I had planned to stay Uptown today to get some work done, especially since it looked like it would pour again. But after a quick ride around my neighborhood and some lunch, the sun was out and it seemed like a most excellent day for a ride down to the Quarter for some festival–it’s Southern Decadence and Black Men of Labor time! The air was thick as I sped downtown, and it felt really, really good. Once I got to Bourbon Street I hopped off the bike and walked alongside the Southern Decadence parade. Now, New Orleans spoils a girl for parades. I like them big and noisy and messy. This one was small, a marching parade, really. I snapped this picture of the guy at the front of the parade who was in charge of pushing the crowds back to the side to make room for the marchers. I love the seriousness on his face here, at this parade that celebrates play. Because play is serious. It takes room. I hooted and hollered as the parade went by and then headed for the second festival of the day at Louis Armstrong Park where folks gathered around to hear some slow jams as the rain started to fall. The two crowds were very, very different, yet the fests were just blocks from each other. That’s segregation, no sugar coating. I had a lovely day taking in both parties and when I finally rode home, the air was cooler and thinner and summer was gone. Though I’m sure we’re not saying goodbye to the heat.