Now, I'm no stranger to Halloween shenanigans, having lived for five years in Salem, MA (the self-proclaimed Halloween Capital of the World-slash-Universe). But New Orleans is all about the partying and dressing up for any old reason, so Halloween is cranked up to ELEVENTY!!!1!!!1!! here too. Add the Voodoo Music Festival and a night Saints game, and shenanigans are a-plenty.
Friday night came not a moment too soon after a tough week at work and we went to The Avenue Pub for Firkin Friday. NOLA Brewing had provided a cask of their Brown Ale brewed with Cajun Rum-soaked oak chips. It is also The Avenue's Belgian Beer month so there were many tasty (and high alcohol) beers to enjoy. Some of our non-Beer Advocate friends (Kara and Trey) also showed up which upped the awesomeness exponentially. Also present: the president of NOLA, the always freaking hilarious Kirk Coco. That made for some easy drinking. We also somehow scored an invitation to a NOLA Brewing sponsored tailgate/pig roast on Sunday. All in all, an awesome night.
Saturday we hauled our hungover butts out of bed and crossed the Industrial Canal to provide some computer help to the Lower Ninth Ward Village Community Center. Mack greeted us with some kinda crappy news - their main staff person had quit - but discussed at length about how it's all gonna be OK. We were finally able to get out of him some concrete tasks that we could do to help and we got to work on it. We were trying to figure out why one of the computers was running so slow- turned out it only had 500 MB of memory. After attempting to cannibalize some other CPUs we just ended up ordering 2 gigs of RAM and it will be a donation.
Issues in the Computer Lab: the kids keep disconnecting cables! Damn kids. (heh.)
There was a group of high schoolers there doing some volunteer work outside, I think clearing out the park that the Village "adopted." It's very cool to see kids that age busting ass to help out. I don't know where they hailed from originally, but I was telling Mack I remember being politically active at that age- old enough to know that things needed to change in the world but still not jaded enough to realize that the world actually won't change. It's a magical time!
After a much needed lunch at The Joint (ribs, brisket, chicken, pulled pork, sweet tea, oh my!) we headed home. The rest of the day was sort of a wash- napping, lounging, sleeping. I can't bounce back from a hangover and go out the next night. However, we did get a couple groups of trick or treaters, which kind of cracked me up. Good hustle, kids! There was a whole controversy about moving trick or treating to Saturday night because of the Saints game that started at 7:30 on Halloween night for the last couple weeks, but it didn't really seem to gain much traction as an organized effort from my perspective.
Anyway, the big Halloween Day finally arrived. Sunday we woke up and get ready to go tailgating by the Superdome. Didn't know what the parking situation would be, but figured it was worth a try to go park in Tom's work garage considering it was eight hours before kickoff. It was hot and sunny on Halloween- standing out in the tailgating parking lot, Tom got super burned even with the umbrellas I fetched from the car to use as parasols. Ah well. The beer (including a sneak peek of NOLA Brewing's Irish Channel Stout) and food (WHOLE ROASTED/SMOKED PIG ZOMG) were totally worth it. After a couple hours of standing in the sun drinking beer with a stomach full of pork, I... well, I needed a nap. So we left the party while we were still having fun. And it was a lot of fun! I met some really cool people and enjoyed talking to Jim and Kirk and everyone else. Thanks for the invite, guys!
Around 5:30 we started preparing for trick or treating, but other than a few random folks that passed by while we were sitting outside, we hardly gave out candy at all. We did meet one of our neighbors for the first time, though, and that's always a plus. He had his 6 month old son with him and was mildly freaking out because somehow the baby had gotten a hold of a Starburst and apparently that was his introduction to solid food. This dude was convinced his wife would kill him for that. Though... did he eat the wrapper as well as the candy?
7:15 we gave up and headed over to Kara and Trey's to watch the game. They'd set up a projection screen outside and it was amazing- an excellent way to watch a nailbiter or a game. Sitting in the courtyard with friends in costume, drinking beer and eating pumpkin soup and updating groups of trick or treaters passing by on the score made for a really fun and mellow Halloween.
Did not make it to Hansen's before it closed for the season, though. Woe!