by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain
Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com
Air Mwindo, Flight 2000 Tours the World
The Krewe of Mwindo's Bal Masque II was an extravagant trip aboard "Air Mwindo, Flight 2000" touring popular, and definitely some of the most colorful, destinations around the world. Mwindo's Captain boarded in a flurry of white plumes and served as Master of Ceremonies for the festivities.
King and Queen Mwindo I portrayed New York City as the Gateway to the World, all done spectacularly in purple [our favorite color] and of course, brilliant white plumes.
Fernand Jackson and Company dazzled revelers with their multitalented dance renditions throughout the ball amazing even professional dancers in the audience. Mwindo also presented the talents of Asya Alexander, whose spectacular performance raised over $500 for the NO/AIDS Task Force.
The World Carnival kicked off the flight with stops in Trinidad & Tobago's Caribbean Fantasy, Brazil's Brazilian Rain Forest, Italy's Roman Holiday, India's Taj Mahal, China's China Doll, Russia's Lost Czarina Anastasia [complete with life-size faux Faberge' egg carriage], and the Artic Circle's Kris Kross Kringle and Bear.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of King & Queen Mwindo II as "New Orleans: Returning Home". Black and gold was the order of the day highlighting the Crescent City's flavor and culture.
This second effort by the Krewe of Mwindo must be applauded. Air Mwindo, Flight 2000 conjures up memories of the early years of colorful extravagance by one former krewe many may remember - Polyphemus.
A special thanks to Wolfendales' Clete Held and Sy'ria Synclaire, our table hosts for this fabu night of culture and entertainment.
Sylvia Frank & Pat Skelly Host
Lavish 20th Anniversary
Raising Over $900 for Buzzy's Kids
Two of New Orleans most famous legends, Sylvia Frank and Pat Skelly, celebrated their twentieth anniversary with a lavish dinner dance at Carlone's. Invited guests were greeted by the happy couple adorned in smashing beaded ensembles.
Sylvia and Pat insisted on no gifts, but greatly appreciated a donation to Buzzy's Boys and Girls, honoring their old friend, the late Buzzy Fanning. Their generosity raised $980 which directly benefits those suffering from HIV/AIDS.
The talents of Candy Riedl serenaded guests sending many for a spin around the dance floor. However, the culinary efforts of Carlone's delighted revelers even further with such a huge menu from which to choose.
The guest list for this bash was definitely a Who's Who in the Big Easy with many legends in attendance, including Dixie Fasnacht and Rosemary Pino.
Marc Anthony Wins
Mr. Louisiana Olympus Leather at the Phoenix
The Leather community filled the Phoenix to capacity for the annual Mr. Louisiana Olympus Leather 2000 contest. Handsome Marc Anthony captured the title with runner-up Randy Tolsen.
Categories of competition included Offstage Interview, Street Wear, Fantasy and Question & Answer.
Mr. Louisiana Leather Chuck Lance did a great job as emcee keeping contest festivities moving right along. Knights d'Orleans President Mena addressed the audience as did returning Mr. & Miss Louisiana Olympus Leather '99 Erick Lundgren and Alisa Swindell.
Judges included Ms. Louisiana Leather 2000 Alisa Swindell, Mr. National Olympus Leather 1999 Erick Lundgren, Mr. Louisiana Leather 1998 Drake Higgenbotham and 2nd runner-up to Mr. Louisiana Leather Tim Lott.
Marc Anthony will represent Louisiana in the upcoming Mr. National Olympus Leather competition Feb. 26 held during the Pantheon of Leather X weekend here in the Crescent City. For Pantheon of Leather X details call 888.465.1237 or see page EX-14.
4th KCQ Bar Run Makes 13 Stops
The 4th Annual King Cake Queen [KCQ] Bar Run Feb. 8th made 13 stops this year from the French Quarter to the Bywater, to the Marigny and back to the Quarter. The event is the last official duty of last year's King Cake Queen. It was the job of KCQ VI Sonny Cleveland to introduce KCQ VII-Elect Stephanie Williams to revelers on and along the bar run.
Williams will reign as Goddess 2000 over Carnival festivities for the Krewe of Queenateenas' 13th Annual Bead Toss Mardi Gras, March 7, 1pm. The balcony at Ambush Headquarters, 828 Bourbon St., will be transformed to reflect this year's theme, Sex Goddesses.
Some 20 revelers met at MRB for cocktails with bartender Dan and the distribution of purple beads to bar patrons. The shuttle limo picked up the group and whisked them off to Lorenzo's in the Bywater, where Lorna and Michael were slinging cocktails.
Heading back to the Marigny, first stop would be the Mint with Billy behind the bar. We ran into Bobby Ramone and Miss Phil and then it was off to the Phoenix. Brian was behind the bar, and we got to see Red, Pat and Tom. Next stop brought us to Rubyfruit Jungle with both Joe and Jamie behind the bar.
Then it was off to the Financial District with the first stop at the Double Play. Electra Lux was behind the bar and even legendary Donnie Jay was at this stop. Corner Pocket was up next with Lonnie behind the bar. Enough about you Lonnie!
The Rampart Street Strip would follow with stops at Footloose where even owner Todd joined the festivities, then Voodoo with owner Estelle, TT's with the lovely Marcy Marcell and Wolfendales with owners Sy'ria and Clete.
Although 6 more stops were scheduled, this group of tipsy revelers would only make two. 735 was up next with bar manager Jacque and then it ended at Oz with bartender Michael.
Some of the bar run revelers included KCQ VI Sonny and other half Matt, KCQ V Liz with honey Kitty, and of course, KCQ VII Stephanie with guests Felina Colby Shane, Lisa Beaumann, Alvin and Craig.
8th Barkus Parade
Hits the Streets Feb. 27
The Mystic Krewe of Barkus will host its eighth parade Sun., Feb. 27, beginning at 2pm, Armstrong Park, adjacent to the Quarter. Joan of Bark is this year's theme and will be led by King & Queen Barkus VII Oscar Olivier [attended by Patrick Barber] and Pasha [attended by Catherine Olivier].
Founded by Wood Enterprises, Barkus is the world's only Mardi Gras krewe run for and by dogs. The parade winds through the streets of the French Quarter.
And don't forget, you still have time to buy your Carnival costume for your kid at Chi-wa-wa Ga-ga, 37 French Market Place. It's the only place Ambush shops for holiday wear. It has costumes, toys and bedding for small and large dogs, and yes, even ferrets!
Find & Dine
Lucky Cheng's, 720 St. Louis, has made quite a few changes including an all new menu and new management under the direction of Carlton Bridges. You will find the place all spruced up and freshly painted, and most importantly it is the home of some of the most exotic "real girls" in town.
Culinary choices abound, but some of your choices should definitely include Duck Hot & Sour Soup and Warm Goat Cheese Salad. The spicy soup is quite tasty, chock full of duck and fresh scallions. An assortment of Asian greens is the base for the salad topped with a Creole mustard vinaigrette and more importantly pecan crusted goat cheese - delicious.
The Crab Cakes appetizer boasts 2 flaky New Orleans style crab cakes with a marvelous Asian cilantro lime aoli.
Both the Pork Tenderloin and Soft Shell Crab should be two of your entree choices. The pork is cooked to order, juicy and flavorful with sauteed bok choy topped with a tangy apricot sauce. The Japanese bread crumb crusted soft shell crab is fried crisp, served over jasmine rice with stir fried crisp vegetables and ginger lemon grass beurre blanc. Chef Noah Gardiner also prepares various dinner specials.
The culinary choices are only enhanced by the servers here, all exotic drag queens. And these girls even put on a show during dinner. For avid show goers like us, we found their talents varied and performances excellent. However, it was great fun to just watch the other tables and the expressions of those dinner guests. Obviously for many of them, it was their first drag show.
Lucky Cheng's is open 7 days, 6pm.
Cosimo's Mexican Kitchen, 1201 Burgundy, is the Quarter's newest Mexican dinner house. Chef Steven Bibb, of former Sterling Club fame, has developed quite a menu of all homemade selections.
Partner Al Gauthier welcomes and serves guests in the dining room, located in the back of Cosimo's bar.
The Nachos Grande is an excellent choice topped with jack cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, guacamole and some of the hottest jalapenos we've ever had.
You should definitely try the homemade tamales, packed with spicy pork stuffing, quite large, and wrapped in acron husks. And don't forget the huge chiles rellenos, stuffed with tender pork, raisins and roasted almonds served in a tomato broth with Mexican rice.
Cosimo's Mexican Kitchen is open Tuesday-Saturday, 6-10pm.
Pansies & Dirt
735 kicked off its newest hit, Unladylike followed by Drama: A Night For The Boys Feb. 10. The weekly Thursday night party begins with sassy hostess Symone Devereaux and her "armies of drag" Unladylike show presenting some of New Orleans' best talents.
The first show featured the beauty and talent of Miss Gay Louisiana Universe Felina Colby Shane, the hot dance talents of Dominique Delorean and provocative talents of Vivica Devereaux.
It was followed by Drama: A Night For the Boys with the hit DJ talents of Alyson Calagna and Ryan Deffes, hosted by Anthony.
Oz was up next for its midnight Calendar Boy contest with our own King Cake Queen Stephanie Williams as hostess. The boys were hot with Sean taking top honors and $100 cash this night followed by Michael. Calendar Boy is held every Thurs., and worth loads of $$$ for the monthly finals.
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