They Called Us River Rats – Episode #156

The Mississippi River Batture

Today’s episode is all about the people who live and have lived along the sliver of land between the levee and the Mississippi River called the batture.

To help me explore this culture I’ve enlisted the help of Macon Fry, author of the book They Called Us River Rats, and himself an inhabitant of the batture. 

Sponsor: The Historic New Orleans Collection

Support comes from The Historic New Orleans Collection, the city’s premiere history museum, located at five twenty Royal Street in the heart of the French Quarter.

Their current exhibit, Making Mardi Gras runs through May 8, 2022. This show stopping display invites visitors into the sprawling dens, late-night sewing sessions, and sweaty dance rehearsals where “The Greatest Free Show on Earth” is created and re-created each year among the city’s diverse communities.

Explore the vibrant expression that only Carnival season can muster, as we meet up with 19th-century float artists, dawn-breaking skeleton gangs, and homebound house-float creators—stopping to admire costumes, royalty, and hand-painted coconuts.

This is the Mardi Gras that happens before we’re watching, the Carnival that will wind through the city on Fat Tuesday, far from the intemperate Bourbon Street scene. Catch it before it passes.

Go to to plan your trip.

Sponsor: Patreon

Today’s episode is sponsored by our Patreon Supporters.
If you love the podcast, the Facebook group and the work I’m doing please consider becoming a monthly supporter. Find out more at

We have perks at all levels, and if you join at the $10 level or higher, we’ll mention you on an episode.

Pre-order my book

Did you know I have a book coming out? The Beyond Bourbon Street Travel Guide to New Orleans. You can pre-order a copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or This is the single best way you can currently show your support for the podcast and for my work, so please consider pre-ordering your copy today.

Subscribe to the Podcast

If you enjoy the show, please subscribe to the podcast on

Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, SpotifyGoogle Play Music or wherever you get your podcasts. If you do enjoy listening, please share Beyond Bourbon Street with someone who shares our love of New Orleans.

Join Us on Facebook

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Thank You

Thanks to Macon Fry for joining me on the show and showing me around his camp on the river! Thanks also to Joel Sharpton of Pro Podcasting Services for editing the podcast.

Contact Us

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Thanks for listening!



New Orleans is so much more than the Bourbon Street scenes you may have seen–– it’s a 300-year-old city made up of vibrant neighborhoods, diverse populations, and traditions layered upon each other.
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