A lazy man’s guide to celebrating Mardi Gras: How to Cajun from your couch

Zapps, a Hurricane (via Wikipedia) and a bizarre, mostly forgotten horror film
Zapps, a Hurricane (via Wikipedia) and a bizarre, mostly forgotten horror film

It’s Mardi Gras, the holiday when even the most devoted Brooklynites question why they haven’t moved to New Orleans yet. Instead of wallowing in a pit of purple, green, and black FOMO over all the costumed parades and sex parties you’re missing out on down south, here are some ways to make the most of Fat Tuesday.

Plenty of Brooklyn bars and restaurants are turning up for the occasion, but there are other ways to celebrate too: namely, without leaving your house. So whether it’s stripping off all your clothing on the way home from work, making yourself a Hurricane, or actually going to a themed dinner, here are the borough’s best offerings tonight, and also the best ways to pay homage to NOLA with minimal money or movement:

For those of you with energy to go out and party or get some cajun flavor: 

  • Bar Chord (1008 Cortelyou Road, Ditmas Park) has funk music planned all night, plus gumbo and SixPoint Specials
  • SoCo (509 Myrtle Ave., Clinton Hill) is a Creole restaurant that features Cajun cooking and holds a weekly Phat Tuesday party event when it’s not Mardi Gras
  • Artisanal hot dog spot Lock Yard (9221 5th Ave., Bay Ridge) is having their beer tap taken over by Louisiana-based brewery Abita
  • The Hungry March Band brass ensemble is coming to the The Bell House (149 7th St., Gowanus) at 8pm tonight. Tickets are $15.
  • Bar Lunatico (486 Halsey St., Bed-Stuy), no noob to jazz performances, is hosting NOLA outfit Tubby tonight
  • Of course House of Yes (2 Wyckoff Ave., Bushwick) is going all out, with $5 jambalaya plates, aerialists, and a freakin’ private parade. No cover.
  • Catfish (1433 Bedford Ave., Crown Heights) has got alligator, drink specials, mask making and bead throwing, plus the bomb Cajun cuisine they offer year round.


For those of you who feel like celebrating and paying homage to Mardi Gras and NOLA in an alternative fashion:

  • Eat some Zapps and watch Easy Rideror the much less critically acclaimed Mardi Gras Massacre as well as Zombie! vs. Mardi Gras.
  • Make yourself a classic Crescent City cocktail, or order one to see if your local bartender knows what’s up: ask for a Sazerac (Absinthe, syrup, whiskey), Hurricane (rum, fruit juice and grenadine), Bywater (rum, Chartreuse, Averna, Velvet Falernum).
  • Patronize your local botanica: without heading down to NOLA, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a genuine voodoo shop, so might as well settle for a botanica. These shops aren’t putting extra effort into giving off an occult vibe, but since they’re peddling oils, candles, homeopathic remedies and ghost removal methods, they tend to feel pretty eccentric.
  • Be as naked as legally possible in public: strip down to your thongs, ladies and gents, and walk through the streets so people stop and see you and feel like they’re living somewhere as freewheelin’ as The Big Easy. It don’t cost nothing to take your clothes off (unless you are fined, per state law, for revealing the star of your butt hole or your genitals), and it’s a way better, more original way to celebrate and pay homage to the holiday’s history than just wearing beads
  • Wear some beads: this is the most basic and most cop out option, the equivalent to the guy who wears a sign saying This is my Halloween costume on Halloween, except not as original. Still, though, wearing some beads on Mardi Gras is at least a nod to the holiday. Better than doing nothing, anyway.
  • Learn up on what a Second Line is: this isn’t relevant to Mardi Gras but it is another, much less well known, New Orleans tradition that is a beautiful celebration of human life.
  • Who dat say they gonna beat dem saints?

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