So I wandered down to watch the anti-Super Bowl parade a couple of days ago. It helps that the route was only a block away. My first impression was that it was more of a disorganized drunken bar crawl than parade, but that’s not unusual for a second line. There were so many spectators in the street trying to get pictures of the oncoming parade that the marchers ended up weaving between the crowd. Telling who was a spectator and who a parade member became impossible, which is part of the fun. Second lines are often a the-more-the-merrier situation. Each time I hear one approaching our balcony I have to go out and dance along with the brass band.
There’s an overall feeling of pride in New Orleans right now that we can object to something in a positive way. There have been no reports of violence or vandalism, just people out in the streets doing what we do best: having a good time. In the span of two weeks at least three parades were organized and an outdoor concert that ran most of the day with a bunch of musicians. It was sold out. The crowds were remarkable. It is Mardi Gras season, but even so the ability of people to organize and stage an event with such little notice is impressive in a city known for its challenges to get things done.
Oh, and I don’t watch football. (don’t tell my neighbors)