After an eternity, Teddy, Amanda, and J-R showed up, and we decided to walk and attempt to catch up with the Julu parade, which was featuring some of our friends. This was a long walk, and we went right into Central City. At this point, it really hit home that I had been living a sheltered experience in New Orleans until Mardi Gras day. That morning, in the crowd watching Zulu, was the first time during the trip that I had seen any people of color who were not playing an instrument, serving as a flambeau, wearing a police uniform, or named Sammy Wilcher. As we went into Central City, our little group was definitely in the minority. Despite what many had said about racial tension in the city, I felt perfectly at ease, dare I say welcomed by the local community.
I was also finally able to see some Katrina-aftermath, and it was sad to see people sitting in half a house. It almost looked like a cartoon where someone had just ripped the whole front of the building off. About a block away, a house was nothing more than a giant pile of busted planks and scrap wood. I was assured that this was not damage from the recent tornado but rather destruction from Katrina that had yet to be cleaned up. Way to go, Uncle Sam.
We made a pit stop at the Bridge Lounge and learned that Julu was going to be finishing at D.B.A. on Frenchmen, so we decided to soldier on to the French Quarter.