Super mask.
Super mask.

Two parades. Druids and Nyx.

Uptown again. These pictures are just a little of what I saw while I was roaming about. It’s nice to know that even the USMC smiles at me. I’m pretty sure that they have my back.

It’s time for a little rant. Not a bad one. I’m not really mad at anybody. It’s just life in New Orleans. First, I have to be honest. I’m getting a little bored with Mardi Gras. It may just be that I’m inundated with all things Mardi Gras. Local television news may be the worst. They are trying to turn Mardi Gras into a news story. They always do. By its very nature it can’t be. There was news, though. Luckily, it didn’t happen while the parades were rolling. Two people were shot at Bourbon and Canal Streets. On two separate days. That’s right where The French Quarter meets the business district. Right on the parade route. One of the shooters was captured like a minute after he pulled the trigger. Good police work, right? Well, sorta. I’ll get to that in a minute. A colleague of mine is coming down from his home in Indiana to photograph the parades. First time to New Orleans. Cool. He writes that he heard some places in New Orleans are dangerous. Uh oh.

Good police work, indeed. The NOPD has the same problem that we all do. We can’t get anywhere from anywhere else. The place where I make all these pictures is at worst, a ten minute drive from our house. I leave by at least 4pm for a 6:30 parade start time. Between the amazing and never-ending construction and the people flooding into the neighborhood, if I don’t leave early I won’t find a place to park. So I hang out. I usually have a routine. I go to a neighborhood coffee shop and get my caffeine level way up. Well, the cops have the same problem. Yeah, sure they have red and blue lights. Sirens too, if they need them. But, they still have to stick their cars somewhere. Sooooo…. for a parade that may roll by, as they do when they finally reach Canal Street, at around 9 or 10 pm, they arrive at noon. They flood the streets. If you are a bad guy and break the law, you ain’t going nowhere. You’re busted.

Then, there are the streets. Sheesh. Uptown, like most of New Orleans is an old place. Streets are narrow. Many streets are one way. Streets zig and zag all over the place. So one street could start out in one place, end. And, reappear two blocks lower of higher on the map. There are two reasons for this. One, there’s a reason one of our nicknames is “The Crescent City,” We follow the curves of the river. And, two. New Orleans grew from the inside out. Some of what is now NOLA was annexed from another small town that no longer exists.

So, what happens? If you are unfamiliar with the neighborhood — I’m not — you are zigging and zagging all over the place looking for parking. Then, when you leave, since the main streets are blocked by massive construction or the parade, itself, you have to roll through back streets. Many are one way. Most that aren’t, are so narrow that with parking on both sides of the street, cars coming from both directions have to wait for each other in order to pass.

Sheesh. I just realized that in order for me to achieve my “goal” tonight, which is to work from where I usually work and then from home, the only way I can do it is to park way over by the river. Wait for the last parade to  roll from its starting point and then drive up Tchoupitoulas (Say that really fast, three times), along the river into the Lower Garden District and approach my neighborhood from behind. Since Tchop is a major trucking route form the port to everywhere else it is wide and has no potholes, I should be able to beat the parades to my home. I should actually be able to drive the speed limit instead of 7 mph in a 30 mph zone.

Anything that you want to know about these pictures, just ask. They are the usual plethora of stuff that I saw. By the way, I really dislike that word plethora. It’s way over used. I’ve seen it used to describe two of something. Huh? It appears that “new” writers aren’t any more creative than “new” photographers. That’s why I used it.

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