Some of my earlier posts have been lost over the years (thanks to crappy security at GoDaddy hosting) and this one came to mind because 1) the family is all working on their bucket lists and 2) today is Ash Wednesday.
When I go to book signings and conferences, the most common question I’m asked, like most writers, is “Where do you get New Orleans, La. Mardi Gras Paradeyour ideas?” I always tell people it’s because of something I’ve seen or done somewhere which triggered the initial idea. In No’ Chance, the first book in the Noah Chance series, you’ll notice the heroes of the book end up in New Orleans, one of my favorite cities in the world. The places I talk about in the book are real, and to make it as authentic as possible I even try to get the addresses, directions, number of blocks, etc. all correct.
I lived in New Orleans when I was a kid and so Mardi Gras isn’t a new thing for me. However, several years ago Karren and I were invited to go back with some friends of ours (Thanks Jack and Denise!) .
As long as you don’t get claustrophobic in crowds and understand NOLA culture and people then everybody should do Mardi Gras in New Orleans at least once in their life. There are a lot of places that celebrate it, Galveston and Jefferson, Tx.,
Mobile, Al., and Mamou, La. are several cities which come to mind, each with their own twist.
However, the most famous Mardi Gras is in the Crescent City and nobody does it like them. There are several different parades on different days, there are the Mardi Gras Indians in the Zulu Parade, and so many other things it’s impossible to cover them all.
This last time we wrapped up our trip on Fat Tuesday and watched the New Orleans Police come through and “clear the streets” at midnight, a time honored tradition, and left the next day on Ash Wednesday.
While leaving we took a couple of turns to try and avoid some traffic and ended up in the Treme District, the front vehicle following a “street funeral”. While it added a while onto the trip, my wife and I couldn’t miss this and so we watched the procession make its way down the street, with the Treme Brass Band playing music as they marched. This was truly one for the bucket list.
If you don’t understand most of what I’ve talked about in this post, it’s because you’re not familiar with New Orleans and I’d suggest you read up a little and even watch the Treme series from HBO. Of course, I’d also suggest you give No’ Chance a read since there’s a lot of history and culture in there as well.
In the meantime, here’s a video showing them playing in the HBO series. The same song, the same band, in the same neighborhood. When I find the video I shot with my phone I’ll post it as well: