Jim first met Katiti Kironde on our front steps in Boston about nine years ago. They hit it off immediately and then ran into each other on the street or steps a few more times. Jim very wisely collected her contact information at one of the initial meetings and invited her to our annual Christmas Open House. She first attended in 2015 with her husband Bill Winder at which time we realized that we had friends in common who were also at the party and we have been fast friends ever since. They have visited us in Paris,
Mexico City and Melbourne Australia. They tried to visit us in Seville but they went a year earlier that we did. We were planning on going in January and February of 2019 but were unable to acquire a Spanish visa. We had been in the Schengen area of Europe well over our allotted 90 days and so we went to Mexico City instead. Katiti and Bill had already booked their European trip which included a wedding and a visit with us in Seville. They are still sore at us, rightly so, for standing them up in Seville. They were our only friends who made the long haul to visit us in Melbourne though. They are very special friends indeed.
Katiti and Bill arriving at 7pm.
Since they arrived late in the evening we ate in and after a short catch up went to bed so we would be ready to hit the town the next morning as we are a bunch of old farts! Here we are the following day as we walked the 2 miles to the French Quarter from our apartment and strolled along the Mississippi River walk.
The winding Mississippi River. This is the toughest turn for boats around the Algiers Point.
We did not do a ride on the Natchez but stopped for a photo op at the dock.
Jackson Square overlooking the Cathedral.
We stopped to talk to this couple having professional photos taken after either getting married or celebrating an Anniversary. We can’t remember because we are old farts!
Bill enjoying the sights and colors of Carnival in the French Quarter. Some of the sights however make you wish you never saw them!
There are so many talented musician street performers in the French Quarter and actually all over the city.
This was only our third Mardi Gras Parade called the Krewe De Vieux which is a raucous walking parade with only small floats and is famous for it’s lewd and crude costumes. It is loved for its wild satire, adult themes and political comedy. As you can see in this video Katiti really got into it.
Yup you get the message, adult viewing only!
But shockingly some tourists did not read about it ahead of time and had their kids with them. This float is part of the dump Latoya movement. Latoya is the present second term mayor. They attained enough signatures for a recall vote while we were there.
Of course she caught some beads and as you can see in the videos below she did a bit of misbehaving
Sorry for all these videos but we just enjoyed seeing her getting into the spirit of Carnival.
Jim’s Mardi Gras mask, worn to one Parade only.
We had to take them to Congo Square where enslaved Africans would gather on Sundays and share music styles from various African countries creating a blend of music distinct to New Orleans.
Louis Armstrong statue in the park.
This was the former site of J & M music recording studio but now operates as a laundromat. It does have a great little side museum with memorabilia from the studio, Little Richard recorded Tutti Frutti here. It is considered to be the birthplace of Rock and Roll.
While walking around the French Quarter we came across this Realtor who Katiti started chatting with and she let us go in to see what a shot gun house looked like. These types of homes are long and narrow, single room wide and a few rooms deep. Folklore says that the homes design allows a shotgun to fire a bullet through the open front door straight through each room and out the back door unscathed (unless of course you are standing in the back door).
There are some beautiful homes in the French Quarter.
We climbed these stairs to Crescent Park on our way to Bacchanal for wine, cheese and a jazz performance in the outdoor patio. Crescent Park is a new greenway located on the riverfront in Bywater. It stretches for 1.4 miles along the Mississippi.
Dinner at Joey K’s. This casual restaurant and Barmacy was close to our home and served good creole food but we were unfortunately serenaded by a homeless saxophone player that was so bad we had to move to a table inside.
This short video shows the house across the street from us which had a spectacular Mardi Gras light display.
During the pandemic when Mardi Gras parade floats were halted New Orleanians would decorate their houses. This is called a house float and they still carry on the tradition.
We loved going to the Columns Hotel bar for drinks.
Bill checking out the Billiard room at the Columns.
Best beignets were at a hamburger joint that we discovered on a walk down St Charles.
Irises blooming along St Charles St.
Barefoot Contessa Katiti made a fabulous dinner of Shrimp risotto for us. Our kitchen was so well equipped and our host was extremely accommodating. She even bought us a cuisinart food processor so Jim could make hummus.
It was so delicious. We invited our downstairs neighbor Susan Haynes to have dinner with us. She was a great neighbor and now friend.
It is so nice to wander the streets of the French Quarter during the day early in the week before the nighttime madness begins on the weekends.
This quote definitely sums up how the people of New Orleans live.
We visited the Cabildo Museum that is located in an elegant Spanish Colonial building in Jackson Square. It was also the site of the signing of the Louisiana Purchase transfer in 1803.
Sandy’s first bead catch.
These young girls can dance as you can see.
We saw so many great marching bands.
Bead throwing from the floats.
Sandy won the bead catching this night, and every other night.
People claim parade territory along the route and the trolly cars are unable to run. Here is Sandy on her morning run dodging tents, chairs and ladders.
They leave ladders and chairs up even through the night so they have a spot the next day and shockingly no-one steals or removes them.
We read in the local paper that it was especially bad this year as no-one was abiding by the rules. Ladders are suppose to be 6 feet back from the curb but as you can see this was not the case.
People leave many of the bead catches along the fences in the neighborhood.
These people along the parade route were boiling crawfish. They bring propane gas tanks to cook them in. It is amazing to see this and all the BBQ grills out on the street. It is probably illegal but hey they do it anyway.
Krewe of Muses float is mostly women.
More great Marching School Bands.
We took a break from Creole food for some Mexican.
We (mostly Sandy) collected enough beads to decorate our entire railing.
Molly’s Rise and Shine Restaurant was a nice place nearby for breakfast with unusual dishes. Sandy liked the carrot yogurt served with mandarin orange slices and homemade granola.
Thanks for visiting us in NOLA. Always a good time with you.
The next morning we awoke to a cleaned up Mardi Gras Parade street but it did not last long.
We have two more weeks left in NOLA and three more sets of guests coming (one couple after Mardi Gras). There are now multiple parades almost everyday and night. The parades on St Charles street (shown above) are more family friendly.