It was a big football weekend, with college football conference championships and the Saints/49ers. The LSU/Georgia game meant a big party on Touro Street, made more interesting by folks traveling in from Lafayette for the Saints game. There always seem to be decisions to be made about entertainment in New Orleans, and this time I opted out of the Krampus parade, the Bad Santa run, and the Mr. Bingle Christmas parade in favor of friends on the porch. The late night bleedover of costumed people on the street gave me a nice NOLA buzz, a taste of good things to come as Mardi Gras season arrives in a month. I’ve been slacking in the costuming department, but there is time to pick up my game.
LSU won the prestige game, and folks were ecstatic. There was lots of drinking on the porch, and some of the conversation got a little ugly, with an older rural Louisianan making provocative racist remarks to see who would bite. I didn’t rise to the bait, but it certainly makes for a less pleasant evening. I had a good conversation with Eric, the unofficial mayor of the neighborhood. Kim, Cecile’s neighbor, was with us on the porch, celebrating the end of a project and the acceptance of a couple of her films at Sundance. A talented woman! She tried to recruit a group to go to the drag show at the Golden Lantern, but most folks were one or two too many tequila shots into the evening to make the trek. I was a little more sober, and in need of a palate cleanser, so walked down with her to the gay bar for the show. On the way we were intercepted by a wedding second line headed down Royal to the R-bar, one of the fun things about the neighborhood.
This was my first nighttime visit to the Golden Lantern, and my first drag show outside of a multi-performer burlesque production. The performers were spectacular, some concentrating on dance, others on outfits, and one on displaying her perfect breasts on an offensive lineman’s body. All of them worked the crowd with aplomb, and the diverse crowd played along with enthusiasm. The apparent regulars didn’t pay much attention, involved in their own conversations in the corners. I hung out for about an hour, long enough to see each of the performers a couple of times and have my fill of cheesy lip-syncable pop music. Apparently I need to broaden my musical horizons because most of the crowd was able to sing along and I am pretty sure I had never heard most of the tunes.
Kim was fully engaged on the dance floor and I left her to her own devices. I went over to Buffa’s for a beer on the way home, and sat next to Tom McDermott, the piano player, and a woman in full skull makeup. A Nutcracker soldier sat further down the bar. I’m glad not to be into psychedelics.
Sunday was more mellow, with an exciting football game that ended badly for the Saints. It was one of the best football games I have seen this year, but the ending took the fun out of the afternoon.
I woke to find a couple of big banana trees down in the courtyard from no apparent cause other than big trees and shallow roots. I have an afternoon project and get to break out the cutlass. Maybe I should break out the pirate costume as well?