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Volume 19/Issue 5/2001

Rip & Marsha

by Rip & Marsha Naquin-Delain

Visit their site: ripandmarsha.com

Ambush: Your Official Gay Mardi Gras Guide

This giant edition of Ambush Mag, serving as Official Gay Mardi Gras Guide, brings readers some 61 pages advertising the hottest activities happening in New Orleans; Austin, Galveston, Houston and South Padre Island, TX; Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Metairie, LA; and Orlando and Pensacola, FL. Ambush continues as Louisiana's only surviving tabloid, the only New Orleans Gay owned and operated tabloid, and the Gulf South's oldest and largest Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/ Transgender [GLBT] regional publication covering the lucrative Texas to Florida market.

Ambush has worked diligently with businesses, organizations and tourism officials striving to make the communities it serves as top GLBT destinations in the world. Ambush's success is largely due to its policy of inclusion representing all aspects of the GLBT community. The publication also gives hundreds of thousands of dollars each year back in services and monies through its AMgrant [Ambush Advertising Grant Program] to the communities which make Ambush possible.

Drink, Dine, Shop;
or Workout in New Orleans

The Crescent City is renowned for its numerous drinking party establishments. In this issue of Ambush you will find numerous bar related activities centered around Gay Mardi Gras. As you look through the ads, you are sure to find just the activity you want to experience this festive weekend.

Restaurants, grills and delis are in abundance as well. You'll want to visit the Bywater and try Bywater Bar-B-Que/Lorenzo's great spicy BBQ, delicious poboys, and fabu pizzas and calzones.

In the French Quarter, be sure to visit the upscale, snappy/casual Bombay Club. The Coq Au Vin, slow roasted baby chicken in a cabernet sauvignon wine sauce with mushrooms & onions, is one of the most popular entrees; or, on the late night menu, the Bombay Burger on a roll is the crowd favorite.

Krystal burgers and chili pups are a hit and the Krystal delivers.

Restaurant/Deli of the Year Lucky Cheng's exotic AmeriAsian cuisine is always good, but the drag diva waitresses are to-die-for fabu.

The Mardi Gras Club Restaurant and Nightlife is the newest kid on the block and has quite a selection on its menu.

Petunias' world's largest crepes and Cajun/Creole breakfasts/entrees are quite popular.

Quarter Scene's innovative New Orleans cookin' is a must and this popular restaurant just received "Best Casual Breakfast in the Quarter" rating by the 2001 Zagat Survey.

Quartermaster-The Nellie Deli does great BBQ ribs, chicken fried steak, salads and sandwiches.

The Ralph Brennan restaurant group is another must for any reveler in New Orleans. For hot jazz and New Orleans cuisine, visit Storyville District, while "Best Italian Restaurant" Bacco would be a great choice for an Italian feast. For casual New Orleans seafood, try "Best Seafood Restaurant" the Redfish Grill.

And let's not forget shopping, every true queen's delight! Airline Adult Books in Kenner and sister store Chartres Street Conxxxion in the Quarter boasts some of the very best in adult films, novelties and gifts.

Alternatives has a huge selection of Carnival beads, boas and so much more.

The Bourbon Strip-Tease boasts exotic clothing, sexy dance wear, plus adult gifts and toys.

Chi-wa-wa-ga-ga has great Carnival gear for that "dinky little dog" in your family.

Faubourg Marigny Books offers some of the best GLBT literary selections around and even has gift items, calendars and CDs.

French Quarter Camera can take care of all your one hour photo needs, especially those naughty Mardi Gras pics.

The Herb Import Company has herbal smoking blends, Magic Mushrooms and detox products.

Mary's True Value is the best place to get all those keys made for visiting guests.

Maskarade boasts handcrafted masks, jewelry, dolls and gifts.

And if you're looking for reasonably priced antiques and other collectibles, you'll want to visit Out of the Closet.

Rab Dab Clothing and Gifts offers just the right skimpy attire those big ole beefy circuit boys like to wear, showing off those fab bods, and what better costume Mardi Gras Day?

Royal Treasures boasts crystal, gifts, boas, masks, wings, sequins and rhinestones for big girls and divas.

Elayne Angel and her staff of friendly professionals can take care of all your body piercing needs and fill your order for just that right piece of jewelry.

Serendipitous Masks has incredible jewelry and masks fit for any queen.

GLBT Friendly Business of the Year Something Different uptown is absolutely one of the best card and gift shops in town for the discriminating shopper.

The Club New Orleans touts "5 floors of fun, fitness & fantasy" for this Mardi Gras holiday. The Club has the latest workout equipment to keep you circuit boys in tip top shape.

Casinos/Accommodations New Orleans

Harrah's New Orleans Casino on Canal St. has actively courted the GLBT community by supporting community fund-raisers and causes.

The Hilton New Orleans Riverside also courts GLBT revelers with a spot on the A List at gayneworleans.com.

Other on-line lodging services include A List regulars Big Easy/French Quarter Lodging, French Quarter Accommodation Service, and Old Town Inn New Orleans.

Big Easy Guest House is a great choice with continental breakfast offered and even boasts German spoken. It's only a 4 to 5 minute walk to the Quarter.

Royal Barracks Guest House regularly welcomes visitors to the Crescent City, featuring a hot tub, tropical courtyard, private baths and private entrances. Royal Barracks is one of the quaintest guest houses in the Quarter.

Big D's Bed & Breakfast is conveniently located near the Marigny bars, not far from the French Quarter.

Bon Maison Guest House and Bourgoyne Guest House are also excellent choices.

Other choices available on-line include Ariana Inn, Bigeasy.com Hotel Reservations, Easton House B&B, House of David, New Orleans Guest House and Royal Street Courtyard.

Visit www.gayneworleans.com/lodgingn.htm for more info. on these great lodging choices.

KCQ Coronation Highlighted
with Unveiling of Official
Gay Mardi Gras Poster

The annual King Cake Queen coronation bash presented KCQ VIII Phyllis Denmark as the Krewe of Queenateenas "Peacock Queen" in a dazzling emerald green gown. The giant KCQ crown of stars highlighted Queen Phyllis' brilliant red coif.

An added highlight to this year's party included Graham Studio One photographer Larry Graham unveiling the first Official Gay Mardi Gras Poster, "Ash Wednesday." Graham presented the framed, numbered and signed work to Ambush publishers Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain which included a brass plate proclaiming Ash Wednesday, Mardi Gras 2001, Ambush 1/1000 by Graham. This work includes 20 nude models comprising the 14 x 32 inch poster. The poster is signed, numbered and limited to 1,000 prints offered at $25. Information is available on-line at www.grahamstudioone.com or at 504.943.0037.

The traditional royalty pin exchange between the former and current King Cake Queens was a delight as onlookers observed the beautiful pins emerge from gift boxes. KCQ VIII Phyllis presented the former queens in attendance with a marvelous peacock pin. KCQ II Jay Loomis, KCQ III Smurf Murphy and KCQ V Liz Simms were on hand for the festivities. KCQ IV Arthur Severio [Reba Douglas] was in Nashville doing Pentecostal updos for a Gospel presentation, while KCQ VII Stephanie Williams was on stage as a show girl in Las Vegas. Also honored on this night was the late KCQ VI Sonny Cleveland [Christine Cheridon].

Some 400 guests attended the soiree hosted at Ambush headquarters, 828 Bourbon St. The complex includes Ambush offices on the first floor of the mansion while the second and third floor serves as the private residence of Queenateenas co-captains Rip and Marsha Naquin-Delain.

KCQ VIII Phyllis and Queenateenas co-captains welcomed guests in the Ambush offices. A wine and beer bar was available here. Guests were able to sample the first entree included in this year's Louisiana Wild Life Feast - wild duck, venison and okra gumbo.

As revelers went upstairs, they were able to get their favorite cocktail at Belle Lain's Magnolia Bar on the second floor landing. The second floor includes the Naquin-Delain's parlor, formal dining room and kitchen connected by a wide plantation hallway with access to their world famous Bourbon St. balcony.

The remainder of the Louisiana Wildlife Feast was served in the formal dining room. It included Cajun barbequed alligator sausage, a boudin of wild boar and roasted eggplant and garlic, Choupique caviar pie, artichoke and crawfish pate, blu cheese and walnut terrine, mirliton and crabmeat pate, marinated okra and green beans along with olives, cherry peppers and artichoke hearts, plus hog's head cheese, pepper jack cheese and N'awlins cream cheese King Cake. The wild game was courtesy of Rip's sister and husband, the Chaisson's of Morgan City.

Guests were also allowed access to the couple's third floor boudoir which includes their live orchid greenhouse in a dormer portion of the third floor kitchen. It also includes quarters for their babies-Chris, Sable, Cinnamon and Weezie.

Many first time visitors commented on the huge amount of collectibles throughout the mansion including the owl, egg, clock, religious and Ambush art collections. For the past 15 years, the Naquin-Delain's have been collecting works in support of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender artists.

KCQ VIII Phyllis will lead the 14th Official Gay Mardi Gras Bead Toss on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 27. The festivities will kick off at 1pm, 828 Bourbon St. and the Krewe of Queenateenas will toss some 20,000 pearls to Carnival revelers below. Visit gaymardigras.com/kcq for more info.

Color Me Red
is Petronius' 40th Presentation

The Krewe of Petronius, the oldest surviving GLBT Carnival club, presented its 40th Bal Masque, "Color Me Red," at the Municipal Auditorium adjacent to the French Quarter. The festivities opened with New York City chanteuse Varla Jean Merman in a salute to America.

Petronius then proposed a toast to the late Queen Petronius XXXIX, Ms. Fly. Returning King Petronius XXXIX dazzled the audience as he returned as an unbelievable Venice dragonfly. This would signal the beginning of one of the best balls ever produced in the Crescent City.

Queen Petronius XXXII and Petronius Captain Mickey Gil reigned as the Red Planet and showed his talent as a festive emcee. The krewe presented past royalty in attendance. Other royals were presented as part of this 40th ball.

Other highlights included the Red Velvet Cake - King Petronius XXXVIII, Red Strawberries - King Petronius XXXVII, Red Wine and Red Rose, Red Hot Peppers, Red Lady Bug - Queen Petronius XXXVIII, Red Flaming Queen, Red Cloud, Red Witch Doctor, Ball Lieutenant Ted Jeansonne as the Red Baron complete with loads of big ole beefy snoopys, Red Sox - the Lyle Guidroz Dancers, Red Ants - the Lyle Guidroz Dancers raising over $2,000 for the PFLAG Scholarship Fund, Red Light District - Queen Petronius XXX & King Petronius XXXVI, Red Square and Red China.

Part of the finale included the presentation of Queen Petronius XXXX Robert Dunlap [also King Petronius XXXI] as the Red Rubies. The Queen came out in a blast of fireworks and culminated as thousands of red balloons fell from the heavens.

Then the Captain and Ball Lieutenant began their search for King Petronius XXXX. The King is chosen for his outstanding endeavors on behalf of the club. After passing once by each member of the club, they crowned Red Cloud, as King Petronius XXXX.

There were many special award presentations throughout the evening's festivities. However, the talent at this ball was unbelievable. Varla Jean Merman dazzled the packed auditorium with her live wit and devilish charm, while the Lyle Guidroz Dancers gave the glamour of a Saenger major production.

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