When we first heard about Treme, airing Sundays on HBO, we thought it was slang for “Extreme” and that the show would feature amazing stories from 2005’s Hurricane Katrina. But now that we’re several weeks into the series, we realize there are no surfboard-riding FEMA rescuers saving locals during the storm surge (or even writing checks), just normal people in a neighborhood called Treme (Treh-may) trying to rebuild their lives and their community three months after the Katrina disaster. But make no mistake, there are heroes and fascinating stories being told here in one of America’s greatest cities. So if you love New Orleans and tales of hope and rebirth, call your friends and neighbors; we’re throwing a Treme party!
Setting the scene:
Treme is filled with history (it is considered the country’s oldest African-American neighborhood), and so we’ll want to celebrate as much of that as possible by decorating in old-world New Orleans. That means incorporating old French furniture with ornamental ironwork, antiques, chandeliers that have seen better days, a blend of religious artifacts from both Catholicism and voodoo, naif artwork and Mardi Gras paraphernalia. You’ll also want to add old portrait paintings, bronze-look cherubs, marble-top tables, candelabras, African sculptures and parasols. And overdo it with flowers – preferably funeral wreaths, stands and urns. We’d also suggest renting as many brass instruments as possible since the Big Easy is a hotbed of jazz (but group them together, otherwise your place will start to look like an Applebee’s).
While we’d love to have everyone come as Mardi Gras Indians, see if others won’t come in black suits with sashes or as jazz musicians.
On the hi-fi:
Music is a huge part of the show and the city, and you can buy songs from each episode including When the Saints Go Marching In by Dr. John; The Treme Song by John Boutte; Tears, Tears & More Tears by Allen Toussaint, Elvis Costello and the Crescent City Horns; and Treme Mardi Gras by Kermit Ruffins & Baby J.
We are weirdly hooked on jazz funerals like the ones shown in the show, so why not book a funeral jazz band and have them slowly march around your house (literally, outside and around) to evoke all the coolness and gravitas that is Treme?