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To all those talking heads on TV to whom Mardi Gras means nothing more than getting drunk with a bunch of out of town tourists and watching some out of town drunk chicky flash her tits and now think that Mardi Gras should not be celebrated, I say bah, Humbug to you.

 

To me, the celebration of a very traditional holiday that pretty much signals the beginning of spring, renewal, rebirth, rejuvination from the doldrums of winter and it should go on.

 

The news and/or fake news heads have me hot under the collar right now. The speak of Mardi Gras like a bunch of college freshmen with their snickers implying something is naughty. Shame on them. I realize that none of them have probably ever been anywhere in New Orleans beyond Bourbon Street in the French Quarter.

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Yet in their defense, my visit to NOLA ( 10 plus years ago) during mardi Gras was absolutely horrific...impossible to move around, drunk kids all over, and lots of vomit on the streets. We simply decided to visit NOLA at Jazz Fest time, where its an older crowd and in general a more comfortable atmosphere for us. So, we've been attending regularly and recently booked for the second weekend this year.

 

We've been out of the FQ, but we prefer a certain hotel in the quarter, so we can't avoid Bourbon Street entirely...sorry you feel that the perception is unjust, but I'm afraid there are enough people like myself who justifiably express the same opinion as the newscasters.

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I went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans for three consecutive years during college. By the last year I'd had enough. The Hunter Thompson-esque binges of serious inebriation and criminal behavior sort of lost their appeal after a while.

 

If I tried to do that now I have no doubt that I would die.

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Kim,

 

You need to get out the Quarter to understand what Mardi Gras is all about. The French Quarter scene is much more for the tourists. Most people I know don't venture into the Quarter before Mardi Gras morning.

 

Come Uptown. See the parents holding their kids on ladders, catching the stuffed animals and toys. If you know somebody, wander from one house party to another.

 

Mardi Gras is about the entire community coming together. Most of America will never understand, because Mardi Gras comes from a culture that has radically different values and ways of public behavior than the rest of the country.

 

I used to live in Spain, and I find the community spirit and penchant for public celebration in New Orleans to be similar to Spain.

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having spent time on the beaches of Florida, those same puking frat boys are also busy trashing their Granny's condo on the beach during Spring Break plus I think they go other places and perform the same rituals. So the problem is not Mardi Gras as such, but the FRAT BOYS who do not know how to drink unless to total excess.

 

For a fun Mardi Gras, get out of the crowds on Bourbon Street, they are all tourists. To see a different side of Mardi Gras, go Uptown, or across the river or to the north shore or to Mobile. On St Charles, the some of the families have had the same spot for years, and they bring the grills and cookout and pass a good time with friends.

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A sad commentary in the Washington Post.

Notable Mardi Gras Absences Reflect Loss of Black Middle Class

 

By Julia Cass

Special to The Washington Post

Saturday, February 25, 2006; Page A01

 

NEW ORLEANS -- Since 1917, the Bunch, an African American social club made up of 50 doctors, lawyers, dentists, bankers, businessmen and other professional men, has sponsored a dance on the Friday before Mardi Gras -- a coveted invitation during the weeks of parties that precede Fat Tuesday.

But last night there was no Bunch Club dance. The Black Pirates, Plantation Revelers, Bon Temps, Vikings, Beau Brummels, Original Illinois Club and Young Men's Illinois Club have also canceled their carnival balls. . .

The Bunch Club, a group of African African professionals that has sponsored a Mardi Gras dance since 1917, in the last group photo taken at a black-tie dinner 71/2 months before Hurricane Katrina hit. . .

The lack of revelry reflects the lack of people -- New Orleans's black middle class is gone. . .

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