Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Marti Gras

It's Ash Wednesday. Welcome to the beginning of Lent. Not being Catholic or even raised in a town where there was a Catholic church, I don't really understand the custom. I only know it is a time of sacrifice and one must give up something for a time. Anticipating that event one is allowed to party as hard as possible. This is called Marti Gras.  I assume the theory is: booze is easier to give up if you are hung over from excessive drinking.
I have never celebrated Marti Gras in New Orleans.  I did however celebrate a Halloween night there one year. I was working a comedy club that is no longer exists. If the Marti Gras party in New Orleans is more opulent than the Halloween celebration...and I am told it is... I might not be a candidate for that level of revelry.  
Ritzy the VooDoo Clown
After observing and participating in the impromptu Halloween parade the two other comics and myself ended the evening at a 24 hour diner recommended by the locals. We entered the diner with a party going on outside and exited into an empty dark, almost boarded up ghetto. When the police decide to shut down the French Quarter  the streets became a scary place to be.   I was amazed how old the French Quarter looked when the neon signs and scantly clad women were no longer the focus. 
I was staying at the Royal Orleans Hotel and the other comics were staying at the condo. We started to walk back to my hotel, but I really didn't know the address. I only knew the route from the club to the hotel but thought for sure that I could get back. The other guys were not staying in the quarter and had no idea or sense of direction.
After what seemed like longer than 45 minutes, with no familiar land marks and all the businesses closed, all three of us were lost. I wasn't sure where we were and thought we were walking around in circles, getting further and further into an area that just didn't feel safe. I finally suggested we jump in a cab which could get us back to my hotel and then take the guys to their condo.  I was willing to spring for the fare. 
However, this is not New York with lots of cabs trolling the streets.  We continued to walk and walk realizing that finding a cab was almost as hard as finding the way back to the hotel.  Finally we rounded a corner and saw a taxi parked on the opposite side of the street heading the opposite direction.  I hailed the cab and it made a U turn to our side of the street and we got in. The driver said, "Where to guys?".
I said, "The Royal Orleans Hotel." The driver glared at me from under his furrowed brow and pointed to a building across the street. It was the Royal Orleans Hotel. He had been parked in front of the Royal Orleans Hotel when we hailed him.  I got out handed him five bucks and said, "Thank you very much..." with a couple of comics howling in the back seat the taxi sped off in a direction I hoped was to the condo. 
Happy Ash Wednesday. 
As you were,

1 comment:

Kenny Croes said...

Which only goes to prove that no matter where you go, there you are.