No biggie. Just a wish for another happy day to you and yours.

Writer Rebecca Solnit calls Christmas Day one of the 3 Punitive Holidays, the other being Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day. Certainly seems like the Western world overdoes these with the result that those without formal traditions feel punished.

I am one of those without traditions by choice, even though I have access if I so desired. I could show up for gift-giving or a special meal at my non-traditional mother’s place but like many of us in the FQ, her home is for quiet time and so her holidays are calm and simple.  My sister’s life is firmly in the Midwest where she has a fluid set of her own traditions with her friends and her son.  And even though many wonderful friends invite me over to their own ramped-up holiday activities, for the most part I decline. It’s not that I don’t like to eat great food or to see people in a celebratory mood; it’s just that I like those made into everyday, informal activities.

I like regular days and organizing my days around drama-free activities and tasks, keeping my day open for impromptu meet ups with friends and acquaintances. Having coffee with pals in late morning or a cocktail and appetizers at the bar of a nearby restaurant or hotel in midweek is what I think is special. It’s why I like markets and not festivals: markets are a public and regular part of a week’s activities while most festivals are outsized events celebrating some cultural touchpoint that often requires hours away from home which often has a negative impact on regular commerce and far too often an extra fee for participation.

The only holiday I really celebrate is Carnival because the main activity (for locals) is to meet up and hang out with your friends and neighbors. In fact, the entire Carnival season, through customs built by families and neighborhoods,  allows you to join in when and how it is convenient to your routine. Even the actual holiday of Fat Tuesday is mostly about roving, casual conviviality although, as befits the last day of a long season, it does have added costumes and a large amount of mood accelerants thrown in to pump it up a bit.

Most importantly, Mardi Gras has not (yet) been entirely taken over by the retail sector even though many attempts to scale that wall have been made.  It is true that New Orleans’ Carnival has some deep, oligarchic tendencies – some of those hidden from view while others on full display without any irony or shame – but at its heart, Carnival is about regular people in public spaces employing satire and performance to comment and view others’ feelings on political power, class divides and cultural ties. That’s my kind of special time.

I think it’s high time we reduced the emphasis on Hallmark Holidays and use our creativity to instead create more everyday get-togethers. If people resisted the pull of these formal set-asides, more people would then start their day with anticipation upon remembering that it’s Saturday morning again. Or would take a long weekend off as a family to sit around and make a special meal together. Or send cards randomly to exclaim Happy Winter Day or to share your best hopes for a Bright Autumn. The third Tuesday of the month could become a simple gift exchange for your crowd or extended family. Use one’s gift-buying impulse to get some gloves or socks and share with those who are outside regularly. Use the kitchen time to prepare some treats or plates of food and share with those without.  Marathon showings of movies on the shortest day of the year could still happen on those channels that seem to specialize in those. Close the stores early every 21st day. Wrap your homes in lights to celebrate the nearby high-school spirit.  Have a block party on election day. Or just be in silence and quiet reflecting on the specialness of the world around us.

In these ways. we can  use those warm feelings that we seem to only reserve for our fellow man on certain holidays, year round instead.

So happy Sunday everyone.

 

Hear the new Empire

 

The janitorial service is busy cleaning the Quarter this morning and using blowers to get all of the trash into the street. Best use of those damn things I have seen since I saw a farmer use one to blow the weeds he just took out of his row crops to then burn them.

But here is a hiss for Empire: the way that they use the power washing method is a JOKE; they don’t even get water on the entire sidewalk and just blow the trash to the doorways.  Used to be that the power washer did 5-6 blocks carefully in one morning taking 10-20 minutes on each block; now they blow through in less than a minute! This crappy new method is a waste of manpower and resources as it doesn’t actually clean the sidewalks.

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Rex Parade and Court 2016

 

568f36d6284b8.jpgThis year’s theme is presented both in English (“Royal Gardens”) and in Latin (“Horti Regis”), emphasizing the timeless significance of gardens. The desire to be surrounded by beauty is as old as mankind itself. In every time and culture artists have arranged natural elements into gardens to please all of the senses. Emperors and Kings assured that their gardens were planned with as much care as their castles, and some of these gardens were counted among the wonders of the world. The 2016 Rex Procession takes us to splendid gardens known only from ancient illustrations and descriptions, and to others still providing beautiful sights to those who visit them. In the best tradition of Rex artistic design, watch for a parade filled with colorful flowers, historic figures, and colorful costumes.

 

 

 

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Mystic Krewe of Barkus this Sunday @ 2 pm

Join the Mystic Krewe of Barkus and experience the #1 dog parade in America during Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Politics is definitely going to the dogs with the Mystic Krewe of Barkus, the only officially licensed Mardi Gras Krewe for canines, with the theme “2016: From the Dog House to the White House.” Countless canine candidates are expected to emerge as possible leaders of the most powerful country on Earth as they parade on Sunday, January 31, 2016.

While some dream of curling up on a couch in the Oval Office like Howllary Clinton or Donald the Dog Trump, others might want to embody any of many political pundits sniffing out the obvious such as James Pawville, Sean Hannitail or Glenn Bark. Of course, the political media will be celebrated in honor of all the dirt they dig up with the likes of Judy Woodruffruff, Chuck Waggin’ Todd and Wolf Wuff Blizter.

The bi-ped world of Washington is soon to include the wonderful wags of the formerly under represented canine population. No matter what the polls might say, the next head of state might be a that of a Lab, Poodle, Pug or previously homeless mutt. It will no longer matter if you know who your parents are or if you have any formal education, much less Ivy League, to be elected. It is certain to be the most street small pack ever in power.

Dogs who want to be members of the krewe should get their humans to register on line at http://www.barkus.org. On parade day, we will be staging the parade, pre-pawty parade and post-pawty parade at Armstrong Park starting at 10:30am. The parade starts promptly at 2pm and follows a 15-block route through the Vieux Carré, stopping at the VIP Reviewing Stand at Good Friends Bar, corner Dauphine and St. Ann, where VIPs (and those who desire to be VIPs) will toast the Royal Court. Curious observers are welcome to come watch the parade.

All proceeds from Barkus, a non-profit organization founded by Wood Enterprises, benefit animal organizations in New Orleans and the Gulf South area. For more information, visit http://www.barkus.org or e-mail info@barkus.org.

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Krewe of Cork 3 p.m. today

I’d put their route but they seem to not care to share it on their site. Seems more important to have all of their party pictures front and center.  And that they take all forms of credit cards. Priorities, after all…
Generally, it goes up Chartres crossing to Royal at Iberville and at Saint Ann to get back to Chartres.