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Mardi Gras in New Orleans 06: Krewe York

"Three Big Chiefs they're dead and gone,
so three Big Chiefs gotta carry on.."

- Wild Magnolias, "Brother John Is Gone"

As discussed earlier in the Beams to New Orleans topic, we are moving
forward with plans for KREWE YORK, a gathering of New York's Nightworld at this year's all-important Mardi Gras in New Orleans. As nightclub, spectacle and costume devotees, we'll be participating in the 150th edition of a cultural event that has inspired us in countless different ways.

Krewe York will march as a contingent in the February 28 (Fat Tuesday) second-line (walking) parade of artists and bohemians staged each year by the secret Society of St. Anne. We ask each parading member to customize a black parasol or umbrella with the words KREWE YORK, and to participate in our Skull and Bones group motif.

So far we have interest from about a dozen of the extended Motherboards family, from longtime New Yorkers to expats living as far away as London and Toronto. They include myself, Johnny, seven, Ulysses wept, ms. Gramps (in exile, Austin) and andrea bouze-wah. I am hoping that this post will inspire more of you to attend, and make our support visible in this beloved and beleaguered city. Feel free to contact me with any questions or just post here.

I will be posting more details closer in when this year's parade route for St. Anne is firmed up , and also with ideas for a less formal meetup when we are all in town. I do urge you to make airline and especially hotel reservations soon if you are planning on attending, as many of the reasonably priced rooms are already gone, with the rest going soon.

Read more about the Society here:

Laissez le bon temps roulet!
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Empress, I consider it an honour to join this effort in a magical city with some of my most favourite people. Just a few questions after checking out hotel possibilities online.

Would the french quarter be the best place to be located or the hotel district. Sorry if I am unclear, where the parades seem to go?

Are there ample taxis at and back to the airport or is it best to book transportation to and from in advance?

And just a clarification of the "suggested dress" would help this unrenovated techno-goth asseble a suitable suit for this auspicious debut.

So you are definately wonderful!

Since you are from the cyber side of the family, maybe we could do a webcast or something from there - a podcast at the very least, but the visuals will be beautiful.

Re hotels, you want to be in the quiet end of the quarter if there are still rooms - this is towards Esplanade, away from Canal Street. One of my favorite hotels on this side of town that MIGHT still have a room is the Richelieu and there might be a slight chance also at the Frenchmen.

Otherwise, you will have to stay in the CBD - right across Canal, and walk or streetcar (Riverfront streetcar which is back in service) back over to the Marigny to march. There are still some rooms at various hotels there, not cheap but some around $250 a night, which was, even pre-Katrina, the going rate for the final five days of carnival at someplace gorge. I would suggest you book soon - within a week.

It WAS getting much more sold out, but Ive heard that the recent second line shootings and mayor's CHOCOLATE CITY remarks (LOL) have caused some cancellations.

And the dress code - more on that later and dont worry, we have a skull headdress for you!
According to the proprietors of the Richelieu, they will not be open the week of Fat Tuesday.

The Frenchman Hotel phone line is out of order so I was not able to obtain information about price or availability.

I have not found one decently priced accommodation listed anywhere on the internet so far.

I have a back up place to stay with friends but thier apartment is already overcrowded with displaced persons so I am still looking for a budget, but nice, hotel. Any advice would be appreciated.
Wow, thats sad about the Richelieu - we have spent several carnivals there.

The recent news that FEMA has extended paid hotel stays for evacuees/returnees has created havoc as it immediately pulls 20% more rooms out of the "pool". Of course the hotels are refusing to put New orleanians out in the streets, which is laudable. But it does create a really booked-up situation just when some of our buds are trying to go..

So seven, please email me your exact dates and what you can spend, max, and I will look into some rooms there in the Marigny that never make the web..
Here is the opening of this week's bulletin from the head of New Orleans' visitors bureau.
I like the part about "sensual indulgences."

The most celebrated and historic core of the city remains intact, both physically and spiritually. The cultural riches, sensual indulgences and unparalleled service that define the New Orleans experience continue to flourish, as they have for centuries. We are open, fully prepared and eager to welcome all of our visitors again.

In outlying areas, away from the popular tourism attractions, community and infrastructure have been battered, but the soul of those neighborhoods perseveres in other ways: it shows through in the resolve of our citizens to return, rebuild and recover despite immense challenges. Those residents and business owners, along with our elected officials, wrestle daily with the most difficult questions about the revival of New Orleans' hardest hit areas. Their path may not be imminently clear, but their vision is our vision: a new New Orleans that blends the very best of this great city's past and fulfills its bright promise for the future.

Our industry has united with a renewed determination and a singular dedication to delivering the New Orleans experience visitors remember and love. Now, we are fully capable of welcoming the world back.
Hi everyone...

Fat Tuesday is just 20 short days away.. Can't wait to see everyone and of course BE IN THAT NUMBER !


Have done some informal polling and decided to hold the informal MOTHERBOARDS meet up on Monday 2/27 (Lundi Gras) at "Zulufest" around 5 PM. This is just before the arrival of the Kings of Zulu and Rex by boat - one of my favorite MG traditions - and right after a free set by the Rebirth Brass Band, a truly brilliant local act.

I attach a link about zulufest, it is free and there is LOTS of great food to be bought there, so everyone could eat a BIG late lunch, as dinner is so much more challenging.

I'm getting hungry just reading about it...

the six food vendors kick up the Cajun aroma of crawfish pie, shrimp creole, file' gumbo, alligator sausage, Jamaican chicken, crawfish bread, barbeque ribs, seafood pasta, catfish po-boys, peach cobbler, pecan pie, and many more New Orleans delicacies.

If you would like to join us email me for details and cell #. We will probably go up and catch the Monday night parades just a few blocks past Canal Street after, but will make it a fairly early night as Tuesday's call is 10 AM IN COSTUME..
Last edited by Chi Chi
Editrix in N'Orleans!
Yippeee! I have my plane ticket and a place to stay! Now, to agonize over what costumes to pack!
I'll be with a bunch of burners who just LOVE to dress up, so brace yourselves. I hear we have a Santa Rampage planned...and I'm doing my best to talk them OUT of a Pimps n Hos night. Sigh. I have a purple crinoline and a green crinoline and a sparkling gold corset, so I will be in high Mardi Gras drag for the big day!
Can't wait to march with Krewe York and experience New Orleans for the very first time ever!
Hi kids-

I've been listening to Mardi Gras music all afternoon as I begin the Swarovski parasol madness. Its putting me in the best mood - can't wait to Second Line with some of my favorite folks ANYWHERE.

Since the restaurants may still be closing early/packed on Lundi Gras, my brother has offered his house/Haitian art gallery in the Marigny for a Motherboards/Krewe York late dinner and I thought we'd get some food prepared elsewhere. I was thinking half jambalaya/nawlins cuisines, and then for the veggies, some Middle eastern stuff from Mona's - really good.

I'll be sending out an email to everyone we know is coming with details on both the Zulufest meetup and dinner for Lundi Gras and the parade meetup location as well. If we don't know you are coming, please email me by Sunday 2/26 so I can keep you in the loop.

Love to all till the big day(s)
Gorgey pic!

Kind of a downer article about this Mardi Gras from NY Times today. Implying too many are suffering for a festivity to take place?

"The money I would spend on trinkets I would put to better use for me and my family. "
- CARL HENRY, on why he will not join in a Mardi Gras parade.

".... Depending on where you wander, you can see businesses opening their doors, like flowers budding for a new spring. Near Tulane University, Yvonne LaFleur has been running the women's accessories shop that carries her name, while several neighboring stores remain shuttered. Broken glass dazzles the sidewalk near her palace of hats, gloves and gowns.

Things are different, Ms. LaFleur said. Employees have not returned. The postman delivers letters maybe twice a week, but never any catalogs. The only coffee to be bought is at a gas station. And although about 80 percent of her business has returned, more of it is done online. Those who do visit the shop share storm stories that she cannot help but carry home.

Business for Mardi Gras hats, gowns, and the long kid gloves, selling for $289 a pair, has been good. But, she said softly, "I have not seen any of my black debutante business."
The reasons FOR Mardi Gras have been stated so beautifully in this bit from METROBLOGGING NEW ORLEANS that I'll just quote it and urge you to visit the pictures of Krewe de Vieux. Here's one of my favorite floats pictured below.

Although carnival season officially started over a month ago, it never feels like mardi gras to me until I hear the first marching band and catch the first throw. Fortunately, that time came last night, when Krewe Du Vieux rolled. Their traditionally risqué floats navigated the narrow, beer sodden streets of the quarter to huge crowds, who were unafraid to bare temperatures in the 30's and wind chills in the 20's.

It is a good time for this blog, as for the next few weeks we will have something else to talk about besides the grim realities of life in our city. But it is worth pointing out, especially for those who have never experienced mardi gras before, that it is not a distraction for us. We don't do this as a circus to bring in tourist money. We do it for ourselves. We do it for a release. As the floats of Krewe du Vieux readily demonstrated, we're not ignoring our problems or trying to bring attention to them; we're laughing about them. That's what makes New Orleans so great. It's a place where death is celebrated, and it's a place where our own tragic flaws are celebrated with great gusto. Where else would people spend months working on floats like "lassiez les trailers roulez" and "home is where the tarp is?"

Krewe de Vieux pics at:


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Wow, beautiful poem, S'tan. Thanks.

The line "tossing a sequin into the pit" could have been coined for the brave souls who paraded in the incredibly destroyed St. Bernard parish yesterday. This hardy group, Krewe of Nemesis, rolled in their first parade ever and the only one for St. Bernard.

Here's what it looked like, and below, some of their court. The incredible bravery and huge heart of these people continues to inspire me, and make me so glad we are going...fully bedazzled, of course.

Toss me a sequin, mister!


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Last edited by Chi Chi
Just in case anyone didn't get these by email, or is just finding out about Krewe York, here are the meetup directions for Fat Tuesday:

Krewe York instructions - Fat Tuesday, 2/28

Meetup at 10 AM (ouch!) outside Flora's, 2600 Royal Street (corner Franklin Ave.) in the Fauborg Marigny. We will wait for the parade and join it there (great local alternative coffeehouse if you need to pick up caffeine and/or breakfast stuff). Parade rolls at 10 AM just three blocks away, so don't be late!

How To Get There:

From French Quarter: Walk Royal Street – cross Esplanade and you are headed the right way. (Canal Street and tall buildings are the wrong way). Franklin Ave. is approx. 8 blocks past Esplanade, downriver (towards Marigny and Bywater).

From the Marigny it should be quite close and is a neigborhood crossroads, ask anyone how to get to Royal and Franklin.

What To Bring:

Please bring a black umbrella or parasol customized with the words "Krewe York" and if you like, "NYC" and "NOLA". (These umbrellas will come in handy for spotting krewe members when everything bottlenecks later on, and of course to introduce ourselves).

Other group dress motifs are skulls and bones, black and white or carnival colors (purple, green and gold), mid 19th century Creole Carnival and NYC logos.

Lots of pics on the
site for inspiration!

Please wear comfortable shoes – it's a long day on your feet!
Hi Krewe York participants-

Sorry for the late word, but we've just heard that the St. Anne route has shortened this year, and therefore we have a new meeting place a few blocks CLOSER to the French Quarter on Fat Tuesday.

The Friendly Lounge, 2301 Chartres St, corner of Marigny.
Still 10 AM - this is the beginning of the parade, so dont be late!

Directions -

Follow Chartres Street out of the Quarter approx. 5 blocks (same direction as our old meeting spot). Marigny is one block past Elysian Fields.

Write if you have any questions...

Love and safe trip to all!

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