The weekend ramped right up as Carnival continues and the Saints won their first playoff game. There was a music festival at the US Mint near the French Market, and I sat a for a part of a set before being shooed away from the fence for not paying admission. I took a walk through the Quarter Saturday evening, and ran into a walking krewe at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop. Their theme seemed to be colored dots, and the costumes were spotty. The Eagles fans mixed in seemed a little perplexed by the costuming and frivolity, but they seemed to get along after a bit. I saw a second line with a band and dancers wearing elaborate lit capes or wings, but apparently just a couple dressed in formal wear as the honorees. I’m guessing it was an anniversary or other private celebration, but it was the smallest second line I have seen. It was still a welcome sight, and it always makes my day better to be stopped in traffic for a marching band.
My favorite marching krewe of the day was the Wino Dinos, who had about a dozen or so people in dinosaur costumes-tyrannosauruses, stegosaurs, and others-escorted by musicians and people in less elaborate costumes throwing dinosaur toys to the children, and of course, drinking wine. Even a low-key weekend during Carnival is a blast. I stopped in for a drink and a visit with Melissa at Tujague’s, and skipped the late night music in favor of an early start for the Saints game.
I went over to Chris and Cecile’s, and we met up with the Touro Street Irregulars at 10 for the 4 o’clock game. Jill, Ellen, and Brian all had tickets to the game, and the rest of us were just along for the ride. We walked up to the streetcar line, dressed in Saints gear, and ran into a guy named Roberto who invited all of us to a private party at dba where he would be bringing tamales and ceviche for his birthday. We rode the streetcar to the tailgate spot just outside the SuperDome, and cavorted about with other Saints fans for a bit. I am not quite sure who was hosting the party, but it was awfully good food and drink. I am not a tailgate expert, but I’m guessing not all tailgates feature jambalaya, crawfish mac and cheese, and beignets.
We went from there into Champion’s Square, the plaza adjacent to the SuperDome, and worked our way right up to the front row of the crowd listening to Big Sam’s Funky Nation playing a fun set of music. A woman next to us was a 40-something former Saints cheerleader/dancer, and got into a dance off with a couple of teenagers who may have won when they started breakdancing. It’s almost cheating. We left well before game time, and before the plaza filled up completely, headed for the birthday party at dba.
It wasn’t quite open, so we sat in for a few songs at the Spotted Cat, which was oddly empty-probably everyone was footballing-but it was the first time since I have been back that it was not crowded. The people that were there were Japanese and British tourists, once again a different crowd on Frenchmen Street. We walked across to dba for the first part of the game, awaiting tamales, but the host/guest of honor didn’t show up. We watched the first quarter there, and then walked back to Cecile’s for the rest of the game. And the Saints won!
I ran into a film crew on my way to the pool, setting up lights and other elaborate gear on a residential street in the Treme, apparently shooting an exterior of a house I walk by most days and greet the folks sitting on the porch when they are out for their morning coffee and cigarettes. This is another fun aspect of the city-that the neighborhoods and houses I take for granted are film set worthy.
Trump is in town, addressing a farm convention, which is a good enough reason to avoid the upper Quarter and CBD today. I did see some protestors headed that way with large paper mache props, but figgered it would be better not to be arrested today, and I am not sure civil discourse would be on the agenda. I’m not quite ready to go all black bloc, or even to be around if things go sideways.