So far, I think my two favorite things that I’ve discovered about moving to New Orleans are 1.) the fantastically nice, friendly, unique people here and 2.) the hidden treasures of artistic and political drama interspersed among the historical spaces. I love it. I feel like there’s someone’s little mark on the world around every corner.
This past week, I spent some time with a good friend in town for a visit discovering new hangouts (thanks for the delicious wine and snacks Elizabeth’s, Bacchanal and Restaurant R’evolution!) and taking a mini photo adventure through the Bywater. The Bywater is a fantastic mix of old locals and new hipsters – the kind of pairing where you think to yourself “how in the world does this work?” Like every neighborhood, nothing is perfect, but everyone we encountered seemed to be existing in a certain harmony. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how convenient the Bywater is to my Lower Algiers home by way of the Chalmette Ferry. Any day I don’t have to drive through the tiny French Quarter streets during Carnival season is a good day in my book.
For those of you not in New Orleans, and who didn’t really follow the post-Katrina stories in 2005, above is a permanent representation of the the marks left on homes after they had been checked for inhabitants, bodies, pets, gas, electric, and so on. Every flooded home would have had a spray paint mark to indicate the findings and the date it was checked. This is the first I’ve seen where the homeowner has created a permanent installation where the spray paint once lay. Kenny Klein has a great blog with a graphic to explain the information detailed in these marks. He explains it much better than I ever could and his post on Katrina 6 Years Later is definitely worth a read/look through.
I’m not sure why I’ve seen large street-side Cy Twombly dedications, but this is not the first one I’ve seen in New Orleans. Coming from Virginia, I have a special place for Cy Twombly in my art-y heart, and I love that he is loved worldwide.
The two photos above are at the Clouet Gardens, a serene little space created out of a vacant lot – both beautifying the space and neighborhood and also creating a place for locals and passersby to sit and relax.