Inside a Lower Ninth Ward house six months after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, Louisiana, early 2006.
Scenes from a disaster. Homes and lives destroyed by manmade infrastructure failing to hold up post storm. I first visited NoLa in spring of 2005 around the French Quarter Festival. The next time was early 2006, shortly after the hurricane of August 2005. I’ve traveled to New Orleans 11 times in six years, attending the Jazz Fest and the Voodoo Music Experience, going off season and on, when it’s hot as hell and windy, cool and grey. I’ve eaten crawfish étouffée and shrimp creole, drank frozen cafe au laits and French 75s and Pimm’s Cups and spooned strawberries arnaud and catfish topped with crab and crawfish. I’ve poured Louisiana hot sauce on red beans and rice and danced barefoot in fields. I’ve listened to a lot of people, seen a lot of New Orleanians, photographed them, talked with them. I’ve spent hours of near pure bliss wandering around historic, above ground cemeteries, snapping photographs and reading inscriptions. I’ve sat in countess voodoo temples, walked over many cobblestoned streets on slow, sleepy evenings, sat under magnolia trees and followed the scent of jasmine around the Garden District. I’ve listened to jazz, blues, ragtime, dixieland, circus acts, old timey, bounce, cajun and everything in between. I’ve tried to count all of the colors of the brightly painted creole cottages and the tropical flowers in lush gardens and curves and details in iron latticed balconies.