Happy Mardi Gras weekend everyone. Tonight, because of lousy weather, we will be going out to Crockett Street instead of going down to my hometown of Port Arthur for their annual Mardi Gras celebration. I'm on several New Orleans e-mail lists and I just received an e-mail stating that the Saturday night parades are also canceled there because of the weather.
Check out the Bourbocam. It's a live camera of Bourbon Street at the corner of St. Peter and Bourbon Streets located right outside of the Cat's Meow. The crowds are nothing like the normal Mardi Gras crowds but there's a lot of activity which is good. I've already seen several (probably not so sober) people almost get hit by cars so there is a sense of normalcy there. I especially like the people who almost get mowed down who then stop and joyously help to direct the traffic.
Having Mardi Gras in New Orleans this year has induced some mild cases of schizophrenia in most of us. On the one hand, it's important for the economy and for the morale of New Orleans to go ahead with Mardi Gras. Cajuns believe in celebration in the face of adversity. It helps to clear our heads. On the other hand, New Orleans is far from even minimal recovery and the appearance of business-as-usual down there can give people the wrong idea of the true state of the city.
There are also a lot of people who feel that the money spent on producing a Mardi Gras celebration should have been spent in other areas of the city. My personal opinion is that the money made from tourists will more than make up for the money spent to throw the Mardi Gras party and that the amount of money spent having Mardi Gras would have been a very small drop in the bucket in the rehabilitation of New Orleans at any rate.
A few short weeks from now, you'll be able to see me on that Bourbocam contributing my small drops to that enormous bucket.