Mardi Gras is one of my High Holy Days. Last year I was in New Orleans, marching with the Krewe of Saint Anne on Fat Tuesday. Since Louisiana wasn’t in the budget this year, I had to settle for a little local color. So Ruth, Pinky and I got our glitter on and headed out to Billy Hurricane’s, where the barmaid was wearing a bright red minidress with a plunging neckline, raccoon-eye makeup and a teased ponytail. Not a smidge of glitter, gold or green to be seen. Now this establishment’s raison d’etre is Mardi Gras so you’d think that the only person behind the bar might at least give a little nod to the holiday. Nope. And did she make mention of our festive attire? Nope. She did, however, act like a supreme bitch.
Anyway, we got ourselves a table since the place was, surprisingly, kinda empty. I didn’t trust myself to go back to the bar for more booze, fearing I’d tell off the bitchy barmaid and get us kicked out. Fortunately my friends didn’t mind doing the dirty work. Supposedly she got “nicer” as the evening wore on and even winked at Ruth. Uh, yeah, my bet would be that the wink was pure sarcasm. If she’d winked at me I probably would’ve popped her in raccoon-eyed eye. (Cue kicking out.) The Cajun spiced tater tots were the place’s only saving grace.
After achieving a proper Mardi Gras buzz, we decided it was time to move along to the next event. Which wasn’t a moment too soon because the place had filled up with dozens of BEIGE people: mostly female, all wearing the same clothes, same color hair, same haircuts, same handbags. I stumbled out of there shrieking “That is the muggliest bar EVAR!” (This has become a standard cri de coeur for me. Apparently I have become so ensconced in my own little world of weirdos that I am completely out of touch with “normals.”)
Pinky opted out of the activities at this point and Karie had joined in; the three of us grabbed a cab to Gowanus for a Mardi Gras party at The Bell House. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, I’m a total borough snob. I never know where I am in Brooklyn and most of it feels like a no-man’s land. We circled blocks of warehouse spaces until we arrived to find a room full of horrible denim-clad hipsters! Not one person wearing gold, green or purple! Or beads! Even the bartenders were bead-less in boring blue jeans. A few burners showed up and stood out like sore thumbs: a single blinking EL wire top hat swimming in a sea of BLAH! I’d seen the Hungry March Band a million times — and usually for free — so I wasn’t exactly enchanted by the music. I had to get the hell outta there!
Fortunately my friend Rob rescued me and swept me back into Manhattan to see Bjork’s drummer, Manu Delago, play an instrument that looked like a flying saucer. On a few of his pieces he was backed by a choir of blonde Icelandic women. Whoa! They were like angels! And all this took place at Rockwood Music Hall, a pizza slice of a venue on Allan Street, mere blocks from my apartment. Aaahhh!
In conclusion it was a good thing I got my Mardi Gras on the previous Friday at “NYC’s Most Authentic Mardi Gras Party!” Now that was festive! Pinky and I handed out beads while Johnny and Billy bartended, Eric took photos against a green and gold backdrop and everyone danced to Brother Josephus and the Love Revival Revolution Orchestra. The two of us had waaaay too many hurricanes and waayy too much fun!