Zulu Float at Jackson and Claiborne

I woke up on this Mardi Gras morning to sunny skies and a flittery feeling, excited to spend the day outside, tooling around on the bike, seeing how folks are spending this most loveliest day of the year. I rode up past St. Charles and through Central City, where I ran into Zulu. I watched for a bit, chatted with a fellow biker, and then zipped up to Claiborne to jog around the parade and down to the Marigny to catch another kind of parade. I stopped to take a picture of this float waiting for its turn to roll. Orleans Parish Prison: You Can Check In Anytime You Want But You Can Never Leave. Yep. Carnival means lots of fun and parades and public intoxication, but it also means heavy state presence–lots of cops making lots of arrests (not to mention the dozens and dozens of tickets on cars parked on the neutral grounds). This is less a float and more an allegorical cart, methinks, and starting tomorrow, I’ll be ready to think about that sort of thing in terms other than allegory. But today I continued my ride to the Quarter, around the Treme, to Frenchman, back to the Treme for wild screaming at the Zulu parade (last chance for beads), and then back to Frenchman for dancing, face painting (thank you, face painter, for the wonderful Mardi Gras present!), dinner, and last goodbyes to a most wonderful couple of weeks. I saw a woman all dressed up like royalty, dancing on Frenchman, carrying a sign that read, “Everywhere else it’s just Tuesday.” I’m exceedingly happy that I’m not everywhere else, that I’m here, and that I get to see all on a Mardi Gras day, on my bike.

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