Mardi Gras

Monday, February 24, 2014

Y@ Speak: Carnival Time Lord

Posted By on Mon, Feb 24, 2014 at 1:45 PM

As Mardi Gras 2014 nears, let's look back at the first week of parades — and towed cars, electioneering, sci-fi nerd alerts and a French Quarter's eau de wet dog. Also: Kevin Hart eats chicken and Margaret Orr takes a selfie. Bonus: Dumpsters, Neutral Milk Hotel and gutterpunk advice.

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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Endymion's Progress 2014: 7 days out

Posted By on Sat, Feb 22, 2014 at 7:50 PM

As we've done every year since 2010, we'll be tracking the progress of space-marking for the Krewe of Endymion, the superkrewe which will roll next Saturday through Mid-City into downtown New Orleans. This year's Endymion Extravaganza will be headlined by Carrie Underwood, and actors Norman Reedus (The Walking Dead) and Ian Somerhalder (Vampire Diaries) will be co-grand marshals.

But people are already making preparations. NOPD already has the barricades out, and Orleans Avenue is already being marked off by Endymiongoers— and has been since Wednesday night. No sign of tents, stakes, port-a-potties or the Krewe of Chad yet, but these folks have already made their reservations:

Somebody loves Aaron, and they'll be standing right next to Y and his/her friends.
  • Somebody loves Aaron, and they'll be standing right next to Y and his/her friends.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Where to pee on Mardi Gras: the app

Posted By on Fri, Feb 21, 2014 at 5:30 PM


A web app launching today lists nearby available bathrooms along Carnival parade routes. AirPnP designers Max Gaudin and Travis Laurendine made the site live Monday, and dozens of businesses have made their bathrooms available. The "entrepeeneur" sign-up page went live yesterday, and more than 30 people have listed their home bathrooms. More than 2,000 people have signed up to receive notifications about the site's progress.

"On the city side and public service side, it definitely serves a need — no pissing on the street kind of thing," Gaudin says, noting that Laurendine is currently walking on the parade route getting people to sign up. "We want to have fun with it, but we're definitely doing something real with it. ... It's kind of like the weather — something everyone can talk about."

The city is setting up 700 "portable toilets" (the worst phrase) along parade routes this year. With new restrictions on port-o-lets preventing the foul yellow tombs from over-sprinkling parade grounds, it's a matter of time before mercenaries list bathrooms on Craigslist. Signs have been spotted advertising balcony/bathroom rentals in the French Quarter with hourly rates.

AirPnP joins the ranks of other bathroom assistance apps, including RunPee, which tells users when a good time might be to step out of a movie theater.

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Rex Duke's Mardi Gras Bingo

Posted By on Wed, Feb 19, 2014 at 4:50 PM

The first big weekend of Mardi Gras parades kicks off this Friday (get your schedule here) — and while you're waiting for your favorite to roll by, why not print out a few copies of my Mardi Gras bingo card and have a contest with your friends? See you on the route.


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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Brewsday Tuesday: Beer cocktails just in time for Mardi Gras

Posted By on Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Ted Blumenthal of Booty's Street Food concocts a beer cocktail. - NORA MCGUNNIGLE
  • Ted Blumenthal of Booty's Street Food concocts a beer cocktail.

Ted Blumenthal, bar manager at Booty’s Street Food in the Bywater, says he isn’t much of a beer guy, but he is a firm believer in day drinking, especially as Carnival kicks into gear and the New Orleans temperatures rise.

The Redhead is one of four Abita beer-inspired cocktails that Blumenthal has created to kick off Booty’s beer cocktail program. Each of the cocktails consist of spirits and aromatics mixed in the bottom of a pint glass, topped with a full bottle of Abita beer. Blumenthal says beer cocktails are not only flavorful and easy to sip, but they also are quick to make behind the bar — an important thing when trying to serve Mardi Gras crowds.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Krewe of SPANK's "Dizneylandrieu" brochure: the PDF download

Posted By on Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Rex has had several requests on social media (@RexDukeGambit on Twitter) for copies of the Krewe of SPANK's "Dizneylandrieu" brochure, which was handed out at Saturday night's Krewe du Vieux parade. Here you go.

  • KREWE OF SPANK. All rights reserved

  • KREWE OF SPANK. All rights reserved

Download hi-res copies:  Dizneylandrieu.pdf Dizneylandrieufront.pdf

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Y@ Speak: extreme makeover

Posted By on Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Pierre the Pelican underwent reconstructive beak surgery to host The Tonight Show, the New Orleans Arena was Christened Smoothie King Center in time for the 2014 NBA All-Star weekend, Nike rolled out "gumbo" shoes, dachsunds replaced horses in races, and Krewe du Vieux revealed true colors — oh, and Ray Nagin may be wearing zebra stripes. That and more in this week's makeover edition of Y@ Speak.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Watch The Whole Gritty City online

Posted By on Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 7:33 PM

If you were out NBA-ing and Krewe du Vieuxing last night, you missed CBS News' documentary The Whole Gritty City.

Alex Woodward wrote a feature last October about the making of The Whole Gritty City:

The film follows three marching bands from local schools — O. Perry Walker High School, L.E. Rabouin High School and the Roots of Music — from 2007 to 2010, as the bands emerge after Hurricane Katrina and the federal floods, face violence in the streets and triumph on Carnival parade routes.

  The film also gives an intimate glimpse inside the lives of several band members. There's 11-year-old Jaron "Bear" Williams, a prodigy mourning the shooting death of his older brother. There's 18-year-old drum major Chris "Skully" Lee, who is taking the reins of his school's new band following the death of its director. Then there are the band directors dedicated to putting on the best show ever while helping their students build a better future.

Watch it here.

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Krewe du Vieux went "Where the Vile Things Are"

Posted By on Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 4:52 PM

"Where the Vile Things Are" — at the 2014 Krewe du Vieux parade. - REX DUKE
  • "Where the Vile Things Are" — at the 2014 Krewe du Vieux parade.

Last night's Krewe du Vieux parade in the Faubourg Marigny and French Quarter was everything KdV is supposed to be — homemade, raucous, joyously obscene, relentlessly satirical and not for kids.

Its 17 subkrewes (Krewe of C.R.U.D.E., Krewe of Space Age Love, Krewe of Underwear, Seeds of Decline, Krewe of Mama Roux, Krewe of L.E.W.D., Krewe of Drips and Discharges, Krewe of K.A.O.S., Knights of Mondu, T.O.K.I.N., Krewe Rue Bourbon, Krewe de C.R.A.P.S., Mystic Krewe of Spermes, Mystik Krewe of Comatose, Mystic Krewe of Inane, Krewe du Mishigas, and Krewe of SPANK) outdid themselves with 17 outrageous themes. All the floats actually seemed to be completed and in good working order, too — never a given at Krewe du Vieux.

"Mitchey Mayor" welcomed the crowd to "Dizneylandrieu," and his "Mitchkateers" distributed maps "to every mayor-approved adventure in the Gentrified Kingdom." - REX DUKE
  • "Mitchey Mayor" welcomed the crowd to "Dizneylandrieu," and his "Mitchkateers" distributed maps "to every mayor-approved adventure in the Gentrified Kingdom."

The evening's gold medal, however (and perhaps Carnival's gold medal) had to go to SPANK's "Dizneylandrieu," a float featuring "Mitchey Mayor" wearing mouse ears and a "New Orleans Will" T-shirt in front of a St. Louis Cathedral that had been transformed into Disney's Cinderella's Castle.

A few dozen "Mitchkateers" accompanied the float, handing out brochures that detailed the many lands in "Dizneylandrieu" (Mitchey's Toon Town, Jacked-Up Square, Crotch Country and HIpsterland among them), with rides like "Big Freedia's Bounce That Ass House," the "NOPD Brass Band Beat Down," "Rich Hippies in WholePaycheckLand," "Marlin's Playhouse," "The Enchanted Mimi Room Angry Neighbor Jamboree" and "It's a White World, Sponsored by Mitchey Mayor."

Below the cut: other images from Rex's camera.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Rex Duke's Mardi Gras photo contest

Posted By on Fri, Feb 14, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Mardi Gras parades kick off in earnest this weekend, and I am hosting Gambit's first-ever Carnival photo contest.

It couldn't be easier to enter. Just tag your Mardi Gras parade and costume photos with @RexDukeGambit or #RexDukeGambit on Twitter and Instagram.

We'll publish and retweet some of the best, and all entries will eligible to win the grand prize: a stay at The Saint Hotel.

For complete rules, see the contest page — and be sure to follow me on Twitter at @RexDukeGambit. (Note: I am not responsible for any tweets I may issue due to inebriation or general Carnival excitement.)

Happy Mardi Gras!

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