Sunday, October 26, 2008

Texture in the half-empty city

I have heard folks use the figure 52%, as in 52% of the pre-Katrina population now lives in New Orleans. After all this time.

It is easy to believe when viewing all the homes, shops, restaurants, and office buildings that have not been restored. Also easy to lose sight of when viewing everything at a distance.

Boarded up. Only certain events take place there.

A sidewalk grill I walk over every day.

Empty space waiting for new life (reflections compete here with the interior destined, I would guess, for retail space).

Yes, this is the same car below that is reflected above. The car park where I park each day and its still abandoned first floor.

When I turn the corner from Loyola (having just passed the incredible clarinet mural) onto Gravier I drive past another boarded up office building, then in the second block another, though it has a coffee and sandwich shop opened on the first floor.

The restaurant on the first floor of the Baronne Hotel featured Philippine food, presumably because of a Philippine chef. A couple of weeks ago I noticed that it seemed closed and, sure enough, the space is for lease.

Everywhere I turn I see both empty, unrepaired buildings and freshly restored ones, cheek by jowl. If you work in the building trades there is lots of work to be done.

These are photos from the past few days.
--the BB

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