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Another Day

Is it possible for one day of festivity to change everything?

I woke up Mardi Gras morning wondering if I had a friend left in the world.

Turns out I’ve got hundreds.

Outside the R Bar

If not thousands.

Up Royal

We saw many old friends. We met many new friends. Some were almost a little too friendly, like the guy who grabbed my ass or the dude who kept hitting on Xy. But it was all good. It was all about the love this year.

In the battle of the Sainte Anne factions it would seem that the Bywater faction is ascendant. They had the band. They rule.


The costumes were amazing as always, maybe a little less jaw-dropping than last year. Fewer blue people, for whatever reason. I think my favorite was the tourist who got kicked out of his hotel room mid-shave and was forced to wander the streets wrapped in nothing but a towel.

Locked Out of His Hotel Room

As for me, I went for extreme silliness as the Love Raccoon. This costume was based on a velvet painting I found on a trash heap around the corner from our house. That and some face paint and a red fur collar from MF in China and I was set.

The Love Raccoon

I’m happy to report that the costume provoked a lot of smiles and laughter. The woman behind the counter at Envie said it was the best thing she’d seen all day, which is pretty amazing when you consider the competition.

Danger & Son


Spooky Beautiful

And Xy, the Purple Lady? She did well. She held her liquor, didn’t get lost once, caught her second wind at lunch, and had strength for the bike ride back home. I’m proud of her.

By My Side

I thought last Mardi Gras, six months after Katrina, was the ultimate celebratory event, the most meaningful ever. I was sure this year would not be able to compare. I was prepared to have some fun, but I didn’t expect to be moved, deeply.

Was I ever wrong.

We followed Sainte Anne further than ever this year. I’d heard that they eventually made it to the river to commemorate those who have passed away during the preceding year. But I’d never actually made it that far.

Somehow, this year, we did.

Down by the Riverside

The whole thing was profoundly uplifting and decidedly surrealistic.

And now, the euphoria wears off, and the blood of our people is still running in the streets, but hopefully we all have the collective strength to get through another year and rebuild the city.

PS: I took a camera along for the first time in years, so you can see a set of thirty more selected pix if you’re so inclined.

Published inFriendsHoly DazeNew OrleansPix


  1. Bart,
    At 9am I was sitting in my bathrobe thinking of reasons not to go. The Mardi Gras Grinch was sitting on my shoulder. When the hubby woke up and we compared outfits it seemed right to just walk out the door in our pj’s

    I am glad we did,last year was cathartic since we had only been back since January. This year was re-affirmation. We are here,we are here,we are here. On this planet,in this world,with these people,for right now.

  2. chrissieroux chrissieroux

    Glad you and yours had a good time. Great costumes. We did the Zulu/Rex thing, and it felt great. I have a small, private religious experience every time St. Aug comes barreling through the crowd.

  3. Thanks for the account and pictures. There are so many ways to do Mardi Gras. We tend to do something different every year depending on what pops up.

    Ashley, y’all are tied down until they can all walk. Then you’ll have more flexibility. Besides, you can’t see Zulu and do St Anne. The house right on the parade route thing with Ray and Gina was great.

  4. […] favorite costume, hands down, was towel guy. (and apparently, we weren’t the only ones who thought so). We laughed so hard we cried. It wasn’t the costume, it was the way he sold it. […]

  5. RobynCz RobynCz

    I am positively moved by your description. I’ve read other blog/journal entries in the past two days that echo your sentiments. It seems this year was unexpectedly special and uplifting for many. I’m so glad for you all.

  6. Hi B., I’ve been reading you since Helen’s death, only posted a couple of times, but I’ve been thinking about you a lot, what you’ve taken on in your town and how it weighs on you. I’m glad to see an entry where you’re feeling something positive coming back to you. May it keep you buoyed for awhile to come!

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