My folks are both retired and live in Covington, La., and had planned to go in to New Orleans on Saturday to walk around the French Quarter and see all the Super Bowl hullabaloo and take some pics for me to post on CSC.
But early on this cool and clear Friday morning over coffee and the Sometimes Picayune, they changed their minds when they realized how crowded it would be on Saturday, and decided to go in that very day.
After what my Mom termed "a very old-fartish" half hour of discussing what to wear (Saints vs. Mardi Gras stuff, weather-appropriateness: it's cool now, but may be warmer later and we don't want to have to lug around heavy coats if we don't have to...), they were finally ready to go and set out across the Causeway.
They parked out near the cemetery on Canal and took the streetcar into the French Quarter (and the bus on the way out), and my Mom noted that on these public transit venues they sat in very close quarters with a mix of visiting tourists, locals heading into work, and other locals there for pleasure, and they comfortably had pleasant conversation amongst all parties of strangers, discussing various topics on the rides in and out. She said it was nice to re-experience one of the things she's enjoyed about living in/near New Orleans for most of her life.
As they walked down St. Peter towards Jackson Square, my Mom saw someone walking towards them who in one sense looked like any other hipster FQ denizen with cell phone pressed to ear, just up for the morning walk for coffee/breakfast at almost 11:00, but who also looked kind of familiar.
She says to my Dad, "Robert, that looks like Mo Rocca!" (he's one of her favorite funny "feature story" reporter persons she's liked since he was on Ellen's show years ago) And my Dad, true to form, jumps right in without hesitation, "Well, Weese, let's find out - Mo!!!" No answer, so my Dad steps closer to him and hits it again, louder this time, "Hey, Mo!! Mo Rocca!!! Look, it's Mo Rocca!!"
The guy turns around, and it ACTUALLY IS Mo Rocca. He stopped his phone call, nicely shaking hands and saying a quick hello to my folks and allowing them to take this picture before he continued on his way...
And my Mom noted how great it is to go to these things with my Dad because, "he does stuff like that I'd never do myself."
They continued on and decided to forego the coffee and beignet stop in lieu of an 11:00 am-ish Bloody Mary stop at the Pontalba House.
A nice couple (with Bloody Marys of their own) pushing a stroller with a 4 or 5-year old wearing a black and gold balloon hat was kind enough to take this picture for them.
Next, they encountered the CBS/Jackson Square Gated Community of Media Overexposure...
In this general area (Jackson Square and the Jax Brewery parking lot), CBS, ESPN, and the NFL Network all had enormous and expansive broadcast zones set up, and my Dad's goal was to try and get on TV by videobombing them, but on this day and time, all the shows that were airing were quite sequestered and elevated, and thwarted his goal.
But my Dad was able to "reverse photobomb" (is that even a thing?) the back of Trent Dilfer's head. Can you see it way up there to the left? GOTCHA!!!
Looks like it's time for a refill, Mom and Dad!!
At this point, my folks noted how different the French Quarter looked with the amount of broadcast setups, aerial camera rigs, crisscrossing wires both high and low, satellite towers, and enormous and widespread police presence all around on horseback, bicycle, foot, and in patrol cars. I asked my Dad if he had mooned the aerial zooming camera, and he said that unfortunately, he had not.
Next they headed through Woldenberg Park towards the river, and came across one of many of the artfully decorated commemorative Super Bowl Footballs placed around the city.
This was a serious FanZone area that had tents and booths with music, food, and games...
They said that these hula-hoopers were going strong for over an hour, at least!
...and here's the game tent area, but I'm not sure which Corporate Overlord sponsored it:
First they saw some guy playing a Wii football game...
and then a closeup of the PRIZECLAW. Look out, little girl!! It's going to squish your head!!!
And closer to the river, they saw a music stand converted into an NFL Network staging area that would have been perfect for my Dad to get on TV behind, but alas, it was not in active use.
Also at the river was docked a huge barge with the SB numerals on it.
Now, Dad. If you can hold both drink cups in one hand, it IS time for a refill.
Along the river-walky area, they came across some Mardi Gras Indians and a riverboat.
and a very interesting Colin Kapernick-to-Vernon Davis connection:
As my Dad was chasing the Mardi Gras Indians, my Mom discovered this ring hat guy in the distance and hastily left their water bottles unguarded so she could hurry over and strike up a conversation with him to lay the groundwork for this photo op...
As it turns out, this guy is a local paramedic who custom-made this hat, and two others for his 49ers and Ravens fan friends who came in for the game, and of course, were interviewed by this purple-clad Channel 4 reporter...
Earlier I wrote that my Dad was unable to videobomb any of the national broadcasts, but he was able get the back of his head (wearing the Saints hat he got signed by Rickey Jackson on Thursday - more on that later in a separate post) into a Mississippi River "scene" shot the Channel Four crew took panning around after interviewing the ring hat guys. They didn't realize it until they saw it while watching the 5:00 news that night. SCORE!!
My folks said they had a great time doing this on Friday, and that they really like being roving reporters for CSC. Don't forget to send them their check, Dave!! (Or maybe a t-shirt: We're roving reporters for CSC and all we got was this crummy t-shirt.)