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take me to the Mardi Gras - adventures of a red-headed stepchild in the house of love
mermaid on the mic
djmermaid
djmermaid
take me to the Mardi Gras
I've never been to New Orleans. Always wanted to go, but never had the chance. And it seems to me that this year's Mardi Gras will be the most local oriented and least "spring break"~ish one in a long time - probably in my lifetime.

So, I have become more and more fascinated by the idea of going this year.

I'd long thought this was something I'd never do, and so it is something I know very little about. Looking into it, I have discovered that there is not one unified mardi gras celebration, but many individual parties and parades. (Those in the know are surely saying "duh!" right now, but it's all news to me.) I've been researching the history, logistics, and how it all works, and the more I've learned, the more fascinated I've become.

From what I've been able to find out so far, the main issue for outta towners this year will be lodging - many locals are still stuck living in hotels, so the ones that are open may not have a lot of space for out of town tourists.

Nevertheless, the more I think about this, the more I want to see and experience it for myself, and this year seems like the perfect time for me... and also a good time to support tourism in N.O. at a time when they can surely use the $.

So, I'm wondering if any of my friends out there have any knowledge or experience of New Orleans, Mardi Gras, or any other relevant info or advice.

I'm feeling: curious curious

11 smooches or Gimme Some Love!
Comments
ksea From: ksea Date: January 31st, 2006 02:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Don't know if you're aware of this, darlin' - but as of 10 days ago, I live in New Orleans! I am dividing my time between helping a friend fix up her new house in Gulfport most weekdays, and the remainder of the time in NOLA. She grew up here, so is a wealth of information...

You MUST come - you'll absolutely love it. I fell in love with the place the first night...
silverfae From: silverfae Date: January 31st, 2006 03:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you read my flist, docbrite is Poppy Z. Brite, and she has lots to say about her home!
djmermaid From: djmermaid Date: January 31st, 2006 11:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
Reading PZB (and the prime_liquor community) has inspired me to want to travel there, as a matter of fact! ; )
idiva From: idiva Date: January 31st, 2006 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Milly just got her tickets last night to go to NOLA 2/17-21 to visit with Paul (aka nolarefugee) so she'll be there for Lundi Gras. Paul only lives in a studio so probably can't offer lodging. If you're in town then you should definately give her a call. She can give you her cell #
in_between_daze From: in_between_daze Date: January 31st, 2006 07:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
i've always gone either just before or after mardi gras, which i always found to be quite a good idea. the idea to go this year is also a good one, i kinda wish i could go myself. though i've been to nola several times, i can't imagine that anything that was true about the place then would be true about it now.

poppy's lj is a great read: there's plenty about her cats, and food, and new orleans itself. she has links here and there to her flickr (sp?) album, which has some great post-k photos.
djmermaid From: djmermaid Date: January 31st, 2006 11:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been reading PZB (and her prime_liquor community too) for some time, which is how I got this crazy idea. If I can figure out a place to stay, I'm all over this one. I don't even know what the timeframe should be - like, what do you consider "before mardi gras" to be? Fat Tuesday seems to be 2/28 this year, that much I've figured out. ; )
in_between_daze From: in_between_daze Date: February 1st, 2006 06:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
i've always missed the events by a week... which, since there is stuff the week leading into mardi gras proper, is more like two weeks before.

i've stayed in the quarter and in a men's b&b in the marigny, and much preferred my non-quarter stays. but as i said before, things are likely to be waaay different now.
in_between_daze From: in_between_daze Date: February 1st, 2006 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)

oh...

i know goth folk who have been to nola and gotten mugged. who mugs goth folk?

i mention this because, historically, the big festivals are great times to get mugged and pickpocketed and what not: with all the tourists and huge crowds it's a great time for a petty thug to make some quick and easy cash. it's one of the nice things about being there after mardi gras, and was evn mentioned to me by a couple of the locals.
porsupah From: porsupah Date: January 31st, 2006 11:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
If you do wind up going, please take along a camcorder! (Then again, would it really be safe to go wielding expensive electronics in the thick of it all? Maybe it's just part of the risks in the life of an intrepid social reporter :)

I've never been to New Orleans (though I think I've been through Orléans), less still experienced Mardi Gras, but it's definitely on the Things To Do list. It seems to be so very much more than a mere carnival, even if Rio de Janeiro maybe takes the cake on that count. ^_^
jennconspiracy From: jennconspiracy Date: January 31st, 2006 11:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been thinking about going -- I have friends who would put me up (with me?) and one even participates in parades. I ought to look into tix now... all I can say is bring plenty of dry socks and dry clothes to change into - it always rains during mardi gras and the last thing you want is a fungal infection because they NEVER GO AWAY! Not the fungus from NOLA, anyway, and probably even worse now.

But it's lots of fun! :)
broncochick From: broncochick Date: January 31st, 2006 11:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes! Go! I'll be there from 2/16-2/21. Much fun to be had!!!!!!!
11 smooches or Gimme Some Love!