As is our custom, we walked out and waved at the Phunny Phorty Phellows streetcar on St. Charles Avenue last Sunday night. And, as you can see above, I took my customary blurry photo of said streetcar.
Here is last year's blurry photo. Here's another one from a few years ago. One year I even got about 15 seconds of dark and blurry video of the Phellows as they passed. I'm sure there are more in a pile somewhere and I'm sure they're all just as crappy. But I like these pictures. I think they convey the brevity and the mystery of the Twelfth Night hint of Carnival quite nicely.. even if this happens entirely by accident.
So as Carnival 2013 begins, here are a few of the mysteries we are pondering.
1) For Sunday night's ride, RTA made special arrangements for the Phellows to travel through a section of track where cross tie replacement work is currently ongoing. In order to accomplish this, the PPP had to pass us traveling downtown on the normally uptown-bound track.
According to RTA, all work along the route will halt in time for parade season.
Regardless of how it looks now, RTA officials say, the area will be cleared in time for the crowds that will gather for the Krewes of Oshun and Cleopatra, the first parades in Orleans Parish, on Jan. 25.All this talk of clearing the neutral ground in order to make it "ready for revelers" makes this as good a moment as any for us to renew our annual petition to city fathers that they finally enforce the ordinances against excessive use of tents, ladders, and other territorial obstructions which crowd the route in ever increasing magnitudes of obnoxiousness.
“The good news is the agency (RTA) was able to negotiate with its contractors a suspension of contract work,” RTA spokeswoman Patrice Mercadel. said
The contractor working on the project has promised to have the site ready for revelers by Jan. 20. Work to complete the project will resume on Ash Wednesday, Mercadel said.
So far it looks as though the enforcement priority places the territorial visibility of official NFL sponsors above the comfort and enjoyment of boring old ordinary New Orleanians this season. Oh well. Maybe next year...
2) Mark Moseley's latest Lens column has me imagining all the various online commenters connected to the US Attorney's office hubub as participants in one big Carnival Ball Masque. Many of them are socially and politically powerful individuals. They all know each other but they're all anonymous.. sort of. And, of course, each and every one of them looks utterly ridiculous.
Related: I share Dambala's "pet peeve" about this business. I can understand why most normal people will get the terminology wrong.. or not give a shit either way. But the misuse Dambala is complaining about keeps coming from media professionals who should know better but get it wrong anyway. Must be on purpose, right?
3) It's January 12 and I haven't had a single slice of king cake yet. (In fact, we haven't even taken down the Christmas tree but that's beside the point.) However, on a recent trip to Rouses, I did have an opportunity to price this year's "king cake" flavored vodka offerings.
The original imported Lucky Player brand is selling for $28.99. That's up two bucks from last year's $26.99 which, we thought was so ridiculous at the time that we just resorted to making our own by dropping slices of king cake into shots of Stoli.
Result: It was terrible, of course. It's king cake vodka, what did you expect?
The new development this year is Taaka has added a king cake flavor to its brand of discount vodkas which you can also buy at Rouses for $5.99. What could possibly make one king cake flavored vodka 13 whole dollars more horrendous than another king cake flavored vodka? I hope I never find out.
4) Krewe Du Vieux is just one freaking week from now!
We are not ready. Our unreadiness isn't due so much to the the Super Bowl affected scheduling as it is to technical issues with Yellow Blogging Carnival World Headquarters. Ordinarily at this time of year we'd be cleaning the place up, stocking up on beer, and getting ready to host parade visitors. But none of that can begin yet since for the last month we've had only intermittent experiences of 21st century indoor plumbing.
This has occasioned a series of visitations from various men purporting to have some knowledge of.. though more likely willingness to do some.. working with "the pipes." After much screaming and telephone messages to the landlord from us and our similarly affected neighbors, an actual professional plumber has been hired to direct the digging of a great hole in the earth.
At least that's what we are told is happening. We're not entirely ruling out the possibility that we've got a vampire infestation... it is, after all one of the things I hate about this town. But, for now, let's just assume the plumbers are being up front with us. So it is hoped that the great hole will ultimately lead to a resolution of our predicament. It is greatly wished that this resolution happens before parades begin.
On the way out yesterday morning I found one of the building super's guys standing in the hole in the sidewalk with a shovel. Apparently the plumber came out and told them he couldn't do the work because the hole wasn't deep enough. I asked, "So he's coming back out when the hole is deeper?"
"Maybe," says the guy with the shovel.