February 18, 2013
A Quick Look at Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Introduction to the "Big Easy"
Like so many others, after checking into my hotel -- the Bourbon Orleans -- I headed for the Cafe du Monde
for, what else? Coffee and beignets:
And the rest of the French Market -- where the Cafe du Monde is located -- offers a good introduction to New Orleans:
Of course, there's the obligatory shot of the Cathedral:
The Lundi Gras Parades - A Lesson Learned
If, like me, you're staying in the French Quarter and want to see the big parades of marching bands and big floats with spectacularly costumed people, you head for nearby Canal Street.
There, as I learned on Lundi Gras evening, you can wedge into a mob ten deep, stand for three hours, and catch about 30 minutes of bands and floats. That's a lot of waiting to catch a glimpse like this:
Smaller Is Better
I was glad to learn this lesson a day before the big Tuesday blow-out. On Mardi Gras, I simply stayed in the French Quarter, moving back and forth between Jackson Square and Bourbon Street, the main center for the traditional tossing of beads by the crowds on the balconies to the masses in the street. Occasionally, the balcony partiers demanded a show of "tits or ass" before bestowing beads on the revelers below.
If you're still up to it, here are two end pieces -- brief videos.
Bourbon Street Parade
Much more enjoyable for me than being stuck in a mob watching big bands and floats parade slowly by.