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The St. Charles Avenue neutral ground is the scene of many of my great memories of watching Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. It is always, especially during the big superkrewe parades, a scene filled with cook-out parties and crowds of bead hungry revelers competing to see over the line of ladders just to get a glimpse of the passing parades.
Predictably, though, the neutral ground can be a scene of some carnage also. If it has rained for while, the ground will be sodden and muddy, and although it doesn’t tend to deter the crowds, it can make for a fairly bleak scene towards the end of the night, or even during the smaller parades. Throw in the litter, and it may not seem all that inviting a place for the uninitiated. Regardless, for me, these scenes will always be the subject of such fond memories, which is why I took this shot and spent so much time in editing it.
One of the aspects of Mardi Gras that I find so interesting though, as depicted in this shot, is the line ladders on the kerb. This line stretched along a good length of the road, a mile or more, very little access through them for anyone that wants to get on the street. It seems to have become something of a tradition during Mardi Gras, but it does seem kind of selfish that you would put a ladder up when there is clearly no need to do so, while blocking the view of all of those behind you.
This shot was taken with a Pentax K10D, with the ISO bumped right up to capture all of the available light.
October 5th, 2012
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