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Mardi Gras moments: No place to pee

Editors note: Last year NolaVie contributor Rachael Kostelec wrote about a Mardi Gras problem with which you are probably all too familiar: locating a (relatively clean) restroom near the parade routes. We must have been good last year, because the bathroom gods (or the  ominous group of entrepreneurial techies who ) has blessed us with AirPnP, a web-based app that shows potential peers a map of privately-owned bathrooms available for use (for a fee of course). The app also allows users to access bathroom deceptions  as well as read and write reviews for the pit stops. 

 Meanwhile, we bring you Mardi Gras quandary from a simpler time, when Carnival-goers had to locate restroom via their own person.

Famous New Orleans singer Benny Grunch wrote the song, “Aint no place to pee on Mardi Gras Day,” but failed to mention the several other days leading up to Fat Tuesday that make relieving yourself nearly impossible.

porta potty

He was right on point with this declaration, but disappoints in offering any viable solutions. Coming from a girl who holds her pee for far too long, I have become an aficionado of sorts on the best (and worst) bathrooms in the city, and the best ways to avoid (both of) them.

With Carnival parades still rolling, it’s a timely concern.


The worst place in town to pee (which during Mardi Gras also probably has the longest line) is OPP. Of course, the ’90s rap song suggests these three letters stand for other people’s property (which is a bad idea as well), but we as New Orleanians know it as Orleans Parish Prison. A sure-fire way to end up there is peeing in the street, or, if you are my friend, a hotel elevator.

While someone’s mail slot (don’t look at me; I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried) may seem like a great idea at the time, trust me … it’s not.

After living in New Orleans for four years, I am still unclear as to why we will push, fight, scream, and expose body parts for a chintzy strand of beads. Take a couple of swigs from your camel-back filled with vodka tonics, without a bathroom in sight, and you’ll discover something worth pushing, fighting, and screaming for.

Here are a few ways to cope.

First, try switching from your beverage of choice to jello shots. The lack of liquid will save you at least a couple of bathroom runs through the course of the night.

Second, coordinate your parade schedule with places where you have friends living on the route. If you are lacking in the friend department, Mardi Gras is a great time to make new ones. Not only will they let you use their bathroom, but they will probably offer you a drink as well. And let’s face it; searching for a restroom for the past hour has left you thirsty.

If all else fails, find me. No, I don’t want to be your friend … but I do want your money. Like so many other brilliant locals before me, I have decided to rent a port-o-potty this Carnival season. This investment will cost me roughly $100 for five days, but that will be a drop in the, er, bucket compared to the hundreds I intend to make in profit.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Rachel Kostelec writes about New Orleans for NolaVie.


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