POSTED Wed. Feb 18, 2015

New Orleans Moments

Let's all go get our ashes...
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN

Your pocket’s a little lighter
You’re reeling in the dawn
you make your way down Esplanade
after everybody’s gone
you stand outside her window
she turns her head away
on the day after Mardi Gras day

From The Day After Mardi Gras Day, by Alex McMurray.

God. Does any other set of lyrics so perfectly nail the yawning ache in my heart on Ash Wednesday? I have seen what my city is capable of – seen the heights of her creativity, art and expression. And now it lays in tatters, bits of costume, floats and bunting scattered around the streets, our living rooms and neutral grounds.

There’s a sadness as we stop what has been two and a half weeks of celebration and trade it in for, figuratively or literally, the sacrifice of Lent – even if you’re not Catholic, the cessation of the Carnival season marks an ending of something. But it’s a bittersweet departure. We are sad to see the girl turn her head away, as the subject of Alex McMurray’s song does, but also grateful for the beautiful moments we shared with her the previous day.

And that’s the sum of it. Carnival and Mardi Gras represent a turning of the seasons, a holiday that is equal parts commemoration and looking forward to the future, a day to take our ashes – the remnants of something past – down to the river, and the next day, spread them on our foreheads as we look to the Spring.

Seasonal holidays remind us of the cyclical nature of things, and that can seem daunting; it can be (ironically) sobering to be reminded that year after year, certain practices will always repeat themselves. But people need cycles. In The Day After Mardi Gras Day, the narrator of the song seems to give up on Carnival when he says, “we’re never going to get it right/so what’s the use in trying?” Yet trying is the point. Every year, we put on the greatest show in the world, and every year, it’s a little sad when the curtain finally descends, but it’s the moments in between that sustain us to the next set of celebrations that make New Orleans such a great place to live.

We hope you had a lovely Mardi Gras. Let’s do it all again next year.

POSTED May 16, 2019


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New Orleans Moments

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Off To The (Wiener) Races...

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We often stress on this site the unique nature of New Orleans. The one of a kind confluence of cultures, ethnic groups, immigration patterns and geographic conditions that…....

Written by ADAM KARLIN

    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



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