A Tropical Storm Weekend Waiting

It’s Friday!!

I can’t believe that I can say that now and be happy about it.  I’m still loving that I gave up the crazy job.

So what’s been happening with me?

Well, I was able to hang out with a few Nyx members..that’s always fun!  I’ve met some truly fabulous women in this Krewe.

It still blows my mind that I’m in.

And as you all know, the Hamp Festival was last Saturday. The festival is  held on the black top at St. Augustine HIgh School.  It’s a wonderful event. They have to do a bit of tweaking when it comes to admissions (they had two lines set up and  the line I was in was chaotic) but other than that…

Man! That fest was off the charts!!

The O’Jays were the featured act and they were wonderful!

Although, I was a kinda sad that Walter Harris Sr. has lost his chops. I know most folks are Eddie LaVert fans, but I’ve  always been  a fan of Walter.  He was struggling at the microphone trying to get those notes out.  I noticed the band  playing on top of him …trying to hide the struggle.  I could barely hear him up there.

Oh well, Walter’s 71 years old…he’s allowed.

And they really did put on a great show. Here’s a 2 minute peek. And pardon my lil phone…that’s all I was working with y’all…lol

The opening acts were the Brass-A-Holics, Michael Ward and Glen David Andrews.  New Orleans has some of the best musicians ever.  The talent in this city is amazing.

I have to say though, that the Brass-A-Holics just blew me away…pun intended.

There are a lot of groups in the city that I like, but this one here,

I LOVE!

From what I’ve read on their site, their sound is a blend of  NOLA Jazz and Washington D.C.’s Go-Go Funk.

Whoddathunk  that the combo would make such a gumbo?!

I didn’t get a good video of them at the fest, but this video is better cuz they’re playing and riding around the French Quarters.

The Quarters looks so pretty …how da hell they manage to capture the Quarters all clean and everything!?!

I get to catch them again this weekend at the Gentilly Fest.

That is If Tropical Storm Karen don’t come around here acting a fool and ruin it for everyone.

Glen David Andrews, in true New Orleans form, got the crowd second lining.

I love the new lyrics, “ain’t no more projects, everybody got a voucher”…lol

It’s true.

The Hamp Fest is a real great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

If you’ve never been, you’re missing out on some great music, food and fun.

It’s a great way to support the school and y’all know  already know how I am about Aug.

Well, that’s all I got for now.

I gotta go get some stuff for the storm and then walk down my block to make sure all the storm drains are clear of debris.  Yeah, I’m that chick on the block. That’s another post for another day though.

Y’all be cool and all my Gulf Coast folks,

hunker down and be safe!

 

Mardi Gras 2013

I can’t believe I’m posting on a Saturday.  Since its carnival season, I had to put an extra post out.

Mardi Gras is now in full effect. Parades started yesterday with the Krewe of Oshun and the Krewe of Cleopatra.  I hadn’t gone out to see Oshun in a while and judging from what I saw last night…I haven’t missed much.

Oshun was sad….terribly sad.  They seemed to rush through the parade and they barely threw anything at all. Kinda sad because the crowd was pretty decent…more folks than I expected to see out there.

The Krewe of Cleopatra no longer parades on the westbank.  Now that they’re on the uptown route, I was finally able to see them.  I’m beginning to wonder what’s going on with the krewes.  I know they all like to save their throws for Canal Street but, you have to throw something to the rest of the route.

If you know you’re gonna ride, save your money (or better yet, recycle beads) so you can purchase ample enough throws for the entire route.

It’s getting to be kinda pathetic watching a float come down the street and you see two or three generic beads fly off of it.  I don’t know if it’s because of the economy or what,but if you want folks to come and see your parade…you have to throw.

We need the days when floats riders would throw so much that you couldn’t WAIT for them to pass you because they were unloading like crazy!

And there are some krewes that do that, like Thoth,Iris,etc. and they aren’t  super krewes.

Some of the others need to catch up and throw til it hurts!

I’m really behind on my information so, let me get right to it.

The parade cam is up and running  for anyone who wants to watch the parades. It’s located at St. Charles Ave and Napoleon which is a great spot.

You can view the parade cam here,

http://www.nola.com/paradecam/

You can also view it at Lee Circle here,

http://www.wdsu.com/weather/cams/lee-circle

Parade Schedule is,

Saturday, Jan. 26 1 p.m. – Pontchartrain 2 p.m. – Choctaw 6 p.m. – Sparta 6:45 p.m. – Pygmalion

Sunday, Jan. 27 Noon – Carollton 1:15 p.m. – King Arthur

Wednesday, Feb. 6 6:30 p.m. – Druids 7 p.m. – Nyx

Thursday, Feb. 7 5:45 p.m. – Babylon 6:30 p.m. – Chaos 6:30 p.m. – Muses

Friday, Feb. 8 6 p.m. – Hermes 6:30 p.m. – d’Etat 7 p.m. – Morpheus

Saturday, Feb. 9 11 a.m. – Iris Noon – Tucks

Sunday, Feb. 10 11 a.m. – Okeanos 11:45 a.m. – Mid-City Noon – Thoth 5:15 – Bacchus

Monday, Feb. 11 5:15 p.m. – Proteus 6 p.m. – Orpheus

Mardi Gras Day Fat Tuesday, 8:00-Zulu 10:00 a.m.-Rex and Truck Parade

Grandstand Parade tickets can be found here,

http://www.mardigrasparadetickets.com/?gclid=CIewmPqIh7UCFZGPPAodhkYAxQ

And last but not least, for all of my Purple Knights and their fans,

The Purple Knights, St. Augustine Marching 100 schedule is,

Date

Performance

January 1, 2013 Sugar Bowl Parade
January 12, 2013 Endymion Coronation Ball
January 25, 2013 Cleopatra Parade
January 26, 2013 Endymion Float Showing
January 26, 2013 Pygmalion Parade
January 28, 2013 RTA Street Car Dedication
January 30, 2013 NFL Experience (Convention Center)
February 2, 2013 Alla Parade
February 3, 2013 ESPN (Super Bowl Parade)
February 6, 2013 Nyx Parade
February 7, 2013 Muses Parade
February 8, 2013 Hermes Parade
February 9, 2013 Endymion Parade
February 10, 2013 Mid-City Parade
February 10, 2013 Bacchus Parade
February 11, 2013 Orpheus Parade
February 12, 2013 Zulu Parade HAPPY MARDI GRAS!!!!!!!

Congratulations Purple Knights!

Y’all know I have a lot of people who no longer live in the city visiting my blog. Y’all also know that, I have a bunch of Purple Knights who read it so, I gotta give them their fix…lol

CONGRATULATIONS TO ST. AUG’S FOOTBALL TEAM FOR WINNING THEIR DISTRICT TITLE!  I don’t have a clip of the football game so,

let the band say…

Personally, I’m glad to see the kids from all of the schools out there doing their thing.  Even though we still have a long way to go in the city, watching the kids(all NOLA kids) makes it feel almost normal again.

They are the true pioneers…they keep the culture going.

Kings of Carnival

Since Mardi Gras is officially over and everyone is eating seafood on Friday now, I had to put in my final carnival post. This particular one is also  filled with a bit of  history of the civil rights movement that took place in New Orleans.

As many people who live in the city already know, St. Augustine Marching 100 was supposed to march in Rex this year.  The band pulled out of Rex because, Rex wanted Warren Easton to lead the parade this year(at the request of Arthur Hardy.)

On the surface, this seems very trivial for a band to want to lead every parade.  It seems very cocky for them to expect to be lead band at every parade.

And while  Rex is the one who wanted another band to lead this year,

what amazes me more is the “selective memory” that takes place in this  fair city, among many blacks who have forgotten that, black marching bands weren’t allowed to participate in carnival.

Like the rest of the civil rights movement taking place in the 60’s,  someone had to stand on the front lines and be the first…

and being the first wasn’t going to be easy.

In 1967, St. Augustine Marching 100 became the first black band to integrate Mardi Gras.

These kids (and let us not forget they were children) ages 14-17 years old, marched in Rex  and while marching in that parade, in addition to being called niggers and other racial slurs , had to endure…

bottles being thrown at them, having people spit on them and other horrible things just for marching in what was known back then as “white carnival.”

One of  biggest insults they endured was when they marched through the French Quarters (the parades used to go in the Quarters back then) was that…

the folks on the balconies URINATED ON THEM.

Yeah, it was that deep and that real.

When St. Aug  marched on Canal Street, an elderly black women, dropped to her knees in front of the band and thanked God that she had lived to see that day.

The day when a black band marched on the streets of New Orleans.

The kids were talked to before the parade and told that, no matter what, do not react to the crowds.

Whatever they dish out…take it.

Turn the other cheek…

and they did.

Because of what they endured and because they did not react,

the krewes began to allow other black marching bands to participate in Mardi Gras.

Because they were the first to integrate  Mardi Gras,  and for what the band endured, out of respect ,they are given lead in every parade they march in.

Back in the day, most bands understood this and it was expected that Aug would be first.

However today, many bands are vying to lead  parades as if that part of  black history never took place…

like no one fought for that right.

The right for black bands to march in carnival parades.

People fought for that right.

Kids fought for that right.

Think about yourself when you were that age or your own kids that are 14-17 years old.

Now, think about crowds of people doing those things to you or,

to your kids while marching in a parade.

How would you feel about the situation then?

Probably the same way they feel.

Their place as lead band wasn’t  given to them…

it was earned.

They paid their dues for the place that they hold.

I know because…

my brother marched.

And my husband stood out there at 17 years old and watched his fellow classmates as they were subjected to the hatred being hurled their way.

Most of the kids who march in the band today are nephews, sons or cousins of those very same young men who marched in 1967.

I find it so ironic that, folks blame the bands ego for pulling out of Rex yet,

want that same position given to them….

with no dues paid.

That to me, is  the real ego trip.

And it’s typical of this generation…

wanting all of the rewards,

with none of the struggle.

Our history is what it is.

We can’t selectively choose what we want to embrace because, it fits our agenda.

Nor can we ignore what we want to because, it fits our agenda.

Pulling out of the parade was the right thing to do.

Because, at the end of the day…

it’s all about respect.

Happy Lundi Gras!

Well, I survived the parade day from hell. Me and my road dawg (yellowjacket) got out there at 7:30 as planned and let me tell ya, it was cold out there. We layered up pretty well and had some blankets with us so, it wasn’t too bad.  It was still nice and empty under the bridge at  Lee Circle so, we had our pick of the day.  Yellowjacket got nice and comfy while I walked to the gas station and picked up some hot chocolate for her….the things we do for our kids.

While it was empty under the bridge, right by us on St. Charles Ave. told a different story…

 

Yeah, folks were already out on the neutral grounds  in full force and Lee Circle wasn’t any better…

I had forgotten that, in addition to Midcity, Bacchus and Endymion they had two more parades…Okeanos and Thoth that rolled as well. That made for a total of 5 parades rolling that day uptown and two of the five were super krewes. It was like Mardi Gras day out there. By 11:00 a.m. the crowd was like this…

with many more to come.  Okeanos rolled on time, MidCity was late as hell(and chinchy), Thoth is my new favorite krewe…they threw something fierce! Reminded me of the old days when riders knew how to “make it rain” with throws.  By the time Thoth hit the streets, the crowd was at Mardi Gras day level.

Bacchus hit my area at 8:30 p.m. and I had been out there for over 12 hours. I was tired at hell and people started trying to move their way to the front which, I’m used to being a native. But, after 12 hours…umm, I gotta say, I wasn’t my nice, bubbly self out there with folks trying to “sneak” into my territory. I was already by the barricades(you can see in the first pic), how some people think they’re going to jump the barricades and just stand there all willy-nilly in front of me and my kids is beyond me.

All I’m gonna say about that is…by the time I finished, people were moving everywhere but, by me. LOL

I hadn’t seen Bacchus in ages and was glad I went.

Bacchus is the only krewe that has floats you get to throw beads at..that’s always fun!

The oldest float you throw back at  is King Kong and he’s still rolling so, if you all ever go to a Bacchus parade, make sure you have some junk beads (beads you don’t want) ready to throw at Kong…

Andy Garcia was the King of Bacchus and he was having a ball up there…

By the time Bacchus finished passing, it was 10:30 p.m. and we still had Endymion left to go.

Many people left after Bacchus. We waited about 20 minutes for Endymion but, it was almost 11 p.m. and they hadn’t made it by us yet so, we left.

Made it home around midnight…very sore, very tired.

Took a shower and fell into a coma.

Would I do it again?

YOU BETCHA!

I’m NOLA through and through.

The Parade Day From Hell Is Today.

It’s about 5 :45 a.m. and today is going to be a parade day from hell.

Why is that?

Because, Endymion which is a “super krewe” was rained out yesterday

and is following Bacchus (another super krewe ) along the uptown route today.

What does that mean?

That means, the parades are gonna be all day and last a very long time.

I hate that Endymion is following Bacchus because,

Bacchus floats are always spread out like they can’t keep up with each other.

One float will pass and the other float will be two blocks behind.

Endymion is always together.

It’s gonna be a loonnnggg night.

I’ve already checked the parade cam and people are already out there…

which means, if I want a descent spot

I have to get out there early.

My plan is to get out there around 7:30 a.m and camp out for the day.

I know people not from this area  think this is crazy but,

it’s what we do down here.

So, I have my “carnival chair”, some goodies to eat,water, paper towels, hand sanitizer,a good book to read and the most important thing…

toilet paper! LOL

Yeah, I bring my own. It’s bad enough I’m gonna have to use the port-a-let

I’m not wiping my tooshie with paper everybody and their grandmomma been touching.

Mid City is also rolling uptown today so, they’re all starting early.

St. Aug is marching in…wait for it…

Mid City

Bacchus and

Endymion

My guess is, they are going to march all of Mid City, ride back to the start-up and march majority of Bacchus, pull out of Bacchus and then

fall in line with Endymion somewhere along the route.

Those poor babies are going to be dead to the world when they finish marching 3 parades back to back today.

And they have to march Monday and Tuesday as well.

Such is life in the Big Easy this time of the year.

See ya tomorrow!