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© 2019 by Joan Lowden, the Basslady

Contact:  831.588.7576,   info@basslady.com

I enjoyed the Eastport holiday season and my first time living in snow, so I was actually a bit sad to leave Eastport and fly (actually, drive) south for the winter. But I had booked a 2 month stay in New Orleans starting Feb 1st, so after waiting for a little break in the weather, I set off from Eastport on Jan 23rd on my roadtrip south.

Overnight stop in Bath to visit Annie.  Stop in Port Jefferson, NY to visit with grad school friend Sonya.

Visit to Heathsville VA to see Ann and Dick (they are my summer neighbors in Eastport).

Dick made pizza in their pizza oven (while the dogs watched with great optimism).   

Arrived in the Irish Channel district of Nola on Feb 1st. My home away from home for 2 months is a little shotgun house built in 1837. A shotgun house is a long narrow house with doors on each end - you can fire a shotgun thru the front door and the shot will go straight out the back!  These little cottages were built in poorer, working class neighborhoods, but are now being renovated as gentrification occurs. This area is becoming a young, hip area, with dozens of restaurants just a stone’s throw away. It’s the perfect location and the cottage is adorable.  And the dogs are simply thrilled that they don't have to pee in the snow!

Second line parades may be held for any event: funeral, wedding, even a Superbowl boycott!! Historically the first line is the main section of a parade including the floats of the Krewe or organization with the parading permit plus the brass band. Those following the band, walking or dancing, were called the second line.

 

Some scholars believe that second lining has its origins in traditional West African circle dances, where children formed a periphery circle outside the main circle of adult dancers. The dance was brought by slaves to New Orleans, where it became incorporated into processions, such as funerals, forcing the ring to straighten into a line

 

Now a small brass band followed by revelers is a second line parade in itself.

 

On Super Bowl Sunday, anti-Superbowl block parties and second line parades sprung up all over the city to protest the bad/non-call in the NFC game against LA that cost the Saints a trip to the Super Bowl. But in Nola fashion, they turned sour grapes into a celebration!

I took this video at one of the Anti-Superbowl Second Line Parades!   It was my second day in Nola and it gave me a pretty good taste of things to come!  WHO DAT????

Tina Shannon lives in Eastport in the summer, but Nola is her primary home. She has been a great hostess and guide! She is also an advocate for the Edible Schoolyard program, part of the FirstLine School organization. We had a delicious lunch at Green School, prepared and served by students, then toured the school gardens. An incredible program.

I was so happy that my lifelong buddy Tina Gonzalez, and her sister and brother in law Patty and Gary were in town before and after their cruise to Belize. We got to hang out, took a food tour in the French Quarter, a visit to the spectacular WWII museum, streetcar ride to the Garden District.

Because New Orleans is below sea level, the cemeteries have elaborate tombs above ground. We stopped at Lafayette Cemetery, a few blocks from my house and the oldest of the city operated cemeteries. It is non-segregated and non-denominational. And hauntingly beautiful.

There are 50+ parades during the Carnival season, most happening during the two weeks leading up to Fat Tuesday (this year it’s March 5). Most of the big parades run Uptown along St. Charles in the Garden District. This was the first big parade weekend, I plan to attend at least a half dozen more between now and Fat Tuesday! Laissez les bons temps rouler (let the good times roll)!