Since there aren’t any parades this year due to covid,New Orleanians have decided to put a spin on Mardi Gras and decorate their homes…hence the name,Yardi Gras.
I love how some house decorations represent the carnival krewes that would’ve rolled this year.
Take a look at how the city of “making lemonade out of lemons” has celebrated this carnival season. Hopefully next year we’ll be back on the streets of NOLA… throwing til it hurts.
HAPPY MARDI GRAS! Stay warm!!
Since today is the day the Krewe of Nyx would’ve rolled (thanks covid🙄),I’ve decided to use this day to finally tell why I left the krewe.
*Update…the blog released early,but I’m leaving it up because it’s time I told my story …for closure if nothing else.
As many of you now know ,the captain put out an all lives matter post under the krewe’s instagram page which created pa firestorm. She was asked to step down as Captain which she refused to do.
Honestly, knowing what I know about the “mechanics of carnival krewes” and how in most krewes, the by laws state the Captain is the captain until he/she decides to retire and pick their successor,I didn’t expect her to step down.
Anyone that wants to read up on what happened to the Krewe of Nyx can go to the link…here.
What tossed the krewe out of the window for me,was when she was asked if she would consider putting a black krewe member on the board and her reply was,
So you mean to tell me that black women only get 4 attempts to become board members…but 11 white women were on the board that didn’t work out and some were given second chances and put on the board AGAIN.
This is the problem that black women face when around some white women who claim female empowerment,sisterhood and feminism,
They exclude Black women or put a cap on how involved we can be.
The infamous glass ceiling.
She totally put one on the amount of times black women would be allowed to be a board member.
Last year at the Nyx Myx Ball,all of the African American Float Lieutenants took a picture(above) that I was going to blog and post in celebration of Black History Month. We love the ladies that were on our floats and we were proud to represent them.
Look at that picture again,
…every single woman in this picture has a degree. In this picture are attorney’s, social workers,educators,nurses,etc.
One of the attorney’s is now a criminal court judge.
and you mean to say none of us were worthy of board member consideration?!
I’ve seen white people become board members simply because they’re friends and family of other board members and nothing else.
But a Black woman has to once again prove herself beyond reproach to be considered.
Hell,I should’ve been considered based on loyalty alone.
The fact that alt right wing republican Miriam Owens is now a member just lends credence to what I’ve suspected for awhile now.
I had heard the whispers about the krewe becoming ” too black” for some people.I’ve even had some white friends tell me that other white women had come to them and said it.
So when the all lives fiasco happened and Julie was told to fix it because people were leaving en masse.Her reply of,”well…it’ll weed some people out” left me thinking that she was talking about us…Black Women.
I had no choice but to leave. We clearly weren’t valued and our concerns fell on deaf ears.
When you stop giving a damn about your riders and start packing them on the floats like sardines,I have a problem with that(one year,I had a float that held 60 max…but I had over 70 riders.)
When a tragedy happens and you don’t take a minute to address your riders who are distraught and confused,
When the goddess is left at the end of the route with no ride and has to take a taxi home,
you’re going to create enemies.
And in the age of social media,the news will spread like wildfire.
Julie created a lot of enemies.
Float Lieutenants did a shitload of work in the krewe. Sure,we got about $100 off of dues but,the krewe got that back because it was mandatory that lieutenants attend(and pay for) krewe functions.
For the life of me,I don’t see how she thought that the mass of people out there on the route were out there just for her.
It was the riders who made the krewe what it was. The riders were the ones who threw like crazy and engaged with the crowd.
Mardi Gras krewes may be run as a dictatorship,but the riders are the ones who pay the dues and buy the throws that the crowd loves. And it’s their dues that keep the krewe afloat.
The KON captain lost sight of that
and the fact that all lives can’t matter until Black Lives do…
Wishing you and yours a very happy and prosperous year!
Anyone who knows me knows that my favorite time of the year is carnival season. The sights and sounds of parades rolling down the streets of New Orleans is something that really brings me joy.
This season is very special to me because I’m not only a member of a new all-female carnival organization,I’m also a proud co-founder.
The Mystical Order of the Phoenix is pleased to announce Phoenix 1 as she rises into carnival history, and it makes my heart swell to be able to say Hail You to our Phoenix,the beautiful, Gemelle Martin Linzy!
Gemelle was the first Queen of the Krewe of Diana in 1968, so it’s wonderful that she’s also a part of our Phoenix history as well.
She’s the owner of Martin Insurance Agency which has been in her family for many years and is located in the City Park area in New Orleans. Her ties to the city run as deep as her love of carnival.
We’ll be celebrating the Ascension of the Phoenix which is sure to be a lovely event, at Andrea’s Restaurant this Saturday, November 21st. Naturally,we’re using covid precautions because we want to celebrate safely.
All friends and family members are welcome to attend.Come join us as Phoenix 1 ascends into Mardi Gras history and the Mystical Order of the Phoenix takes flight.
I’ve been thinking about how I wanted to write about my ride for awhile now. If you have been keeping up with the news, you know that this season was marred with tragedies…one of which happened during our parade. That tragedy led to a number of Nyx riders not being able to complete their ride,
and a beautiful soul was lost.
I was on float 13 so I was able to complete the entire ride.
And because of that, there’s a conflict between my head and my heart.
How do you write about a ride that was so awesome, a pre-party that was the best one ever and a crowd that had been lined up on the streets since 9 am…waiting for the krewe to roll when your heart keeps pulling you to the poor soul who is no longer on this earth?
Someone told me that, she loved Mardi Gras…and she loved life. She was out there living her NOLA Life to the fullest.
I definitely understand that. I’m a NOLA Girl through and through too. So in her honor, I’m going to write this blog (and the rest of my Mardi Gras posts)and focus on the joy of the ride..the joy of the season.
The excitement that filled the city that Wednesday.
The people who couldn’t wait for the Mystic Krewe of Nyx to hit the streets and turn this city pink and black,
and the women who couldn’t wait to ride.
Most of us were watching the weather like hawks. I think the forecast was 30% chance for rain that day, but in true NOLA form… people must have started with novenas and getting whatever good juju they could lay their hands on because, we were spared the rain AND the temperature was around 60 degrees.
Great weather equals large crowds and they were out there…DEEP.
Check in for our pre-party began at noon. Some of the ladies like to get together beforehand and have brunch. I began my day slow. I know it’s a marathon type of day so I don’t leave the house until I have to go check in.
Because I’m a float lieutenant, I have added duties so I usually check my bags(a kazillion times) to make sure everything is in there before I leave the house. Once I get to the Convention Center, I check in, find our section and wait for the riders on my float to show up.
This year was very interesting because I rode with laryngitis. My voice was totally gone.I had gotten sick on Sunday and by the time we rode Wednesday, I was so sick that I had to run to an Urgent Care and get a shot to make it through the ride.
My float riders are the best though. They took such good care of me…I’m so lucky to have them.
The pre-party was on fire! This was my favorite one so far and I can’t wait til we ride in 2021 to see if it can get any better. The food was plentiful…and good! The drinks were flowing, and the music kept everyone on the dance floor.
I don’t know who the DJ was but he’s a keeper! My cousin who doesn’t like to dance, STAYED out there on the floor..so yeah…he has the magic touch.
And speaking of floor, let me just say that I LOVE HALL A at the Convention Center!
Because that hall has carpet! It makes a difference because we’re in there for about 4 hours. Walking around and dancing on a carpeted area was mercy on these old legs and feet of mine. Also, it gave the room a cozy feel. I absolutely love that hall.
Around 3 pm, they began to call the riders by float number to get on the buses parked outside. The buses took us to the lot where the floats were and then we rode the floats down to the line up area.
The ride to the lineup is one of my favorite things to do that day. Usually there are people just hanging out in front of their door or walking the street and they always wave when they see us passing.
I don’t know what it is, but something about seeing them before I get to the massive crowd of people on the route helps me to get ready for the joyous storm that lies ahead.
Man, when we started rolling though.
I knew the crowd was going to be thick, but I wasn’t ready for this one. This was the largest crowd ever…must have been close to 10 people deep. I did notice that the crowds were more aggressive this year. They told you exactly what they wanted from you. One of my riders had her headdress snatched off her head while she was bending down to get more throws.
Not cool at all.
But it’s only a small percentage of people who act this way. Majority of the people on the route are courteous, grateful and happy to see us out there.
And I appreciate you all so much. You all are the reason I ride…there’s nothing like seeing those happy faces staring back at you when you give someone something they didn’t expect to receive.
The crowds were thick the entire route. I ran out of throws (something I never do) and I’m a heavy thrower. I’ve already decided that I’m going to buy the largest package next year (so y’all come out and get those throws.) I know a lot of people like to buy throws and bring them to the floats, but I’ve been riding for 7 years now and the easiest thing to do is to purchase the bead packages. They’re loaded on the float for you and the way they’re packaged gives you more space.
A win-win in my book.
I’m looking forward to 2021… it will be the Mystic Krewe of Nyx’s 10th Anniversary.
10 whole years already.
Seems like yesterday I watched the krewe roll on the streets for the first time.
Seems like yesterday I was blogging about how I didn’t think I’d ever become a member…and here I am 7 years in and a proud float lieutenant.
Here we all are.
Here’s to 2021.