I spent last Saturday through Wednesday in New Orleans visiting my mom with my friend Anne. We went to one Mardi Gras parade (Krewe de Vieux), one party, one jazz club, one magical outdoor restaurant with live music, and one seafood restaurant with char-broiled oysters, and took a trip Uptown and a trip across the lake to get Anne to her oral-history interviewees (she had work-related reason for being in New Orleans…I was just running away from home to be with my mom!). We had delicious post-parade gumbo at Paul’s house after the first of many stop-ins at Cafe Rose Nicaud on Frenchmen Street. Anne & I also took the ferry across the Mississippi to Algiers and back, walked around the French Quarter, visited the Voodoo Museum, and bought a muffaletta (famous Italian sandwich of New Orleans). Other New Orleans items we purchased: po’boys, pralines, and a red Mardi Gras mask with lace and feathers (Anne). We did not patronize any drive-through daiquiri stands.
I got a lesson in New Orleans-style head-wrapping from my mom’s friend Dianne, and a history lesson too! Now when I make a big scarf or a long swath of fabric into a tignon, instead of wearing a boring old bandanna or beanie, I will know I am “quoting” the clever, rebellious free women of color of 18th-century New Orleans.
Thanks, Dianne! (Here is one thing Dianne does…historic tours!)