It was so good to see the images from Mardi Gras in New Orleans on television yesterday. I know there’s a fair amount of debate among New Orleanians (both those who have returned and those who haven’t) about whether celebrating Mardi Gras this year was a good idea. Some said it was a necessary step in the healing process, that it was getting the city back on the path toward recovery, and that it would generate some much-needed tourist revenue. Others said that dancing and singing in the French Quarter while the nearby 9th Ward is still in ruins (there were bodies pulled out of the rubble as recently as two weeks ago) was disrespectful.
Having never lived in New Orleans, and having only visited once for four days, I can’t come close to weighing in with any authority on either side of this debate. What I can say, however, is that it looked hopeful to see Mardi Gras happening again, however much smaller it was this year than last. I’ve never been a Mardi Gras enthusiast (anymore than I think I’d like Oktoberfest in Munich), but watching the parades yesterday made me smile.
Laissez le bons temps roulez, indeed.