The city is crumbling into ashes. It has been buried under taxes and frauds and maladministrations so that it has become a study for archaeologists…but it is better to live here in sackcloth and ashes than to own the whole state of Ohio.”
― Lafcadio Hearn, Inventing New Orleans: Writings of Lafcadio Hearn

NOLA Cherry Bombs

O, wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in’t!
—-Shakespeare, The Tempest

Nola Cherry Bombs Dance Troupe

performing with
Daria & The Hip Drops
Bayou Boogaloo Festival
New Orleans, Louisiana

NOLA Cherry Bombs

NOLA Cherry Bombs

NOLA Cherry Bombs

NOLA Cherry Bombs

First Annual Deep Ellum Mardi Gras Parade

I was riding my bike around downtown, and ended up in Deep Ellum in time for the First Annual Deep Ellum Mardi Gras Parade. I’ve been to Mardi Gras in New Orleans a couple times as well as the Bishop Arts version the last couple years – and Deep Ellum has a way to go to meet those standards – but it was still a blast and a great start.

Everyone met up at The Free Man and set out down the sidewalk playing Louisiana music and having a lot of fun. The sun was setting and I had a long way to go to get home on my bike, so I wasn’t able to stay for all the festivities. I’ll plan better next time.

If you missed it, they aren’t waiting until next year. There’s already another parade scheduled on Fat Tuesday.

Laissez les bons temps rouler.

The music started at The Free Man.

The music started at The Free Man.

First Annual Deep Ellum Mardi Gras Parade (click to enlarge)

First Annual Deep Ellum Mardi Gras Parade
(click to enlarge)

First Annual Deep Ellum Mardi Gras Parade (click to enlarge)

First Annual Deep Ellum Mardi Gras Parade
(click to enlarge)

First Annual Deep Ellum Mardi Gras Parade (click to enlarge)

First Annual Deep Ellum Mardi Gras Parade
(click to enlarge)

First Annual Deep Ellum Mardi Gras Parade (click to enlarge)

First Annual Deep Ellum Mardi Gras Parade
(click to enlarge)

First Annual Deep Ellum Mardi Gras Parade (click to enlarge)

First Annual Deep Ellum Mardi Gras Parade
(click to enlarge)

Bead Tree

“To encapsulate the notion of Mardi Gras as nothing more than a big drunk is to take the simple and stupid way out, and I, for one, am getting tired of staying stuck on simple and stupid.

Mardi Gras is not a parade. Mardi Gras is not girls flashing on French Quarter balconies. Mardi Gras is not an alcoholic binge.

Mardi Gras is bars and restaurants changing out all the CD’s in their jukeboxes to Professor Longhair and the Neville Brothers, and it is annual front-porch crawfish boils hours before the parades so your stomach and attitude reach a state of grace, and it is returning to the same street corner, year after year, and standing next to the same people, year after year–people whose names you may or may not even know but you’ve watched their kids grow up in this public tableau and when they’re not there, you wonder: Where are those guys this year?

It is dressing your dog in a stupid costume and cheering when the marching bands go crazy and clapping and saluting the military bands when they crisply snap to.

Now that part, more than ever.

It’s mad piano professors converging on our city from all over the world and banging the 88’s until dawn and laughing at the hairy-shouldered men in dresses too tight and stalking the Indians under Claiborne overpass and thrilling the years you find them and lamenting the years you don’t and promising yourself you will next year.

It’s wearing frightful color combination in public and rolling your eyes at the guy in your office who–like clockwork, year after year–denies that he got the baby in the king cake and now someone else has to pony up the ten bucks for the next one.

Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods, and our joy of living. All at once.”
― Chris Rose, 1 Dead in Attic

Bead Tree, Gibson Quad, Tulane, New Orleans, Louisiana

Bead Tree, Gibson Quad, Tulane, New Orleans, Louisiana

“I dust a bit…in addition, I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.
~Ignatius J. Reilly
― John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

Bead Tree, Gibson Quad, Tulane, New Orleans, Louisiana

Bead Tree, Gibson Quad, Tulane, New Orleans, Louisiana

“Leaving New Orleans also frightened me considerably. Outside of the city limits the heart of darkness, the true wasteland begins.”
― John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

Gator or Snake?

Last year, this woman was riding in the Bishop Arts District Mardi Gras Parade with a (small) alligator:

Instead of beads, this woman wanted to throw live alligators.

Instead of beads, this woman wanted to throw live alligators.

and this year, she was back. This time with a giant snake (I believe it is a reticulated python – but I could be wrong).

Luckily, she didn't throw anything.

Luckily, she didn’t throw anything.

Don’t worry… she was riding on the Dallas Zoo float… so I guess she knows what she is doing.