Sparkling beads.
Sparkling beads.

St. Charles Avenue.

I didn’t travel on this street very much during the parade season. I usually seek out little back streets to make it to and from home.

But, I happened to pass by a few days ago. I was truly amazed to see the little city of parade ladders, folding chairs, folk art and carnival tents that had grown up on the neutral ground on which streetcars normally travel.

It’s been big in the past, but with all the never-ending road construction and blocked off streets, it’s grown to huge proportions. If streetcars and automobiles are blocked, so are the places that they travel. So, serious parade watchers took advantage of that.

I decided to take a walk in what really is my own neighborhood. Aside from walking the dogs, I really don’t poke around all that much. I should. Not only did I take these pictures, but I found a lot of other non-Mardi Gras pictures along the way. So, I took those too. You’ll see them eventually.

For now, it’s all Mardi Gras all the time.

The pictures.  I worked at a time of day that I claim I don’t know exists. As Bart Simpson once said, “There’s a 5 o’clock in the morning now? When did they start that?”

It wasn’t 5 am, but it was early. For me.

Early morning. My subjects were lighted in a soft yellow glow. By walking I could see so much more. You ought to see my cemetery pictures. Wow. Not to worry, you’ll see them. Soon.

Aside from the people hanging out by their tents and ladders, there weren’t all that many people out and about when I first started working. By the time I was done, more people were starting to look for spots to catch beads since the parades started earlier in the day.

Finally, when I was done I just walked home. Easy.

A few words of explanation. All of those six-foot step ladders started out home-made. Some dad probably wanted a little extra height for his child to sit, see the parades and catch about a billion beads and other throws. Now, they are factory made and sold at a places like Lowes, or Home Depot. But, only where Mardi Gras is celebrated in a big way. Like Louisiana. I’ve begun to notice that ladder owners are customizing them with their very own kind of folk art.


The top picture is all bokeh. No subject. Well, kinda sorta. It’s what happens when backlighted beads blow in a slight breeze. In winter light.

Finally. My favorite picture is what I call a little picture. The purple beads and the pink flower. That pink flower is a great example of what we like to call winter.

Have a great Sunday.

For us in New Orleans, it’s still Mardi Gras. Until the stroke of Midnight on Tuesday evening. For many people in The United States, it’s Super Bowl Sunday. Big, giant football game. American football. Not what some of you call football, or soccer. It’s likely that as the game starts I’ll be photographing the Krewe of Bacchus parade. For many of you, it’s Sunday night. Or, Monday morning. Sorry about that. Some times I can’t publish stuff quickly enough.


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