For those who have the whole week off, it's a day to lie in bed and nurse oneself back to health and/or sanity. You'll need just enough of both to enjoy the St Patty's Day parade on Saturday. Ahhhhhhhhhh it never ends. Scratch the sanity bit, I don't think it's possible to be sane here. But I'm not complaining.
I would have also spent my Ash Wednesday in recovery mode, but HBO's Treme wanted to take advantage of the spirit (and filth) left over from Mardi Gras, so I got to join 100 costumed extras for a shooting of their Mardi Gras episode! We had to enact a Krewe of St. Ann funeral and Mardi Gras Day on Bourbon St, but unfortunately our nighttime takes stumbling down St Charles were canned. I really wanted to get yelled at by David Morse in a police uniform. But...as I headed home and my streetcar approached this post-apocolyptic scene in front of City Hall (the show had requested the city not clean up the beads and garbage), Simon and Morse and the lucky extra who got to play the lone drunk were still filming, and Morse stood waving at the streetcar as if we were on a tour of Universal Studios. It was an odd moment.
All in all, my first Mardi Gras was fantastic. I got to see the parades at every stage, from Marengo to Polymnia to Gravier to Tchoupitoulas, and at every angle, from the front of the crowd, on a ladder, on a balcony....I also got to sample some of the finest cuisine in New Orleans, thanks to my foodie guests who came prepared with lists and reservations. John Besh's August and Cochon were definite highlights. But nothing compares to good friends and the knowledge that in rain or shine, sickness or health, no matter how late, how early, how far we had to walk, in whatever shoes, we would power through until Tuesday afternoon and that's what we did. Great success.
And I'm a little more in love with this city than I was before. Everyone I told this to asked, "I mean, how could you ever leave?"
I don't know. But I'll think about that as I go downstairs to eat some red beans and rice smothered in cheese.