It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon

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I think this picture of a kid on St. Charles on Sunday kinda sums up the Real Mardi Gras as much as anything. He’s a kid, right? He’s acting like a kid, throwing a football back and forth with other kids between parades. But he’s got on those outrageous panties and he’s armed with plastic weaponry in case some imagined foe appears sharklike from the shadows. It’s what New Orleans is this extended Carnival weekend — playing like children, wearing some slightly risque clothing and keeping some kind of guard up in case we need it.

The city returns to a slight bit of normal today as Lundi Gras gives us some daylight hours of the regular routine. Two more parades tonight on St. Charles before everything shuts down tomorrow and the final round of parades. Our house has emptied out a bit as the weekend revelers have returned to Texas and Florida, but y’know what? It was good to have folks here who Get It — much preferring the Uptown/family/neighborhood scene to the bacchanalia in the French Quarter. They had to go see it, but were there only about 90 minutes before declaring it too much.

We’re basically a pretty boring bunch — loading up the cooler, walking up to St. Charles, seeing friends and neighbors, getting our parade bling, then walking back home again. Then doing it all over again. Then again. Then again. The delight comes not from seeing the outrageous, but more from the elevated spiritedness of it all.

Drunken college kids and tourists? Plenty. Particularly downtown and in the FQ. But along the Uptown parade route, it’s a lot more about kids running around and slightly buzzed parents to watch them. And friends and families high-fiving and lining up for photos on neutral ground…

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…so we’ll continue for another day or so. It’s who we are. And it’s delightful.

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