These 2 pictures may be the best way to explain downtown culture. First, one of the venerable second lines Black Men of Labor holding their traditional Labor Day event on St. Claude to North Rampart’s Louis Armstrong Park and back. It marks not only the importance of the virtue of the working man, but also starts the second line season. Started in 1993, this Social Aid and Pleasure club holds tradition dear.
The traditions of Southern Decadence weekend are as far removed from BMOL as can be and yet as close as the shared idea of public space reclamation of what the city government (read America) would see as another “outsider” class.
The Southern Decadence Parade is held the same day as BMOL one or two blocks over in the heart of the gay French Quarter area. Southern Decadence history dates back to the early 1970s (when the motley parade started at now-only-a-memory Matassa’s Bar on St. Phillip) and has moved and morphed into a huge weekend for visitors who want to celebrate gay culture and show the buying power of inclusion.
Another moment to show the intersection of vibrancy and diversity in the French Quarter area.