Monday, February 12, 2007

Thank Goodness for Family Gras


As you can see from this picture I took yesterday on Napoleon Avenue during the Carrollton and King Arthur parades, Mardi Gras is no place for kids and families. We need to set up a separated, segregated event in the 'burbs and bring in acts like Tony Orlando in order to ensure that there are kid-friendly activities here at Carnival Time. My kids were out there, but I was deathly afraid the whole time.

25 comments:

Kawannee said...

We have to call it Family Gras so we can go to New Orleans Original Daquiris with our cigs and get stoopid, leaving our children unattended over at the mall. Aaron Broussard can watch my kids.

ashley said...

Natch. Y'all were at Nappy Leon on Sunday. We were at Nappy Leon and Pitt on Saturday, and at St. Chuck and 2nd on Sunday.

Looking at the pic, though, I can sense your fear.

oyster said...

Where's Journey?

TravelingMermaid said...

What's the snarkiness all about?
Jeez....

TravelingMermaid said...

What's the snarkiness all about?
Jeez....

Ray said...

I don't know how you can stand being around the criminal element like that. Look at that guy shaking his baby.

Loki said...

Family Gras, its just another marketting campaign. Puerile crap fr the folks who want a Mardi Gras without Mardi Gras.

BTW, that is right by my house! Drop me a direct email and we'll see about meeting for drinks and aprades at somepoint...

saintseester said...

Where are the tits?

ashley said...

I thought I saw somebody breastfeeding...

Puddinhead said...

So I'm not the only one seeing the difficulties that are raised when you're trying to explain to the rest of the world that the debauchery of the Quarter is only one aspect of New Orleans' Mardi Gras, and only if you want to go partake of it....while your next door neighbor is trying to market themselves as the "safe, family alternative" to Mardi Gras in the city.....LOL.

TravelingMermaid said...

Ohhhhhh.....there's only one way to celebrate Mardi Gras...I see, I get it now! Thanks for the heads up! ;)

jeffrey said...

TM,

I think the point is that.. and I think Lolis pointed this out in the Wa-PO.. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is already a "family event" We experience the street party with our family friends and neighbors in what can only be described as a "family atmosphere".. and this is IN THE CITY. By branding their lame celebration "Family Gras" Jeff Parish is assuming that there is something un-"family" about what happens in New Orleans. This is.. typical Jeff Parish appeal to suburbanite ignorance and racism. And yeah it feeds some of the tourists myths as well.

Mr. Clio said...

Jeffrey makes my point better than I can.

I would add that it's not that there is only one way to celebrate Mardi Gras. There are plenty of ways, and I don't begrudge anyone who enjoys the Metairie version.

It's just that if the Orleans version disappeared, Mardi Gras would become unrecognizable. If Family Gras disappeared, no one would notice.

It's the same reason that Applebee's doesn't make me angry, nor does the Red Lobster in the Lakeside parking lot. But really, what would we lose if they went away?

TravelingMermaid said...

"By branding their lame celebration "Family Gras" Jeff Parish is assuming that there is something un-"family" about what happens in New Orleans. This is.. typical Jeff Parish appeal to suburbanite ignorance and racism."

Jeffrey, with all due respect, "suburbanite ignorance and racism" is a narrow-minded generalization. Believe it or not, people were born and raised in the suburbs & they consider the burbs their "hometown". Besides that, people who live in JP don't worry too much about what people in Orleans think about them. What is up with the hostility and bias against Jeff Parish? Not everyone wants to live in the city - is that so terribly wrong? Just because someone lives in the burbs doesn't mean they are racist or ignorant. THAT is an ignorant viewpoint.

Just curious: is carnival in Rio not REAL mardi gras because it's not in Nola????
I get your point but sometimes I think a certain segment of New Orleanians tend to think "their" way is the "only" way.

TravelingMermaid said...

BTW - I'm really getting pissed that no one other than myself looks at or comments on a viewpoint *different* than the "core" New Orleans blogger viewpoint. Where the hell is JP, where is Algiers????

I may not be a leader but I'm sure as hell not a lemming.I can think for myself. *she says in a psuedo-friendly way* No, really, I do love ya'all. :)

jeffrey said...

Living in the suburbs does not make one racist and ignorant. That is not what I was saying at all. But the assumption that a Mardi Gras parade in Jefferson is somehow more "family oriented" than what goes on in New Orleans is, in fact, quite ignorant and much of that ignorance is.. I believe.. born of racism.

The PBS American Experience that aired tonight highlighted the ways in which suburbanization in the 50s and 60s created a new kind of racial segregation completely alien to the previous experience of our area and its population. I believe the willful misunderstanding of the city by Jeffersonians in order to highlight the supposed superiority of their Tony Orlando concert is, in fact, a small manifestation of the legacy of this selective segregation.

I'm not knocking anyone for living in a particular location.. but I am questioning the root of some of their assumptions.

TravelingMermaid said...

Yes, I watched the PBS program. Yes, I agree the "white flight" is abominable and I've seen/experienced it first hand in my own neighborhood, where I've lived for 27 years.

Maybe I'm not as cynical as some with thinking JP residents are racist because they live in JP. I have alot of JP friends, some racist I do admit. Some not. Just like some New Orleanians are racist and some not.

I don't know.....maybe I'm too sensitive about what I percieve as "making fun" of certain people or segments of population. I also think I tend to hold many of you up to a higher standard....being more on the liberal side I guess I expect more broad-mindedness and less generalizing. I expect generalizations from the extreme right....
I just definately detect an attitude that if you don't live within the limits of the river, Esplanade, Carrollton and the JP line then you don't count and you're racist. Please tell me I'm wrong....but I know I'm not the only one that perceives that.

jeffrey said...

Again.. the specific character of individuals who live in different areas isn't what's at issue here. There is, however, a distinct history of racial segregation that is tied to suburbanization that can't be avoided when discussing the meaning of events like "Family Gras" What's interesting now is that we're well into a place in time where a second generation of Jeffersonians have been raised with little tangible relationship with the culture their parents and grandparents grew up with and, as a result, less true appreciation and understanding of that culture. This misunderstanding feed the myth that Mardi Gras in New Orleans is somehow not "family oriented". It's bad enough when the outsiders don't understand the unique culture of New Orleans. When the very inheritors of that culture have so little understanding then that is something altogether tragic. This, I think, is why so many of us are irked by "Family Gras".. not some city dweller's snobbery.

ashley said...

TM, my thoughts echo Mr. Cl10's. The idea that a "family gras", an artificial event, is created because the carnival celebration in Orleans is not family friendly is despicable.

Pick out a family on St. Charles or Napoleon, and tell me which ones are hallmarks of debauchery.

I'm not blaming JP, I'm blaming the mook that came up with the idea, and then tried marketing it by insinuating that Orleans carnival is all Girls Gone WIld.

TravelingMermaid said...

"We have to call it Family Gras so we can go to New Orleans Original Daquiris with our cigs and get stoopid, leaving our children unattended over at the mall."

and

"Where's Journey?"

I hate to point to anyone in particular, but.....tell me this isn't condescending, derisive crap? And please don't try to say it's all in good fun when we know it's really not.
Sorry, but I feel I have to take up for my JP friends who have stuck by me when I needed them. Do ya'all even know anyone from JP? Particularly the wb of JP? I conceed you're not talking "specific characters of individuals" but, as I said, generalizations are almost worse.
And are you trying to tell me segregation is a suburban domain only? How many white people do you know that lived in the 9th ward?

Truly, I don't think - in fact I know in some cases - that JP'ers didn't even pay attention to the "family gras" hype.

Anyway, I like Journey. :)

jeffrey said...

Yes! I do indeed have regular commerce with several Jeff Parrish residents.. and have for much of my life. My grandparents (white flighters themselves from the Irish Channel) owned a house in Metaire. My father.. less than happily for him.. currently keeps an apartment in Bucktown. I have seen, and touched, more Westbankers than I care to admit to in polite company. It's all true.

I don't think the Journey comment can be considered "derisive" unless one takes it to mean that Journey is about as exciting as Tony Orlando.. in which case, it's pretty funny. Journey is much more exciting.

I'm not sure what you mean about the 9th ward. The racial makeup there was just as much the result of white flight as that of.. Chalmette.

Finally the point remains that Family Gras organizers are intentionally saying that New Orleans is no place to bring your family. How can this be taken as anything other than derisive?

TravelingMermaid said...

Oh, hell, I'm now officially bored with this conversation.

Let's all make up *blows a kiss to all & wives/gf's included*
G'night
TM

ashley said...

Journey came up because that's who the mayor of Metry picked to perform at Endymion.

jeffrey said...

There's a mayor of Metry?

Ashley said...

You know what I meant, dagnabbit!