Smiley Law February 2018

February 2018

365 Canal Street, Suite 1680, New Orleans, LA 70130



For most of the country, New Year’s Day is the time to wake up to a fresh start. Us New Orleanians have to hold on a while longer. Before we can really kick off 2018, we have to celebrate Mardi Gras. Whether you’re new in town or a Louisiana native, you have to admit there’s nothing else like it. The beads, the parades, and — my personal favorite — the Randazzo’s king cakes all make for a dazzling (and exhausting) experience. It feels like this city holds its breath from mid-January until that fateful Tuesday. Only after all the revelry do we go back to business as usual. Growing up outside of Baton Rouge, this annual rhythm was all I knew. Some years, my family would go to the local festivities, but more frequently we made the drive down to New Orleans to be part of the big event. I still remember watching Rex as a kid. My parents got me one of those stepladder seats so I could sit above the crowd. I had a front-row seat to all the action, which also made me a target for the Krewe officials. I got smacked in the head by wayward beads more than a few times in my youth, but it was worth it.

course, we bring ladder chairs for the boys so they can see everything (saving my wife and I from hours of piggyback rides). Both boys are far better at catching beads than I was, or perhaps the Krewes have just gotten more accurate. They always leave with shining, happy faces and fistfuls of trinkets and treats. If you are one of those brave souls who sticks around for the celebrations, I wish you a very happy Mardi Gras. Remember to be safe and use common sense. This is the last event where you want to get in

“I got smacked in the head by wayward beads more than a few times in my youth, but it was worth it.”

Going to LSU, I got to see the more adult side of Mardi Gras. My friends and I would make our way along Bourbon Street, soaking in all the carnival had to offer. Somehow, we avoided getting into too much trouble. I soon grew out of it, though. That sort of partying is best left to tourists seeking a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I wouldn’t want to make a yearly habit of it. Now that I have Jude and Luke, I get to reconnect with the original, childlike wonder Mardi Gras gave me. The kids love the parades. We usually settle in uptown and watch Endymion, Bacchus, and Rex. Of

trouble. And of course, if you spot me, feel free to come say hello! Most likely I’ll be with the boys, or else sneaking off to get another king cake.

–Seth Smiley

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