Monday, October 31, 2005

New Orleans Lives On

Luke and I went to New Orleans last Sunday. As we drove across the Twin Span traffic moved very slowly because one side was closed. The side you would think would have the damage was in good shape but the other side had huge pieces of the bridge gone. As we passed New Orleans East we had a very eerie feeling. Everything was in shambles. There were small boats everywhere and flooded cars littering the streets. It did not look like anyone had been into the area since before the Hurricane. There was no life at all, no movement, nothing.

We made our way into the French Quarter and it was bizarre to see cars parked all up and down Canal Street. The trolleys are not running yet and most of the stores along Canal are still closed because of looting. Two of the busiest parking lots were not taken over by emergency relief personnel in tents. Nobody was charging to park anywhere. Cafe du Monde was open and we stopped to bet beignets. There were crowds of people there and the horse and buggies were running. On this corner across from Jackson Square you would think nothing ever happened. We walked down to the French Market and it was open but with about half the booths. The food section was still closed and smelled like rotting fish and bleach.

We headed toward Bourbon Street and stopped several times to listen to the silence. It was very strange to be standing in the French Quarter and hear nothing but birds chirping. There were people in spots but the total of all the people would not even match the amount of people on Bourbon Street on a regular Sunday prior to the Hurricane. Most of the bars were open but there were very few places to eat. Help wanted signs were displayed in almost every business window.

It was a beautiful day and the perfect day to be in New Orleans. The city may have a long way to go but the spirit of New Orleans was alive and well and New Orleans will rise again.

Cafe Du Monde - Original French Market Coffee Stand New Orleans
Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop
Halloween Decorations on Bourbon Street
Bourbon Street

Federal Facility behind Canal Place

Cars parked in the middle of Canal Street

New Orleans Superdome

A house in the Garden District destroyed by fire

Monday, October 24, 2005

Working on Floats

Michele Ulness, and her husband Steve Ulness work on a decoration that will be placed on a Mardi Gras float in New Orleans, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2005. They are working for the Massett Company getting ready for the Mardi Gras

From Yahoo pictures

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Hurricane Wilma

This is the worst storm in history. It went from a Tropical Storm to a Category 5 Hurricane in less that 24 hours and it had the lowest pressure ever. Great, that is just wonderful. The storm is tracking right now toward the area of Miami where a friend of mine Vicky lives. Vicky is a really cool lady from Bulgaria that is a terrific photographer. You can click on the title of this story to see her website. Anyway, everyone down here on the Gulf Coast is watching this storm very closely because we all know these things can change course at any time. I pray that it does not affect anyone but I also pray for the people that may be in its path.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Zulu Mardi Gras Group Faces a Struggle

by Susan Roesgen

News & Notes with Ed Gordon, October 12, 2005 · One of New Orleans' best-known Mardi Gras groups, the Zulu Organization, has seen membership drop since the hurricanes. Corporate sponsorship may be needed to pay for February's celebration.

Click the link above to go to the story and listen to the interview on NPR news.

Organizers vow Mardi Gras will go on

Specifics uncertain in aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Wednesday, October 12, 2005; Posted: 8:01 p.m. EDT (00:01 GMT)

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AP) -- Mardi Gras organizers promised Wednesday to roll out the city's signature celebration in February despite the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina.

Click the title link above to read the entire article.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

New Orleans Official Reopening Party

After that, the city stages a scaled-down, but highly emotional, Mardi Gras early next year, touted as the 150th anniversary of the bacchanal. City business leaders describe Mardi Gras 2006 as the city's official reopening party. "I've already got commitments from several krewes to hold their Mardi Gras balls here," said Dan King, general manager of the Sheraton on Canal Street, one of the city's largest hotels. Krewes are the social clubs that sponsor floats in Mardi Gras parades.

King said that several krewes would team up on the same float next year and that the entire event would be smaller than usual. Nonetheless, he said the event's success or failure will go a long way toward deciding the city's future. "We need to have that first big event to give people the confidence that we can handle it," he said. King spends much of his time these days on the phone, imploring convention planners not to cancel events scheduled for next year but instead to give the city a chance to show it can recover.

Click the title link to read the article in it's entirety.

Mardi Gras Marches Forward

With the first parade of the 2006 season less than 19 weeks away, there is a flurry of activity in Carnival circles. Next week several meetings are planned by Mardi Gras’ movers and shakers, including ones by the westbank Carnival clubs and the Jefferson Parish United Carnival Captains’ Association. Mardi Gras will also be discussed at next Wednesday’s New Orleans City Council meeting and will be a topic at the Greater New Orleans Hotel & Lodging Association’s meeting.

Mardi Gras Guide publisher Arthur Hardy spoke with representatives of 25 of the 33 Mardi Gras krewes that paraded this year in Orleans Parish. Surprisingly, 24 clubs announced their intentions to parade next year. The list includes Alla, Aladdin, Babylon, Bacchus, Carrollton, Chaos, D’Etat, Druids, Endymion, Iris, King Arthur, Mid-City, Morpheus, Muses, Okeanos, Orpheus, Proteus, Pygmalion, Rex, Shangri-La , Sparta, Thoth, Tucks and Zulu.

Read more by clicking the title link above. The site that this comes from is one of the best places on the net to see pics and read all about New Orleans Mardi Gras. They also have some info about Mardi Gras in other places including Mobile.

The Knights of Babylon are Ready to Roll

Krewe plans to parade despite Katrina

NEW ORLEANS — As the city of New Orleans begins to clean up, at least one Mardi Gras Krewe is looking forward to parade season.

The Knights of Babylon is committed to staging its 67th Annual Mardi Gras Parade down St. Charles Avenue. The krewe owns all 20 of its floats as well as the "den" in which they are housed. The den, which dates back to the 1800's, is the oldest building in the Irish Channel of New Orleans and was untouched by the flooding.
Themes for the parades are picked years in advance, so work on the floats for 2006 already had begun.

"Our floats are 95 percent finished," said the KOB Captain, whose identity, according to tradition, must be kept secret. "All that is left to do is to tweak accent lighting and make some minor adjustments. Musically, we anticipate having 10 to 15 bands including many local jazz bands, a few out-of-town marching bands and hopefully, the Marine Corps Marching Band. Traditionally, they have lead off our parade followed by the Captain and his 12 Riding Lieutenants on horseback. The mule-drawn King's float then follows, with all other floats carrying members, interspersed by bands.

Click the title link above for the entire story.

Post-Katrina, Big Easy has big Mardi Gras hopes

20 Sep 2005 20:39:33 GMT

Source: Reuters

By Ellen Wulfhorst

NEW ORLEANS, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Work got under way this week on next year's Mardi Gras in New Orleans in the warehouses that hold the celebration's huge parade floats, even as rescue workers outside dispensed food and water to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

"It might seem trivial to be discussing Mardi Gras at this point, but when you consider what Mardi Gras is to tourism and what tourism is to New Orleans, it's very, very important," said Barry Kern, president of Kern Studios, where many of the floats are housed.

"It's the backbone, the single largest tourism event and basically drives our economy," he said.

To see the rest of the story click the title link.

Bay Fest Rocks in Spite of Hurricane Katrina

This weekend was the annual Bay Fest Music Festival. This is a three day outdoor festival featuring 8 stages and over 100 acts. Some news reports were saying that Mobile was closed but we are open!! The annual music festival went on as scheduled with people from Mississippi and Lousiana joining in for a much needed break from all of the horrible things happening in their live. It was the most crowded I have ever seen Bay Fest and it was wonderful.

On Friday night my son Gavin and I went to see Widespread Panic and Morris Day, the Time and Kool and the Gang. Sorry the pics are not that great but it was dark and I did not take my good camera with me because I was scared I would lose it. On Saturday we went to see Dark New Day and Maze and Frankie Beverly.

Sunday we went down early to check out the booths that they have setup for the kids during the day. Looked like great fun for kids and always has been but my son is 13 now and he was not interested. The festival ends early on Sunday because of course people have to go to work the next day and the kids have school. The first band we went to see started at 4. That evening we saw Theory of a Dead Man and then Saliva. Saliva rocked the house. I think that that was my favorite of the entire weekend. I was right in the front with all the 'kids' jumping and singing and holding my hands up for the crowd surfers. Maybe next year I will have lost enough weight that I can crowd surf. Anyway, to end the evening we met my hubby Luke over at the WBLX stage to see the legendary BB King. That show was so awesome in a different way from Saliva. It is always wonderful to see a legend play.

This weekend was so great. I wish we could have stuff like this all the time.

This is a picture from the Bay Fest Website
This was the official poster for this years festival.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

History Lost in Mississippi

I love historic homes, I live in one, so it was very sad for me to see some of the beautiful historic buildings in Mississippi that were lost or heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina. These pictures come from the Mississippi Heritage site. You can go to the site by clicking this story title. They are accepting donations to help save historic properties. Here are some of the before and after pictures from their site.
Beauvoir in Biloxi before Katrina
Beauvoir in Biloxi after Katrina (corner view)
Beauvoir in Biloxi after Katrina
The Griffon House on Scenic Blvd in Pass Christian Before Katrina. Photo courtesy of Jenny Mahane.
The Griffon House on Scenic Blvd in Pass Christian was pushed off it’s piers by the storm surge and the front porch was washed away.
Before picture of the Carter house in Pass Christian. Photo courtesy of Jenny Mahane.
The storm surge washed out the first floor of the Carter house on E. Scenic Drive and the only thing supporting the second floor are interior wall studs and an exterior chimney. This photo was taken on 9/14.
The same house as above after the interior supports gave way. This photo was taken on 9/25. Photo courtesy of Jenny Mahane.
The 1856 Tullis Toledano House in Biloxi Before.
A three story casino barge now sits on top of the Tullis Toledano House.
Dantzler House in Biloxi Before Katrina.
The Dantzler House in Biloxi used to stand on this site.