We went to NOLA this past weekend and it was a wonderful trip. Lots of restaurants reopening, musicians performing and other signs of normalcy all around, but this time I saw more of the vacant neighborhoods and gutted houses. Streets and streets are completely desolate and you wonder where all these people are. Every place I ever rode my bike has changed and it’s hard to imagine the changes that will continue to come as buildings are bulldozed away.
I went to the Katrina exhibit at NOMA and have to say I did not like it. There were way too many pictures on the dozen or so walls and no real organization to them. Some were obviously professionally taken and others were by children; some were closeups of moldy items from a flooded home and others were street shots, but with no caption telling you what street. It seems the curator wanted to show all of the pictures submitted, but sometimes I think such images are more powerful with some white space around them. This way it was hard to even concentrate on one picture without other onlookers peering above or below you. Even if you were to purchase the catalogue, you still would not be given much of a context other than the photographer’s name. I want to hear their stories.
Which brings me to a purchase I am very glad to have made: 1 Dead in Attic which is described as “a collection of stories by Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose, recounting the first four harrowing months of life in New Orleans after Katrina.” This is journalism at its finest and most honest and true. He was there and he wasn’t working for a network who mispronounced street names. I highly recommend you buy it, if not for the honesty than to help ARTDOCS and the Tipitina’s Foundation who are “rebuilding New Orleans, one song at a time.”
Speaking of songs, when I wasn’t listening the fabulous Panorama Jazz Band at the Spotted Cat, I was eating po’ boys, thai food, fried chicken from Praline Connection and beignets from Cafe Du Monde. No holds barred…
Finally, there are more pics to share and videos to upload, but they will have to wait until tomorrow from my Mac. Before signing off I have to mention that we went to mass at St Peter Claver and I cannot wait to join that parish. It seems Mayor Nagin has taken to that church too, the gospel choir is fantastic, and I can only hope that the rebuilding continues. The mass was so moving and there is such a strong sense of community there. I cried throughout the opening songs because of how welcome newcomers and returning residents were made to feel. More on this later…I need to catch some zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzs