Orleans Avenue neutral ground report, Wednesday:
Spray paint: check
Netting around front lawns: check
Trash cans blocking off parking: check
Stakes, tape and string: not yet
Furniture: not yet
People: not yet
The KREWE OF CHAD is ready. (#KreweofChad is already a Twitter hashtag.)
More under the jump ...
... come down now, they'll say ...
But everything looks perfect from far away
... come down now, but we'll stay
Krewe of Druids, 6:30 pm Uptown
Krewe of Nyx, 7 pm (following Druids)
While I was reporting our recent article "Ladder Control Problem," on the annual controversy surrounding safety violations along Mardi Gras parade routes, I reached out to District B Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell's office with some questions about city enforcement of the law.
From the story:
Mason Harrison, communications director for newly elected District B City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell, who represents the district that includes most of the Uptown parade route, says Cantrell had not yet heard any concerns from constituents in advance of the parades.
"This is not actively on our radar, but of course it's a concern. Every year it's a concern," Harrison says of the ladder laws. "But we're not doing anything different this year than any other councilmember in the past."
That has apparently changed, judging by a letter from Cantrell to New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Ronal Serpas that Harrison emailed to me last night.
"I have heard extensively from constituents who live along the Uptown parade routes who are exasperated by the lack of enforcement of municipal ordinances that ban the placement of certain household items on the neutral ground," it reads in part. "I am writing to request that the NOPD enforce compliance among paradegoers of the ordinances designed to ensure public safety and avoid the public confrontations over public space that have marred the parade season in the past."
According to Harrison, Cantrell has reached out to District B constituents she's heard from on the problem. She plans to host a roundtable meeting to "discuss ways to improve the existing ordinance or better enforce what’s already on the books."
In related news:
Read the letter: Cantrell_Letter.pdf
Local neighborhood associations and businesses, led by Gulf Coast Bank & Trust, are raising money to give a morning boost to New Orleans cops during Mardi Gras season. The program is called “Adopt A Cop Mardi Gras Breakfast” and, well, the name is pretty self-explanatory. Businesses and individuals can contribute as little as $5 toward coupons that will be used to provide hearty breakfasts to local cops on the mornings that they are called upon to work extremely long hours — most of them on their feet — during Carnival.
The program was launched after Hurricane Katrina for cops in NOPD’s Third District (Lakeview and Gentilly) by Gulf Coast Bank & Trust officer Nancy Lytle. It expanded to several other districts in recent years and this year will help cops in special NOPD divisions as well as in the districts. It includes morning meals in district stations as well as tailgates along parade routes on Sunday (“Bacchus Day”) and on Mardi Gras. Volunteers do the cooking, Lytle tells Gambit.
“The officers are on their feet all day, year after year, with very few breaks — rain, shine, cold, windy — and they work several straight days like this,” Lytle says. “This program gives everyone an opportunity, for a nominal donation, to say ‘thanks’ to the officers.”
Five-dollar coupons are available at all Gulf Coast Bank & Trust locations and at many businesses across town. Lists of participating businesses are available at NOPD district stations. For more information, call 539-7281 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most important, each king cake conceals a bite-size figurine, usually of a baby that traditionally represents Jesus. (The year after Katrina, Haydel’s Bakery made them in the shape of a FEMA trailer.) Whoever finds the baby in his slice has to hold the next party and buy the next cake — thus, the continuity of king cake season is preserved. “My mama would get so mad at us if we got the baby,” Mr. Henry said, smiling as he remembered his childhood in the Lower Ninth Ward. “King cake was expensive back then.”
It's a really nice story with some fine observations, but it's not a New Orleans story unless there's one tiny quibble, and it comes over the description of Charles Mary and Charlotte McGehee, who run Debbie Does Doberge:
The pair are just the kind of young, endearingly single-minded food entrepreneurs commonly spotted in Brooklyn and Portland, Ore., who carry a torch for tradition but yearn to express their creative urges.
New Orleans has always had those people, long before the first Bushwick beard was grown or the first wacky vegan doughnut was fried. They may not be glamorous, self-promoting, young, attractive or white; they may have gone unnoticed by the national media until just recently; but, yeah, they've always been here.
Carnival's official parade calendar begins Friday night with the krewes of Oshun and Cleopatra rolling on the Uptown route, a first for the all-female krewe of Cleopatra. There also are parades in Metairie and on the West Bank. Parade previews here.
There also are a host of special niche krewes marching this weekend.
- The wine-worshipping Krewe of Cork parades in the French Quarter beginning at 3 p.m. Friday.
- The microkrewe ’tit Rex holds its parade of artfully decorated shoebox floats Saturday beginning on St. Roch Avenue at 5 p.m. It winds up at the AllWays Lounge & Theatre, where floats are presented to Gallier Small and the krewe's Ping Pong Ball is held. Catch tiny bracelets and painted acorns along the route.
- The sci-fi-loving Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus also marches in the Marigny on Saturday, beginning at 8 p.m. Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in four Star Wars movies will be the krewe's king. The Chewbacchanal follows the parade at Habitat ReStore (2830 Royal St.). Admission is $15, or $10 with costume.
-The canine Krewe of Barkus goes for its annual costumed walk at 2 p.m. Sunday in the French Quarter. The theme is "Tails and Tiaras: Here Comes Honey Bow Wow." The krewe's (humans-only) ball is Friday at the Windsor Court Hotel. Visit the krewe website for details.
Basically the same press release as usual, but it bears repeating.
(Mayor Mitch Landrieu is scheduled to hold a press conference on city preparations for Mardi Gras and Super Bowl XLVII at 2 p.m. today.)
CITY ANNOUNCES 2013 MARDI GRAS ENFORCEMENT
NEW ORLEANS, LA—Today, the City announced its enforcement policies for the 2013 Mardi Gras season. Parades begin Friday, January 25, 2013.
MARDI GRAS PARKING ENFORCEMENT
Two hours prior to the scheduled start of each Mardi Gras parade, any unauthorized vehicle on any part of the published parade route will be ticketed and towed. This will ensure public safety and facilitate the flow of the Carnival Krewes ($75 fine and seizure);
Two hours after a Mardi Gras parade ends, any unauthorized vehicle on any part of the published parade route will be ticketed and towed. This is done to clear the route for the City’s Department of Sanitation ($25 fine and seizure);
Beginning the Friday before Mardi Gras, at 12:01 a.m., until the Wednesday after Mardi Gras, at 6:00 p.m., no vehicles, except those issued permits, are allowed into the French Quarter between Iberville, N. Rampart, Dumaine, and Decatur ($50 fine and seizure);
Parking of vehicles equipped with living accommodations is prohibited during certain hours. It is strictly enforced during the Mardi Gras season, particularly in the Central Business District, Warehouse and Garden District.
(More after the jump)
If you want a taste of Carnival during Super Bowl weekend, you'll have to leave Orleans Parish and head to Jefferson, where there are three parades on the East Bank and one on the West Bank. Or you can go to the Veterans Memorial Boulevard neutral ground in front of Lakeside Shopping Center, where the parish's annual Family Gras festival will be held Fri.-Sat. Feb. 1-2, featuring plenty of live music both days. The first day's theme is "Fun Friday" (wear your Carnival colors), while the second day is "Sports Saturday," where attendees are encouraged to break out the colors of their favorite teams. (In response to the commenter below: Family Gras has been abbreviated to two days this year because of the Super Bowl, but the festival plans on going back to three days next year.)
Under the jump: the lineups for both days. They're still working out some of the times, but here's what we know:
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