Today is Mardi Gras, “fat Tuesday” in French, the last day to feast before Lent. Mardi Gras is the cumulation of the Carnival season which begins in early January. The date of Mardi Gras fluctuates since it’s tied to Easter.
When Americans think of Mardi Gras, we think of New Orleans, which is on my mind lately since I’m planning a trip there for EPICon2006. New Orleans is one of my favorite cities, and this will be my fifth trip, and the first since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Some day I’ll set a book or short story in New Orleans; it’s such a great location, romantic and sensual, but with a seamy side. This is a photo of a painting of antebellum New Orleans painted by Orry-Kelly, fabled head of the wardrobe department for Warner Brothers. It’s a little hard to see, but it shows a carriage moving toward Jackson Square. Orry-Kelly dressed Betty Davis in Jezebel (1938) and may have gotten his inspiration for this painting at that time. There’s more about him here.
Here are a few links about New Orleans history that you might find interesting: