King cake season is over.
At midnight Tuesday February 24, the New Orleans police began its march along Bourbon Street from the uptown edge of the French Quarter. Led by fit cops riding spirited horses and the chief and his top brass on foot, the patrol cars blasted their sirens, flashed blinding red and blue lights clearing the street, and announced through its loudspeakers that the party was over, that it was time to go home or at least get indoors.
Looking like a modern version of Moses, the NOPD parted the sea of revelers revealing a sea of crap brewing and accreting in the streets, gutters and sidewalks, the garbage of Mardi Gras.
Marching right behind the police squad cars, Garbage king Sidney Torres IV riding a festooned garbage truck led the krewe of Sanitation parade as Bourbon Street was swept, scrubbed and rinsed so the dawning of Ash Wednesday would not see any traces of excess, sin and debauchery.
The city no longer weighs the Mardi Gras garbage to assess the financial success of Mardi Gras to discourage alcohol induced organized littering. But a mega success it was. Crowds matched the pre Katrina levels.
It was a gorgeous day, with blue skies, and warm weather.
Meanwhile, one week into Lent, we returned to our weekly tango night and were pleasantly surprised by the return of Jonathan, our favorite bartender back from training with the National Guard. We also continue to suffer from a shortage of decent male dancers, a curiosity phenomenon associated with the city I was told, something to do with Southern men laziness and sleaziness, I couldn’t catch the slurred phrase coming out of a sazerac sipping local’s lips.
I have long stopped worrying about those who don’t come since I began to pay attention to the quality of my dances with arguably the best tango dancers in the city. There I was feeling like a fox in a chicken coop sharing tandas after tandas with Valorie, Patricia, Linda, Jessica, Graciela… Contrary to traveling teachers or mail order “nuevo” acrobats, I have the satisfaction of having had an important hand in brigning up these ladies to the superb level they occupy. It’s like cooking with fresh herbs grown outside your window. It’s only fair that I love going dancing to Le Phare.