Everywhere else, as they say, yesterday was just Tuesday. But here in New Orleans, it was Mardi Gras.
After making it through the Zulu crowds, I walked through the Marigny where I planned to catch up with the costumed revelers of the Society of St Ann, one of my favorite parades. St Ann is a rambling, stomping, great time. Unlike the huge parades uptown that make their way to Canal Street, this is a long band of motley, bawdy locals and hip visitors dressed up in costumes that range from the expected (hey, I saw that grinder monkey last year) to the topical (lots of Saints references). The crowd grows as it moves along from the Marigny to the French Quarter and picks up new characters.
On the way to R Bar, a sort of St Ann ground zero, I ran into Times-Picayune restaurant critic Brett Anderson. We shared a drink with his lovely girlfriend and moved on. Once in the Quarter, bon vivant bar tender Chris Hannah saw through my mask and offered a drink. Chris had a cooler filled with Chief Lapu Lapu, one of my favorite tiki concoctions. Made with Cruzan and Smith & Cross rums, it was just the thing.
And who was that in the Nagin-B-Gone exterminator outfit? Why, it’s that charmer Wayne Curtis dispensing Sazeracs to the crowd. First a squirt of bitters from the spray bottle, then a dose of Old Overholt from the pump dispenser.
Even the crowd of human-sized cockroaches couldn’t say no.