Jul 17, 201210:15 AM
Lifestyles, Galas and Gaiety from St. Charles Avenue Magazine's Morgan Packard
When my company asked me to write a blog, we bounced around a few ideas on what it could focus.
When we settled on “Uptown Life” we thought it could discuss upcoming events and fundraisers.
But during these mostly fundraiser-dry months, during which many leave New Orleans for cooler climes, I find myself thinking about the monumental moments I’ve spent Uptown, downtown and all around this city, and how they’ve influenced me.
August 2005: Yup, that’s right. I interviewed Pat Sajak (and Vanna White, who knitted while we talked in her trailer) not a week before Hurricane Katrina struck.
October 2005: My now-husband and I returned to New Orleans as soon as we were able – Oct. 1, 2005 – to clear out and remediate his grandmother’s home in Lake Vista. I have incredible memories of that time; it was almost like a whole other city was superimposed on the city I knew. This boat, washed up at the corner of the busy intersection of Claiborne and Napoleon avenues, reflects that.
February 2006: The Mardi Gras season in 2006 was hotly contested but, in my opinion, not by anyone who actually cared about the spirit of our city. I have many photos from that season that make me tear up or become wistful, but this one, from Krewe du Vieux, just makes me giggle.
August 2006: I was lucky to see one of my (Texan) idols, Willie Nelson, perform twice in 2006 – once at Arlo Gutherie & Friends' City of New Orleans tour at Tipitina’s and again at the Bacchus Ball – and at this performance I was this close to catching his iconic hat.
February 2007: There is nothing like riding in a Mardi Gras parade. This picture was taken in the very wee hours of the morning after my first ride as a member of Muses. It was also my parents’ first experience with Carnival in New Orleans; those are memories I’ll never forget.
March 2007: This one is for Uncle Lionel. New Orleans Magazine used to throw a Jazz All-Stars party to coincide with the eponymous feature in its April issue. At this one, I was lucky enough to get to boogie with Uncle Lionel. Sir, you will be missed.
October 2007: My now-husband and I were riders in the first Krewe of Boo parade. Though the clown noses were amusing, the best part was seeing all of the inventive costumes that locals wore from the top of a float.
January 2011: I’m an only child and, as such, have tons of aunts, uncles and sisters that aren’t related to me in any way. But meeting my nephew, Collins, for the first time (I married his uncle a little over a year later) was a blessing and he’s a constant source of amusement and delight.
March 2012: I love to attend second lines and Mardi Gras Indian events, but there’s something special about Super Sunday. To both types of events (and to Jazz Fest as well) I wear a very large red hat and this past Super Sunday (about a week before my wedding) I was recognized for the first time by a very, very pretty Big Chief, which just about made my week. This photo, though, is of a very special moment: a young Indian challenging an older Indian – a not-quite passing of the torch.
March 2012: On March 24, 2012, I married my love at City Park. Bonerama and Dave Malone (formerly of The Radiators) played for our reception and Mr. Malone allowed me to wear his guitar! That was a monumental moment.