Mardi Gras. It happened. Recently. At some point. It definitely happened in New Orleans. & oh yay the goddamn Saints won the motherfucking Superbowl. oh shit. But we here live in Massachusetts. Rural Western Massachusetts. I used to live in New Orleans. I still had mixed feelings about Mardi Gras, even when I lived there. Even more so here, obviously. But I do like to be festive. & hells yeah I like to party, hard. But even I have a problem with partying in the face of all logic, i.e. a lot of people died & everything was underwater, but god forbid we forget this party. Is that strength or weakness, I still don't know. But I do know is, people in New England playing at Mardi Gras in over-priced grocery stores for white people are losers. My current place of employment, therefore, rather ruined Mardi Gras for me this year. (NEWSFLASH: NOLA don't need a Co-op right now. Even one with a yoga space & a police station.) But it still means something to me. Last year Rin & Sarah K. & I made ridiculous cupcakes from discount post-Valentines Day cake accessories & drank Coconut Malibu Rum & read Michael Pollan's books for Mardi Gras. (besides the Wendy's King Cake Fex-Exed from NOLA party, which is entirely an other story).
This year I did this:
As I mentioned, for some reason my stupid work celebrated Mardi Gras. That didn't go well, so there was free king cake, several days later. One Thursday night, we gazed at it admiringly, next to a pitcher of rose petals (Valentine's Day was a failure at work also so we are making rose petal tinctures from the excess) & some shots of Jameson we had before, obviously, dancing. & again thanks to my work , we have beads, so semi-Mardi Gras. right?This is what we ate on actual Mardi Gras. We are trying this new thing where we spend very little money on food yet eat very well, i.e. use what you have, so well yeah I wanted to do something classically southern, instead we made black bean chili from some free dry black beans & very cheap ground beef from the Big Y with these very odd (also free) Garden of Eatin' Ginger Tarmari tortilla chips.
& then, the work king cake, which taste-wise kind of sucked, turned into french toast with real local maple syrup, so y'know a perfect new england/new orleans compromise...
...& in conclusion, this drawing is a tribute to the New Orleans I remember & also a challenge for me. I've been getting more & more illustrative around here, & this is step back to sense/memory/feeling. New Orleans=clear blue red brown muddy green mustard yellow, & slopping streets, crumbling buildings, smell of the river, & all the weird beauty of the Bywater. The Bourbon Street purple green gold glitter mardi gras shit I could also take or leave. But the shotgun houses, proximity to the Mississippi River, riding my bike to race trains every morning, that abandoned church on St Ferdinand & Royal (I think) that shit haunts me.
That barely scratched the surface.