People who talk about New Orleans from afar, who long to be in New Orleans and get there whenever they can—people like me—talk about Mardi Gras. They talk about jazzfest. They book their flights and set their sights on hitting the ground running for these and other moments.
My sacred pilgrimage?
St. Joseph’s Day, once the sun is setting and on into the night. When Mardi Gras Indians do the inscrutable, essential and brilliant things they do, and have been doing for a long time.
It’s been that way since I first experienced the event in 2006.
And it’s killing me that, for the first time in nearly a decade, I didn’t make it on Thursday night. Luckily, a lot of friends and associates sent photos, including the one above, from Bryan C. Lee Jr, at the Arts Council New Orleans, and this one below, from Katherine Cecil, a wonderful filmmaker and photographer.
The best context came via an article in The Advocate by Katy Reckdahl, who has deep knowledge of her city and its culture (and how the two relate), and is my favorite reporter to read on any topic concerning New Orleans. Her piece begins with some unfortunate but important history: Continue reading “Shoulda Been in NOLA: The Glory of (and Troubled Backstory to) St. Joseph's Day”