Free Mardi Gras 2002 Flashers Pictures and Essay © Joyman
Three things I want to do before I die:
1. Spend Mardi Gras in New Orleans
2. Spend Carnival in Rio
3. Sail in the Pina Colada Regatta
As a warm up to number one I decided to check out the "local" Mardi Gras
celebration in San Jose (CA). According to the "official" web site, billed
as the "Largest Mardi Gras celebration in California, I figured it just
might be worth the 5 hour (2 1/2 hours each way) drive to get there and
Held along a 4-5 block stretch of Post St. ("blocked off" for the occasion),
in "old" San Jose that vaguely resembles the architecture along Bourbon St.
(there is a shot of the lone balcony under which the crowd never thinned),
this 6th. annual event was somewhat of a let down...at first.
With only 3 bars open and 2 very small stages located at either end of the
street with live "entertainment" (not very lively and most certainly not the
type of "entertainment" I was hoping for), after about an hour or so of
wandering back and forth waiting for the "fun" to begin, two words started
to repeat themselves over and over in my head...tame and lame.
As one of only a handful of intrepid souls who actually bothered to dress in
costume, I started to feel like maybe I was one of the "attractions".
But just when I was about ready to call it a night, cut my losses, and begin
the long trek back home, I heard them... the drums...off in the distance.
At first I wasn't sure but then the unmistakeable beat of the Samba broke
over our heads, when rounding the corner, parting the crowd, came a
swirling, flashing mass of color, sound and (dare I hope to believe!?)
semiclad female flesh! Dazzling, sparkling, gyrating to the pounding beat
of the drums, their lithe, supple bodies, glistening in the light that they
themselves seemed to radiate. My very soul cried out "laissez bon temp
roulet!" (Let the good time roll!) At that exact moment I realized that
some things are worth the wait. Sometimes the long drought makes us ever
more grateful for the dark clouds that bring the rain.
Was it worth the time (five hours driving round trip), effort (hours putting
together a costume worthy of the spirit of Mardi Gras) and expense (over $30
in beads alone!)? Will I make the long trek back next year?
Look at the pictures, you tell me...