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Happy Mardi Gras to One and All!

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posted on Feb, 28 2006 @ 02:03 AM

As evidenced by my avatar depicting members of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, today is Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Here in Albuquerque and probably where you live, too, today is, well, Tuesday. This is a very special Mardi Gras because it is the first one since Hurricane Katrina and the devastation wrought thereby. Usually, Mardi Gras passes without much notice in the news, but this year there is much in the way of analysis of what it all means and whether or not a celebration of this sort is appropriate given the magnitude of human suffering from which New Orleans is still reeling.

For myself, I think that it is the only way for a city such as New Orleans to cope, at all. Carnival means so much to the city in terms of its economy, but also because it is such a special time for New Orleanians to share what is so special about its culture with the world.

Most of the news that comes from New Orleans about Mardi Gras comes from the French Quarter, which, while the site of much revelry, does not typify the the real nature of the event.

On Mardi Gras, the entire city is a party zone. There is not one block of the city on which there are not people singing, dancing and playing the music that very much defines the event. One of my most memorable Mardi Gras was when I took off walking from downtown to my home several miles away. It was as surreal an experience as you might ever have. People dressed as all manner of things and persons, watching parades, sitting on their porches having a beer or three, music blasting and a general air of good will among all.

This year will be different because many of those neighborhoods, for all intents and purposes no longer exist, but what does still exist is the spirit of Mardi Gras. Perhaps a little weary and heavy of heart, but the will to conquer the emotional components of the tragedy is there and alive.

So, do me a favor today, while you go through your Tuesday working, going to school, or whatever, and think of New Orleans, the "City that Care Forgot," and wish them well. In a way, Katrina brought home a lot of that care that had for so many years forgotten "The Big Easy." Mardi Gras proves that New Orleanians can rise above whatever fate may throw her way and revel in the spirit that makes Carnival such a way of life among her residents.

Mardi Gras Google News Search

Mardi Gras Google Search

[edit on 2006/2/28 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Feb, 28 2006 @ 12:14 PM

The good Times are rolling in New Orleans, despite the devastation and the loss of population. Revelers are poking fun at the storm, the government and themselves as they drown their sorrows in spirits and the party atmosphere. "Throw me something mistah," is the order of the day!

Mardi Gras revelers hit the French Quarter on Tuesday in beads and bizarre costumes as New Orleans tried to cheer itself up six months after Hurricane Katrina.

Some of the costumes even put a spin on the storm's aftermath with several people draping themselves in blue tarpaulins like those used to cover damaged roofs, including a woman in a blue tarp nun's habit.

One man wrapped himself in a white blanket labeled "2000 lbs" and had a model helicopter over his head to pose as one of the huge sandbags dropped into the breach in the 17th Street Canal that let water flood the city.

"Big Easy" cheers up for Mardi Gras

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

"We're letting people know that we can poke fun at ourselves. Everybody's trying to deal with this and get their lives together. Vodka cures everything," said reveler Barry Rush, sipping from his drink.

Rush was wrapped in one of the emblematic blue tarps the government gave out by the thousands to cover storm-damaged roofs. He called himself the "Katrina blowhard."

One woman dressed as the mold that now fills many of the flooded homes, another as a very hefty Meals Ready to Eat, the military rations that rescue workers gave to storm victims.

New Orleans revelry dominates post-Katrina Mardi Gras

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

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[edit on 2006/2/28 by GradyPhilpott]

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