Saturday, February 25, 2006
Day two has reached its completion, out of our three-day weekend excursion to New Orleans with much fanfare, revelry, and a little bit of prayer. Thankfully the rains withstood for most of the afternoon, and even when they did come it wasn't a total wash. We made our way out to Napoleon Ave. in Uptown to catch two early afternoon parades so that we would be able to see a few parades in case Endymion postponed their parade. It turns out that they did for a potential downpour condition that never truly materialized.
So I bolted out the door this morning to join the parade-going bunch, less the umbrella I packed especially for the day. No big worries there. We managed to circle De la Salle a few times before getting to a suitable parking spot. We got to the Iris parade about a third of the way in progress and joined the fray for the beads. Surprisingly the marching bands were non-existent in the parade so it flew by in about 20 minutes (about half the usual time). The Krewe of Tucks followed next, without a dark cloud threatening overhead. I enjoyed their float titles, many of which were witty backhand (but justified) swipes at everyone from FEMA, to the Corps of Engineers, to the Mayor (of the "Chocolate City"). The picture above was after the second parade of our motley group, once Endymion made their decision to cancel the parade for the day (note the sunny skies above).
So, since Endymion was out the reach of our viewing eyes now for the year, we decided to meander down to the French Quarter for the afternoon. After much lengthy discussion, we managed to weave our way through several deserted neighborhoods around Claiborne, including a number of vacant (but still unsightly as ever) housing projects. We had made a sightseeing trip through the Ghetto of New Orleans. Then we managed to do more sightseeing in Mid-City, noting the still visible waterlines from August on many of the buildings). Circling around the foot of Elysian Fields, we made it back to City Hall and parked, walking back down Canal to the Quarter.
We had a nice (but crowded) visit to Café du Monde for a plate of beignets and hot chocolate; after all we are in the CHOCOLATE city after all! We viewed St. Louis Cathedral and the vista of Mississippi River from the "Moon Walk," named after the 1970 mayor of New Orleans, Moon Landrieu. Beads still in tote, most of the group went to the Saturday vigil mass at St. Louis, which is still as glorious and stately of a church it has ever been. It was nice way to cap our brief visit to the Quarter before ambling down a rather deserted Bourbon Street, finally heading to our cars back at City Hall. I remember now why I avoided Bourbon Street every year before with all of its drunken out-of-towners being a bunch of disgusting (and drunk) fools.
Thankfully we left the dreary wet weather of the Quarter for warmer and more spacious accommodations of a local eatery for some seafood and more visiting. It was an all around great day.