Greetings fellow revelers! Happy to report the first weekend of Mardi Gras 2014 seemingly unfolded with minimal fuss and maximum fanfare. While I personally stayed Uptown, walking to this parade and that corner on Friday and Saturday, we heeded caution for Sunday’s wetness and took in a matinee at the Prytania. So while my own experiences stayed squarely in the 70115, from all the posts I read, the otherwise premiere Carnival activities in the remainder of the Crescent City happened as expected: ‘tit Rex got small, Chewbacchus made the kessel run in less than 12 parsecs, and Barkus took a dip. All on a Mardi Gras first weekend, as it were.
Today’s forecast looks brutal for Nyx, though the posts I’m reading from some of its riders project confidence and demand submission on par with my father-in-law’s famous quote to his children my wife recounts of her rearing “You will have a Merry Christmas.” Those riding in and attending tonight’s parades with a projected low 40s, high 30s temperature social media updates possess a tone of “You will have a Happy Mardi Gras.” Ergo and of course parade goers will surely walk away with oodles of swag including but not limited to funky purses and glass beads. Not too shabby, but pop a couple of Airborne before you go maybe?
In terms of scoring last weekend’s effectiveness of new laws and enforcement I will offer this: I’ve never seen more police presence ever during Carnival. NOPD has always been available, but their numbers or at least their showing was strong. Ladders appeared compliant, snap pops were silenced, and rogue port-a-potties scarce if even on the radar.But the whole no parking thing on either side of the avenues? Fail. It was rampant and unenforced, despite NOPD being about. Best was the lady that cradled her road-weary Camry half street / half neutral ground at Napoleon & Magazine, practically in the shadow of the precinct. For the record, she “parked,” hung out a bit for a few floats, then “drove” away.
For the next seven days, permit me to offer this: pace yourself, and you can’t do it all, so don’t. There’s no crying in baseball and there are over 200 truck floats Mardi Gras Day, a test of will if ever there was one. Turn on your ‘OZ, buy an extra couple of cases of your fave brew, and open your doors and windows. The forecast looks pretty darn good, and thank goodness Fat Tuesday will be way tardy this season. Cold Carnivals equal a misery that really wants company, and gets it, but man, it’s a journey you earn. And last time I checked our moniker was still The Big Easy.
Jean-Paul Villere is the owner of Villere Realty and Du Mois Gallery on Freret Street and a married father of four girls. In addition to his Wednesday column at UptownMessenger.com, he also shares his family’s adventures sometimes via pedicab or bicycle on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.