Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New Orleans Trip, part 5

Sunday Feb 12
For Sunday, I had plans to go over to a costume sale in the Fauborg Marigny district, because I have an internet acquaintance who lives in New Orleans and she was going to be hanging out there, so we had loose plans to possibly meet up. There was also going to be a small parade that afternoon in the French Quarter, the Krewe of Barkus which is DOGGIES IN COSTUMES!
I love dogs and I love costumes, so what could be more fun?

The first thing I did Sunday morning was to buy a warm knit hat. It was another COLD day, and I decided to cave in and buy a hat. I hated to do it because I knit, so I have a million beautiful handmade hats. But they were all at home! I didn't pack one because it was supposed to be warm. So even though another hat is the last thing I need, it was really something I did need at that moment. Many other tourists were apparently in the same boat, having packed for warm weather and being blindsided by the cold, so both Walgreens and CVS were completely OUT of hats other than baseball caps. I finally went into a little menswear shop on Canal street and got a wooly knit hat which really made a high difference in my comfort.

Then I went for breakfast at Daisy Dukes in the French Quarter. They have great breakfasts, 24 hours a day. If you love breakfast for dinner as much as I do, this is your spot!
After breakfast I continued on walking down Chartres street and I saw lots of people with their dogs in Jackson Square. They were all dressed up, but they weren't part of the parade, even the spectators had brought their dogs. There were just adorable puppies everywhere you looked, plus the square had all kinds of street artists, buskers, some food stands, etc. It's a real gathering place and fun to just sit and people-watch.

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I think this square was the center of community life in Old New Orleans, the main church is here too, St. Louis Cathedral
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The red line is my path on Sunday. Click the photo to see full size.

I continued on Chartres over to Frenchmen street in the Marigny. Unfortunately, my friend had already left the costume sale at the Blue Nile by the time i got there, but I got to see Frenchmen street and it's a really cool, funky little neighborhood.

I headed back to the French quarter to watch the doggie parade. I passed some ADORABLE shotgun houses. I have always loved tiny houses (maybe they remind me of dollhouses?), and these are just so cute and charming, I would love to live in a little house like this. For a single person it's just the right side, about the size of a one bedroom apt. New Orleans has lots of these, they are very narrow because the property tax was based on the width of the house. It kind of reminds me of narrow houses in Amsterdam (which were also taxed based on width, at the time they were built), the difference is that Amsterdam houses are usually 3 or 4 stories tall, and shotgun houses are traditionally one-story.
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Aren't the so cute? They have little front porches and shuttered windows, I am in love with these little houses.

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More wonderful texture and patina

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The Cornstalk Fence Hotel, in the French Quarter
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After a last-minute minor route change, finally the Krewe of Barkus parade began,

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The parade was very cute and fun, and afterwards I headed over to the Insectarium on Canal street. It's included with the Audubon pass that I bought, and it's pretty cool.
They also have some baby alligators
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I stayed there until it closed, and then I walked out the door and saw another parade was going down Canal street! The Krewe of King Arthur parade had a theme of Louisiana culture and history, so they had floats for things like jazz music, cajun culture, the bicentennial of statehood (which is this year), etc.

Again I got a ton of beads! I just can't beleive how much stuff these parades throw, the parade routes are really quite long and they throw this much stuff the ENTIRE way! I saw one parade hand a huge 2 foot tall stuffed monkey down to a lucky child. The really amazing thing is, NONE of the parades have any commercial sponsors. You won't see a single advertisement on any floats or trucks. The Krewe members pay for all of it themselves, some float riders will spend hundreds of dollars on throws, per person!

By the end of this parade I was just exhausted. My feet were throbbing and sore. It was not late, but I decided to make it an early night. I had a quick dinner at Popeyes and went back to the hotel to soak my aching feet and muscles in a hot bath, and then relaxed watching TV in bed.

Today's musical selection will have you dancing in your chair!
I'm goin' down to Louisiana to get me a mojo hand

That harp solo is out of this world! James Cotton is KILLING IT!

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