E and I both are the kind of people that are a bit snarky with Valentine’s Day. For E it has a lot to do with aesthetics (“God, all the garish red and pink and that too sweet chocolate.”). My only real appreciation for the holiday is that it has its roots in the ancient festival of the Lupercalia, which along with various celebrations of spring included asking the gods to protect the newborn lambs from wolves. There’s something delightfully wicked when you consider that somehow that became a holiday to celebrate romantic love. So even as E and I celebrated Valentine’s Day, we did so, in part, with both of our tongues tucked firmly into our respective cheeks.
A little less than a year ago a new mom and pop fried chicken joint opened up on Nicholson not too far from where I work. I’d planned on giving it a try at some point, as Baton Rouge isn’t near the fried chicken town that Jackson is (oh Two Sisters, I miss you and your buffet so…). The idea of trying out some fried chicken that was something other than the corporate chain variety was something I was looking forward to.
That is, until I drove by the other day and saw this sign:
So carnival season kicked off in Baton Rouge with the Spanish Town Ball on Saturday night. In the year and a half that I’ve lived here, my only real interaction with a major cross section of Baton Rouge has been through LSU football games, so I was eagerly anticipating a look at the people of Baton Rouge through a completely different, pink-tinted lens. And while the Spanish Town Ball is not your prototypical Mardi Gras ball, in that you don’t have to be a member of any krewe to go, it’s just open to the ticket-buying public, it was still my first exposure to the Mardi Gras culture that occurs outside of standing along the parade route, making a drunken fool out of yourself for beads.