and...awake! Just hours later at 11am! Rallying for Box of Wine, another secret pop up parade that steals the main uptown route briefly, in-between the giant official parades i bike through town, weaving around tourists and skirting the parade route, spotting other secret revelers painted in gold en route, distinctly separate from the out-of-towners in their green/purple/gold hats and bead poundage weighing down their necks. a brief biker gang, we separate again in uptown and i abandon my bike at john david's house, changing back into my sequins. i call out to passing orange-blue bikers if they know the starting intersection for this mini-parade, and john david joins me for the stroll over through the sweetly calm and sunny afternoon. crossing the parade route madness, I find my way over to the freaks and geeks artistic BOX OF WINE madness. This parade paves the way for the superkrewe Bacchus by filling everyone's cup from their boxes of wine. Joyful and motely, we steal the route for a brief time with our antics and music. People are surprised, delighted, reinvigorated for the final parade of the day on this 4 parade marathon.
|The zulu king grants a painted coconut to his fans|
Monday, Lundi Gras. a bag packed and a bike ride to the waterfront park for Zulu fest; bands, and so much soul food. dancing by the riverboat, fried catfish, okra, peach cobblers. The Zulu King blesses his fans with the most coveted throw: gold painted coconuts. i purchase my food (catfish poboy, okra and rice, peach cobbler), preparing for a good tuck in before the days adventures. a towering black man in a track suit says "how you gonna eat all that food??? you'll have to roll down the street afterward!" we chat about where we're from and his daughters. after eating, I bike over to the marigny/bywater for the red bean parade; a sweet and low key local scene. Intensely creative bean based bead work outfits mingle with a mariachi band, the Treme Brass Band and parade slowly along, stopping frequently for dance parties in the street.
|terrible shot of the flotilla before my phone died|
I break off on esplanade, and head up to city park to catch the Slow Danger Brass Band flotilla parade. John David joins me and a kind boater invites us into his small watercraft. Climbing aboard he offers us brandy, a flag to wave, and endless stream of enthusiasm. Floating down the Bayou St. John, brass band to one side, surrounded by pirate ships and fellow vessels ducking under bridges loaded with cheering dancing freaks and revelers. At the final bridge, fireworks are lit and a couple makes out heavily in the flotilla beside us.
Mardi Gras Day! An early wake up call from our 9th Ward neighborhood Mardi Gras Indians as they wander the streets shouting “Wake up!!! Its Mardi Gras day!!!” We are a houseful of electric excitement, everyone outfitting, joaquin making eggs and biscuits that we all try and choke down. I head to the bywater to St. Anne's parade; beautiful costumed people filling the streets. A stop at Audrey's for a second breakfast of beans and rice. People wander, parade, linger. Noah from Noah's arc/bar offers me a bloody mary and i accept. Later, king cake vodka and sweet chat with middle aged man from buffalo. I find the bloco seirea mini-groups and free-form samba with those pulsing drums down the street, through the quarter. We take a break and i get my face painted by fellow Seiriean. We break off for food, then head up to the Treme and chase the indians where they confronting each other with ritual dance in the streets. Finally, walking back down to the quarter for Brazilian music and floating home through the endless revelry in the streets.