New Orleans is a tricky city to navigate, even on the best of days. At nearly 300 years old, the streets are very narrow, and in Orleans Parish (or Orleans "County"), most are one-way. Add a parade to the mix, and things get far more difficult.
Today is Fat Tuesday (or Mardi Gras), the climax of Carnival season, and in Orleans Parish alone, there's not just one parade, but dozens upon dozens of them--some with floats, others are just walking parades, but all are exuberant and jammed with spectators. Apart from hotels, restaurants, and drinking establishments, nearly every business in the city is shuttered, and families are venturing out into the streets to watch the floats and costumes roll by. No one will be driving except the police, the float-pullers, and tourists who have to be back at their desks on Ash Wednesday. If you're unfortunate enough to be in last group, here's a guide to the obstacles you'll face when you get behind the wheel today. Just click here to see the handy-dandy interactive map that your TCC revelers put together.
As an added bonus, here's a clip of Mardi Gras' best-kept secret, the Society of Ste. Anne (mistakenly called the Krewe of St. Anne in the title), marching up Royal Street, having a lot of fun, and generally making life miserable for any poor schmuck trapped behind the wheel. We hope you're not in that number, but if you are, turn off the motor, get down from your car, and join the party for a while.