Now that the Super Bowl has passed and the temporary Disneyfication of our city has been taken down, we’re back to the normal seasonal crazy through Fat Tuesday next week. In our household, it means even more than in most years because we’ll have family staying with us through the entire time. By “family,” I mean my daughter and her boyfriend and a childhood friend of my daughter, so it’ll be a bon temp indeed around here.
Someone asked me the other day where we were all going to go eat and, frankly, I hadn’t thought much about it. Most likely, we won’t go anywhere except maybe to Parasol’s or Tracey’s up the street. I work every day during their stay and evenings will be tied up with parades or parade recovery. If they want me to make something at the house, I’ll be glad to do so. But, for the most part, I think it’ll be a every man/woman for him/herself. We’re one of those kinds of families.
I was also asked last week about which bar(s) I’ll be at before, during or after the parades. Well, I won’t be. I have worked largely in bars for the past five years, so I rarely go anymore. The parades can be raucous enough without dealing with a jukebox, the overserved, the agitated and the clueless. This isn’t to say there aren’t some great bars along the routes, but I prefer the more congenial atmosphere of friends and neighbors away from the bar scene.
I’m a parade stander, not a sitter. I prefer sidewalk side to neutral ground. I take my hat off when the US flag passes. I’m a picture and video taker – mostly of children and things like rows of parade ladders and similar scenes that mean little to those of us who don’t live here. I eat before or after the parades, not during. My drink of choice is bourbon – neat. This means I don’t have to lug around ice or find a place to store or dispose of beer cans. A plastic flask and a go-cup are all I need. It also means I am virtually never in search of a nearby bathroom.
We live inside the parade “box,” meaning we’re pretty much confined to our neighborhood at parade time. A lot of folks look at me in horror when they discover this, but I think it’s absolutely glorious. One of the many things I love about the Irish Channel is I can walk to everything we need. Granted, it can be a hassle to find one’s self on the way home from work in Mid-City when a parade is rolling down St. Charles. But I prefer that to the idea of having to find a place to park to go watch a parade, then waiting for the whole damn thing to pass before I can go home again. At least I know it’s a one-way trip.
I don’t like how the Super Bowl split our Carnival season in two. Just as we started gearing up for things with the first round of parades, we had to hit the pause button and switch to another program. Now that we’re going again, it’ll all be over entirely too soon (well, sooner than usual).
It’s the most sublime time of the year for this household, made even better by the arrival of family and friends who have returned for a few days from out of town. Added to this is the scent of new opportunities for Kim and I in the coming few months. We’re enthusiastic and ready.
This column marks my one-year anniversary at The Uptown Messenger. Thanks to Robert Morris for his continued encouragement and support, but most thanks go to those of you who are patient enough to read this too often meandering narrative and care enough to even comment from time to time. As always, I encourage and welcome ideas and feedback, be it positive, neutral or negative. Thank you for giving me space and a voice.
We’ll see you on the parade route!
Craig Giesecke has been a broadcaster and journalist for over 30 years, including nearly two decades at the AP and UPI covering news, sports, politics, food and travel. He has been the owner of J’anita’s for five years, serving well-reviewed upscale bar food and other dishes. Comments are encouraged and welcomed.