R.I.P. Mardi Gras 2018
Well, Mardi Gras 2018 has come and gone and here I am already looking forward to Mardi Gras 2019. What can I say? I love Carnival. This year's Mardi Gras did seem different, a bit off perhaps. Not as festive as years past. I didn't want to spend too much time analyzing it at the time, but now that it's been a week since Fat Tuesday I started to ponder it. To start off I had two dear friends get pick pocketed in the French Quarter (on Bourbon St.) the Friday night before Mardi Gras. That was a buzz kill. So remember kids...WATCH YOUR PERSONAL BELONGINGS AT ALL TIMES! The pickpockets out there are pros, so sometimes you're fucked no matter how careful you are. If they want it...they'll get it.
I didn't do any parades this year, that was a first ever for me. My usual spot on Canal St. wasn't part of the parade route this year (thanks Mitch you fucktard) and I didn't want to go through the hassle of staking a new claim. I saw parades off in the distance on Canal while I was partying around the Quarter, but that was it. And with all the political crap going on with beads, you can throw this, you can't throw that, I just decided to stay clear of the parades and the crowds all together this year. I hung out a lot at my usual place, Alibi, and laid low most of this Carnival season. My other usual haunt, LeFitte's Blacksmith Shop was so overrun with tourists I couldn't even get in the place, not even on Mardi Gras Day. Best I could do was a picture outside amongst the crowd. And I was looking dapper too. Sporting my "Forever Lee Circle" beads and my Friends of SCV lapel pin. I got nothing but thumbs up and compliments. I was going for that millionaire Thurston Howell look...I think I nailed it. =)
There was a lot of hype this year, being the Tricentennial of New Orleans and all. The crowd seemed a bit larger than recent years. I met a lot of people from all over the U.S. and abroad, and had a lot of interesting discussions. I gave some impromptu tours for some friends, and a couple strangers. Sharing my knowledge of Mardi Gras and the history of the Vieux Carre. I felt sort of like an ambassador, without the Diplomatic immunity of course. And no sex scandles or corruption allegations. And if you know anything about New Orleans...THAT'S RARE! As always there was plenty of street performers and don't forget the gutter punks begging for cash and food. Speaking of streets, the three new blocks of Bourbon St. didn't look too bad. Spanish Plaza is all torn to hell to make room for the new $400 million Four Seasons hotel and new Canal Street Ferry Terminal. So the Lundi Gras Celebration was not in it's usual spot. I skipped that this year too. Lot's of construction going on here. I think it's Mitch trying to make a legacy for himself his last few months in office. The guy hasn't done shit in 8 years, well except tear down our history, and now he's clambering to do something positive and to use that momentum to run for President...God help us!
Those of you that travelled to New Orleans for Mardi Gras (and those of you that live here) may have noticed a lot of the strip clubs were closed. Well, thank Mitchie for that one too. Seems those joints were raided amidst allegations of drug dealing and prostitution. NO! In a strip joint in New Orleans? Who would have ever thought that would happen??? Again, Mitch just trying to do something, anything before he leaves office.
I didn't take a lot of pictures this year. I actually lived in the moment, talking with people, eating and drinking with friends and family, and only made a few posts to Instagram. I was pretty much "Social Media Free" for about 10 days and it felt great. Very cleansing and refreshing, like a Dom Perignon enima. It was different, but not in a bad way. I did whoop it up on Mardi Gras Day, as I always do and I saw that some of you cocksuckers posted your gusoneil.com stickers in and around the Quarter. To close out Mardi Gras, I made an appearance as Jason Voorhees singing Britney Spears' "Ooops I did It Again" at the Cats Meow just shy of midnight. That video will be posted publicly in the coming days and will most likely be the first video on my You Tube Channel. It's a fucking side splitter I tell ya!
So to recap, friends pickpocketed, Bourbon St. reconstruction looks good, Spanish Plaza looks like Beirut, half the strip joints are closed, gutter punks galore, LeFitte's was overrun by tourists, I nailed the Thurston Howell III look, Jason sings Britney, Alibi has the best hot sausage po'boy in the world, Abita's new Tricentennial beer is a waste of money, I hold no diplomatic immunity as the Ambassador of the Vieux Carre, there are gusoneil.com stickers scattered through the French Quarter, apparently you can get sick on the carousel bar at Hotel Monteleone, and Johnny's Po'boys is the place for breakfast! I bid you adieu and will see you soon.
Laissez les bons temps rouler ~ Gus