by Kim Thomas
It is Fat Tuesday, a day of beignets and beads and barely dressed people dancing in the streets of that wonderful city, New Orleans.
I love Mardi Gras because it does bring back so many fond memories of hazy days and even hazier nights spent in New Orleans. When I lived in Memphis, it was "just" a day-long drive to N’awlins, and even though we could neither afford the time nor the money, my friends and I would point our car south and head straight on down to The Crescent City for a night of debauchery, listening and dancing to music of every kind whether it be out in Bourbon Street or in a corner lounge, where people of all walks of life and looks of life would get upon on the bar and wail with magical sounds that I have yet to hear anywhere else.
Nope, I have never been anywhere in my life that is quite like New Orleans. The Caribbean offers some of its tropical feel, and Charleston, South Carolina will give you a similar sense of history, but the vibe in New Orleans is like no other!
Personally, there’s a flip side of the Mardi Gras coin, though. This day before the six-week Lenten period that leads up to Easter, traditionally gives me pause to reflect upon the past, but also to look forward to the renewal that comes with Spring, the self-reflection that the period of Lent can bring, and the restoration of the belief that we are all redeemed and forgiven children. For me, that's a great reason to rejoice.
May I gently suggest, then, that you embrace the day, and seek out some joy?
If you are indeed ready to "let the good times roll," you can find plenty of smiles at Doodles on North Limestone's Mardi Gras party. Owners Lillian and Susan say, “Come on down and join the party. We will have great music, king cake and beignets too. If you can fish some old Mardi Gras beads out from under your bed ... the beignets are free!!" (9am to 2pm, phone 317.8507) Later in the day, in further celebration of Fat Tuesday, the Swells Brass Band will be wailing away at Lynagh's Mardi Gras party. Music starts at 10pm. "Laissez Le Bon Temps Roule!"