My photographer friend asked me if I wanted to go with her to the Mardi Gras parade this year to take photos. She explained that she goes down to the Soulard area early to photograph the people and all the other trappings that the event brings. As it promised to be a beautiful day, I agreed to go with her. She picked me up at 9:00 on Saturday, and we headed to the Shrewsbury MetroLink Station. The beauty of this station is that it is the beginning of the line. You can always be assured of a seat on the way to wherever you are headed. After several more stops, it was standing room only on the train. On the advice of Mardi Gras organizers we got off at the Civic Center stop, where for $6 you could purchase a round trip bus ticket and be dropped off near the parade route. I have to say, it was a great system. We had no wait time for a bus on either the way to or from the festivities.
The people watching was everything my friend assured me it would be, and it was fun to take pictures and observe human nature at its not always finest. We very quickly concluded that we were several decades older than the average party-goer, despite it being the morning. I could not believe how many times people (always young men) felt the need to talk (yell) at me about what I was photographing. "Why are you taking pictures of a door? You should be taking pictures of us!" This was always followed by them trying to photobomb my shot. And when I photographed a cat in a window? "Are you taking a picture of the pussy in the window? She's photographing pussy!" Oh yes, you're a clever one, aren't you? But really, how could I pass up this cat who looks like she is thinking, "What in the world are all these people doing here?"
|Mardi Gras kitty|
|St. Louis Blues float|
The bottom line is that while I had a good time with my friend and love the photos that I took, I won't hurry back for this event. It appears that little has changed in the 30 years since I last attended a parade downtown. There is still too much drinking, puking, and shoving going on.