New Orleans and New York City: Hurricane Survivors and Mardi Gras Revelers

My First Mardi Gras (that's me on the right!)
My First Mardi Gras Krewe
New Orleans and New York City have a special connection this year: they’re both hurricane victims (and survivors) as well as Mardi Gras fans.  Neither Katrina nor Sandy can dampen the spirit of these two great cities, and the upcoming Mardi Gras celebrations in each testify to our strength in the aftermath of adversity.  For New Orleans information, parade routes, and other useful information, visit for everything you need to know (except for securing accommodations and air tickets).   I’m especially partial to the Zulu krewe – these pictures were from when I attended way back when….

Mardi Gras Revelers (nope, I wasn't at this one)

For some ideas on ways to celebrate in New York City, keep on reading.

Village Pourhouse – I love the trinkets, foods, and beads you get when you go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.  Village Pourhouse’s Fat Tuesday Party won’t disappoint me, with Hurricanes in commemorative cups, beads, and a fun array of activities, foods and drink.  You can stuff your face in a crawfish-eating competition, dance all night to zydeco music, and, of course, party like you’re in New Orleans.  Or, you can simply hide by wearing decorative masks all night long.  There are two prices for this event: $25 to enter and enjoy a Hurricane with a take-home Mardi Gras cup, or the $40 splurge with gets you into the party and two hours’ of open bar with the souvenir cup as well.  7pm until…..  Buy your tickets now!
64 Third Avenue (at 11th Street), Manhattan, (212) 979-2337.
City Grit – Celebrate Fat Tuesday with new friends and great food at the city’s dinner event series, hosted by one of “America’s Greatest New Cooks” according to Food & Wine, Sarah Simmons.  Set in a culinary salon in Nolita, the gathering of like-minded foodies and New Orleans celebrants will indulge in a dinner worthy of any of New Orleans’ acclaimed chefs.  Po’boys, etouffĂ©, gumbo and biscuit beignets await along with beads… you didn’t think they’d forget about those, did you?  Reservations are required and there’s always a waiting list, so don’t wait.  $65 per person, drinks additional, 7:30 pm, 
38 Prince Street (between Mott and Mulberry streets, Manhattan, (646) 580-5720

Teddy’s Bar and Grill – You might remember this Victorian pub from Boardwalk Empire and other TV shows.  The 125-year old Brooklyn pourhouse holds what Time Out New Time Out New York calls “the best Mardi Gras party in the East,” on Tuesday night.  George Kilby Jr.’s Mardi Gras Review will set the tone for the evening with performances by his own blues band and music by local fave DJ Strafe.  The menu is as spicy as the music with Sazerac cocktails to keep the moves flowing.  Reservations are strongly recommended.  8pm.
Jimmy's No. 43 Does Mardi Gras Right!
96 Berry Street (corner of North 8th), Brooklyn, (718) 384-0787
Jimmy’s No. 43 – This is another crowd-pleaser, the annual prix-fixe NOLA Mardi Gras dinner event at Jimmy’s No. 43.  Five courses await diners including such New Orleans inspirations as baked oysters with creole aioli, BBQ shrimp, shrimp and grits, crayfish gumbo, and flaming bananas foster for dessert.  As Jimmy’s is dedicated to the promotion of craft beer, the selection for the evening will be interesting and appropriate, with each course paired with French and Quebec beers.  Wine is also available.  Tickets are required, 7-9pm.  $45 (excluding tax and tip).
43 East 7th Street (near 2nd Avenue), Manhattan, (212) 982-3006

Le Poisson Rouge – A five-hour entertainment and dinner extravaganza to benefit for the Lower Eastside Girls Club, The Two Boots Mardi Gras Ball, hosted by Rosario Dawson, offers a line-up of musicians and performers to keep you rocking all night.  What would Mardi Gras be without body painting, stilt walkers, and comedy to pepper the evening?  And, did I mention:  Cyndi Lauper is performing along with a line-up of 10 brass, funk, gospel, and hip hop artists including the Middle Church Choir and PitchBlak Brass Band.  The $125 VIP ticket price covers all entertainment, unlimited food and drink, and seating in the VIP section.  General admission is also offered for $25.  7pm-midnight. Ticket information.
158 Bleecker, Street, Manhattan, (212) 505-3474


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