*phew* Red Dress week is over! It’s been a long week, and as much fun as it’s been, I’m glad it’s over.
For me, it started on Thursday. The VooDoo hosted a Red Dress Run, hared/led by myself and Fill Me Up (fellow VooDooer) through the Marigny. It was really more of a crawl, but still fun – about 50 people showed up – much more than our usual of high 20’s / low 30’s.
From the start at Royal and Frenchmen, we led them on a less-than-straight-line to the Friendly Bar on Chartres and Marigny, then to Markey’s in the Bywater, Marie’s on St. Roch and Burgundy, and finally back to the beer coolers in the Elysian Fields neutral ground by Royal St.
Friday was the official Red Dress Pre-Lube run, an event for hashers only. We started at Lucy’s, made our way over to the ferry (that was surreal) to the Crown and Anchor, had a food stop on Decatur, and made our way back. Despite the full belly, yours truly even managed to claim the title of “FRB” – also known as Front Running Bastard.
There are a bunch of pics on hashspace, which is unfortunately a private community so I’m unable to upload any pics. But, like most people, I downloaded my favorites (of me, duh), and put them up on flickr:
My best man ( Pistolette’s hubby, “Q”) and myself:
Needless to say, it was fun. And sweaty, which is a perfect prep for the mania that is the Red Dress Run.
This was my 4th RDR. Over these short years, I have almost seen it double. Each year. This year the estimate was that there were over 5,500 attendees. I’m guess that 1/11th of the participants were actually hashers.
While walking there (I had a huge-ass VooDoo banner, couldn’t ride), we passed a Mom and her presumable ‘tween daughter and likely friend, who asked for a picture. We obliged. We should have gotten a copy for ourselves – alas, no such luck.
When Bea and I had finally arrived, we were soaked – the skies opened up and rained in a way that can only really happen here. I wasn’t too concerned though – I knew we’d dry, it would help cool off the area, and my dress had been washed enough that I knew it wouldn’t run.
Words cannot describe the crowd that had amassed – the only thing I could compare it to are those photos of blood-red waters when whales/sharks are being slaughtered. I was so glad to be a hasher – we got balcony access – no lines for bathrooms or beer.
The crowds from there spread in all directions, a solid mass of red. The day progressed as one might expect – a huge, roaming mass of confusion. People assumed that I knew where to go – I did not, and eventually stopped trying to explain that finding the trail is all part of the game.
I carried that monstrous banner all day, and was glad to do it; everywhere I went I not only had shade, but also served as a beacon to other friends who knew what to look for.
The day proceeded as one might expect, as we consumed copious amounts of beer and liquor-infused watermelon-flavored jello. The later it got, the thinner the crowd became – we lost people all along the way – many stayed put on various bars on Bourbon St., I reckon.
I do remember that on the “final stretch”, a number of us decided to run. This is supposed to be a hash, right? Someone on South Peters yelled to us as we passed “Hey! This isn’t a race!”, to which I could only reply “And you’re not a hasher!” The sonner you get there, the more beer there is – it’s as simple as that.
After inhaling food on the balcony of the Ernst Cafe (and carrying Neil 1/2 a block and up a flight of stairs over my shoulders), 8 of us split for greener pastures. And by greener pastures, I mean bluer pools.
Bea and I picked up an extra 12 pack of Abita Amber, and in the pool, the imbibing may have even accelerated. The beer evaporated and was replaced by tequila, vodka, wine, and chartreuse. Q and I even managed to play a game of shot-glass chess (red vs. white wine) before the night was called.
After dropping off some others, I ‘d say we got home at about 1am. And believe it or not, I was in good shape the next day – a mere hint of a headache.
Man, I almost can’t wait till next year. Wait, no. Yes, I indeed can wait – I need a break.