Saturday, February 17, 2007

Snarky Post

Okay, here's my negative post so that I can be positive for the rest of Carnival weekend.

I just took these on Napoleon, around Perrier, at noon or so. The Endymion people Jeffery talks about have invaded and set up shop.
Note the ENORMOUS blue tarp marking off a huge swath of public property for private use. Note the carefully arranged lawn chairs that blocked off a swimming pool sized area of the neutral ground for private use.
Help me in a cause: be sure to cut through areas like this and ignore the angry looks and comments that ensue.


jeffrey said...

I just hope that once Endymion leaves Uptown, this sort of behavior doesn't stay as a kind of cultural remnant of their occupation.

LatinTeacher said...

One of the best parts about Mardi Gras was being able to NOT go to Endymion. It was great to watch Thoth and Tucks and call it a night. What parade is in Metairie on Saturday anyway?

Brian Bordelon said...

Oh my friend that sucks. You can't be out there causing havoc without me. I am more than sure I can garner a few irritated glances my way.

coach joe cullen said...

What's this "greasing the poles" all about?

Dr. Simon Van Gelder said...

"The Endymion crowd" of which you speak is the brain drain culture of folk who send their children to school elsewhere and the college party kids can only make it in town for Endymion.

These "tourists" are gone by Bacchus.

calling back home for items left behind like a laptop

forgotten by Carnival by their fun-loving parents

saintseester said...

Hey, didn't you know that Mardi gras is just getting under way today, according to the news? And those people have those feathered masks and stuff on - you know, the traditional resident attire.

Puddinhead said...

Right...maybe next year Endymion will move back to Mid-City and we can get "those people" who don't belong Uptown out of there. Get back to the solid wall of six-to-eight foot ladders at the curb that helped turn my kids off to parades by the time they were ten.

At least it's good to know we're all in this recovery thing together...

Mr. Clio said...

Now, Puddinhead, that's a total misunderstanding/misrepresentation of my point and my position. A snarky comment for a snarky post, eh?

1. I like Endymion in MidCity because I like having parades in different parts of town. I'm glad Uptown has so many parades, but why can't every neighborhood enjoy having a parade?

2. I'm emphatically not a "those people" kind of guy, but I feel fine about pointing out behavior that I think violates the Carnival spirit. I don't mind a tarp on the ground; I mind when people get fiercely territorial about it and give me dirty looks when I step on a corner of it out of necessity.

3. I see your point about ladders, but they don't bug me quite so much. I can move around a ladder, and the kid up on a ladder is a kid I won't trip on while on the ground. I have young kids, and I go to parades with and without a ladder.

Puddinhead said...

I'm with you on No. 1...I grew up with Okeanos and Pegasus as "Ninth Ward parades" for most of my childhood, and still had Hercules rolling a few blocks from my adulthood Gentilly home not so many years ago.

On No. 2, I was late to be exposed to the Endymion territoriality you speak of. In childhood we did the "local" aforementioned "Ninth Ward" krewes along with the Gentilly krewes, and then caught the old-line night krewes on St. Charles in front of Jerusalem Temple. That was as far Uptown as I'd get unless I made an annual trip to Audubon Park when I was a child. We'd catch Endymion where it lined up, at first on Bayou Road, and later at City Park. We never saw any of the "staking out territory" because we weren't at those locations.

In later years as I began to take my own children to parades, we were told by several people that if we went farther uptown nearer Napoleon that we'd probably feel "safer"; the typical crowd near the expressway had been becoming a bit seedy through the years, as in panhandlers soliciting for their next pint, and the large groups following the high school bands going from "second line" dancing to pushing and shoving their way through the "stationary" parade goers. Those common occurances and a few incidents of gunshots heard just off the route convinced us to move up near Napoleon.

Uptown was great the first weekend...but for the night parades later in the week and the "big" weekend's parades, we got our first introduction to "parade territorality". Arrive an hour before parade start time to find the neutral ground curb shoulder to shoulder ladders (forget the "as far back from the curb as the ladder is tall" rule), with rings of chairs behind them denoting the space the adults had claimed for their kids to roam when they didn't feel like standing on the ladders. And we're not talking about a parent up a ladder with their three-year-old here--I'd say more than half of the ladder-sitters we'd typically be standing behind (WELL behind, given the chair corrals) would be teenagers. The best was when, after your kids have spent half of a parade on your shoulders essentially staring at their progeny's rear ends, one of the parents would pull the chair in front of you aside and give you one of those "Do you mind?" looks to get you to move out of their way so they can walk across to the house where they're having their parade party.

We stopped going to Bacchus completely after a couple of years of the kids complaining they could only see the very tops of the floats over the ladders, and were too far back behind the big chair corrals to catch anything. A few attempts at leaving work early for the weeknight parades so as to get up in town early enough to beat the ladders ended with parents who'd planted their ladders against the heels of my shoes bitching when I lifted my kids up on my shoulders in front of their ladders. We picked up the "just loud enough for you to overhear" conversations among the groups of adults..."Why do these people have to come mess things up in our neighborhood?" and "I know...they park in front of our house and then stand in front of us at the parade." With the attitudes putting my wife and I in a foul mood when we were in front, or not seeing or catching anything when in back, both my kids were sick of the whole Mardi Gras experience by the time they were ten.

TravelingMermaid said...

*keeping mouth zipped*

Anonymous said...

We live 6 blocks from the uptown route and have little ones that don't want to miss a single parade. This is really a response to puddinghead's 11:57 comments more than anything, but it applies I guess to the overall theme and I really feel like ranting after the events of the past week...

I had the opposite experience in the sense of out-of-towners (Kenner, north shore, who knows) acting like they owned the neutral ground. It wasn't even Endymion (or even Bacchus), but Orpheus. I wheeled my kids' ladder down around noon and was shocked to find next to no place to park it. After looking up and down the next block, I found about 4 feet open between two solid rows of already set-up ladders.

I set the ladder on the ground and put a couple of chairs right behind it. The groups on either side of my ladder appeared similar (8-12 ladders on the street and a tent/canopy 12 feet behind the ladders), but only found out later that they were very different.

Flash forward to halfway into Proteus and we arrive to find a 45 year old uptowner on my kids ladder - sans kid. He's polite enough getting down, but I overhear some snarky comment by one of his group about us finally getting there or something. Mind you, this group turned out to know several friends of mine that later came to meet me (and park in my driveway) and generally we had no problem with them, but the other group was headed up by an unstable a-hole whose head nearly exploded because we all ignored his repeated bitching.

They had a ladder row that was impenetrable with 7 or 8 ladders holding adults, and maybe 2 ladders with children - not young children either.

Behind the ladder row was about 8 feet by 30 feet of space, behind that a 14 by 14 canopy. All of course strategically surrounded by coolers, grills, chairs, wagons, etc. There couldn't have been more than 20 of them all together, appropriating enough public land for 3 times that many.

To their credit as a group, it appeared that most of them didn't really have a problem with us, but the afforementioned leader was a grade A prick. I didn't realize how bad it was until after, but this guy was actually walking up to people with small children in their arms and purposely blowing smoke in their faces to try to get us to move (I suppose).

I have no idea where they were from, but they were not my neighbors. During the parade I was mostly up on the ladder with my kids, so I only heard some of his crap but after found out from everyone that he had things to say to all.

Endymion does seem to either bring out the worst in people or attract a "different" kind of person, but this year we saw a lot of the same for all of the big parades.

I understand the desire to keep your party together, protect the kids, and all of the other reasons that people claim this public land as their own, but this just seems to be getting worse. I was pretty happy to see mardi gras somewhat closer to 'normal' after last year's sort of depressing carnival season, but this year's experience also has me sort of thinking that we need to move further uptown.