Monday, February 6, 2012

Krewe de Vieux kicks off the season

I tried calling a friend at 7:30 Saturday night, but when he answered his cell phone, the clamor was so loud, I knew he couldn't hear. I hung up and texted: "I even haven't left the house yet!!"

I felt panicky, thinking I might have entirely missed the Krewe de Vieux parade.

I wasn't dressed and hadn't eaten nor planned how to get to the Quarter. Last year, I had to walk a long way through the Treme in the dark because there was no parking to be found anywhere.

I gave up the notion of a costume. This year was warm, so I didn't have to wear a warm jacket waiting and waiting and waiting for the walking group to arrive. Still, getting there at all was the primary concern.

I threw myself together and drove to the health club where I parked and boarded the streetcar to get to Canal Street. As I approached Jackson Square, revelers were coming the opposite direction with beads around their necks as if the excitement were over. Disheartened, I pressed on.

By the time I reached St. Louis, the Krewe de Vieux marchers were just arriving. They take their time walking from the Bywater and, this time, a policeman was attempting to conduct traffic - good luck with that, as they say!

The costumes did not seem as wild as past years, but everything is relative. By Des Moines' standards, they were insane!

I walked back down through Bourbon Street and saw Chris Owens onstage dancing in a skimpy outfit. She was dancing when I was in college, 40 years ago, so that gives you some idea of her longevity. People don't easily give up their youth around here!

I was home by 10:30. There's not too many places you can live where it's possible to leave your house for two hours, have this kind of experience and still be able to download an episode on Netflix when you get back.

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