Saturday, June 07, 2008

People lived here

And some may have died here as well. Yes, there were lots of pieces of clothing amid the rubble. I imagine clothes that hung in abandoned closets, but I don't really know.

On the days when I have taken Earhart from River Ridge to the CBD, I have driven past a long stretch where ruined houses are being razed to make room for rebuilding. It has progressed, not looking now the way it did the first few times I drove that route.

This morning, since it was Saturday and I had no fellow car-poolers and was not really in the mood to rush to work... I stopped to take some pics, as I have wanted to do for some time.

This was once a neighborhood full of people. I wonder now what their stories were and are. Where are they now? What have they gone through? What are their hopes? Have some fallen into despair?

Just a little bit closer to downtown are three-story apartment buildings of brick, some with metal balconies. They still stand and folks still live there. They are a sign of life. I hope this will be a place of new life.

Yesterday, while chatting on the phone after work, I tired of pacing about and sat down on a backless office chair near the parking garage, just opposite the building I showed photos of yesterday evening. This morning as I drove in to work, it had migrated to the intersection. There is something whimsical about it all. So this very quickly taken photo while at a red light is my shout out to the chair that gave me a resting place.

To my imagination it is rather cute, and a bit forlorn, and evocative of the Pixar Studios lamp. I am picturing it hopping down the street on its own.
--the BB


Kirstin said...

You say what needs saying. Thank you.

FranIAm said...

Oh my...

Bubs said...

Great post. Thank you for helping to keep the focus on New Orleans.

I'm not sure, really, what is more unsettling--the way the destroyed neighborhoods looked with all the collapsed and damaged houses, or the way they look now, razed to the ground. It's almost like an effort to remove the memory of people ever having been there in the first place, and that's truly sad.

By the way, Fran sent me over here.

Paul said...

Welcome, bubs!

I have found it tragic and infuriating that we tend to forget things the moment a crisis has passed, ignoring the aftermath. We give lots of publicity to a tsunami, a heat wave and drought, a flood, an earthquake. Then the "news cycle" moves on, while those affected struggle for years, sometimes decades, to rebuild their lives. New Orleans is just one example of this. But this is where chance and providence have placed me for a while, so I share what I encounter.

I have always been more comfortable with nature and architecture than "intruding" into people's lives, so I let these photos represent, indirectly, the lives of the people who live here, or died here, or used to live here and are now displaced.

This afternoon I am planning a drive to the Lower Ninth Ward. It is time.

Splotchy said...

I'm still amazed that NOLA isn't fully recovered.

Too few people care, or too few powerful people care.