New Orleans Mardi Gras
Mardi Gras is like everyone is headed to the hottest Halloween party in town to do mad cocaine and participate in all kinds of debauchery. Well isn’t that what Mardi Gras is about? Maybe not cocaine. But all kinds of debauchery.
I attended two parades. Krewe of Proteus and Krewe of Zulu known as the Zulu Parade. Fact: The Parades started on January 6th and not this past weekend. Fact: The Parades don’t go down Bourbon Street. Fact: The Parades are racially segregated. Who knew? Lundi Gras (Fat Monday), I witnessed the Krewe of Proteus Parade. It’s named after someone in Greek Mythology. First thing I saw was white men on horses with their faces covered and only a cut out for their eyes. Reminiscent of the KKK. My spirit was instantly disturbed. There were high school and middle school marching bands. And then the floats were filled with all white people that donned flesh colored plastic masks to make them look extra white. Huh? Instead of tossing the beads and coins off their float to everyone, they mostly tossed them to the white people on the balcony across the street from us. Those people were part of their “krewe”, including the Queen of Proteus. I didn’t spot the King.
For us peasants, if they threw something in our direction, it was launched with aggression. I was taking a pic and felt something smack me so hard on the back of my hand. It was confusing. Should I have been excited to get a beaded necklace or should I have paid more attention and ducked? The Zulu Parade, on Fat Tuesday, was definitely the black answer to the white hype. However, it was very peculiar. Everyone on these floats were black. Or were they? They were ALL in black face with jet black Afro wigs. Even the White people were wearing black face. It went from one extreme to the other. I know it’s tradition for the Krewe of Zulu to wear black face. But again, this didn’t sit well in my spirit.
Why, in 2020, is anyone wearing black face? And this is not the brown makeup that Kim Kardashian wears to look like she is light skinned. This is black soot from a chimney with white accents around the mouth and/or eyes. They were definitely nicer about throwing items. The coveted item to receive was a painted coconut. I didn’t catch one. But they threw all kinds of things from beads to stuffed animals to umbrellas. I’m working on reading the history of why the parades are segregated. And why do they go the extra mile to be caricatures of white or black people?
Read a couple of things. Haven’t found a clear answer yet. My assumption is that blacks weren’t able to participate until some point. I can’t put my finger on why BLACK people in a BLACK parade NEED to wear BLACK FACE. The music was certainly better at the Zulu Parade. And surprise, black people (without blackface or masks) rode their own horses. After the parades, Bourbon Street is where you really get your beads. And if you’re adventurous, then you show your tits to have someone throw you beads they would most likely have thrown to you anyway. I saw some painted nipples. But it wasn’t necessarily “Girls Gone Wild”.
People were certainly in some crazy costumes. Street shows were going on. The 72 year old grandma was still out there with her bike and loud music, accosting the men and grinding her pelvis on their legs. She needs to be a part of the #metoo movement. The gayborhood had a guy in a sparkly thong onesies who wanted to bust it wide open for anyone that would stop to watch him dance. And I use“dance” loosely. All in all, Mardi Gras is an experience. And if I didn’t pay so much attention to the racial undertones, I probably would have thrown caution to the wind and “Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler”. Nevertheless, I love New Orleans and the always present energy of “let’s just eat, drink and be merry”.
I tried Dragos AGAIN! My opinion still stands. That butter is too thick and too creamy. I tried Felix for the second time, since Acme wouldn’t let me be great. They were closed on Mardi Gras for a private party. How dare they! Didn’t they know I was coming? Lol. Felix is better than Dragos. However, Acme is still my choice for chargrilled oysters and soft shell crabs. I said what I said.