At the Annex, you can find Mardi Gras wreaths, netting, giant strings of purple, green and gold beads or strands of tinsel to hang on your fence or balcony; masks and flags; party supplies, including plates, napkins, cups and straws; as well as feathered hats, elevator shoes, full costumes and Second-Line umbrellas - must haves. People were loading up shopping carts to get ready.
My low-budget, home-decorating consultant, Jack, advised me to hang last year's Mardi Gras beads on the fence, but I already recycled those. That's what he does and people think it's cool, he said.
But I have friends coming into town and want to look my best even though the parades do not pass by my house. I bought a bead garland for the fence, on sale for $15, and stopped by Home Depot for purple and gold pansies that can withstand the cold. Despite freezing temperatures, there's still plenty of sun to help them grow. Right after Valentine's, the wreath will go back up. I don't want to overdo it.