, Photography, Pictures, Ray Laskowitz
Comments 10

Way Out In The Ninth

Through the empty window.

Through the empty window.

I’m not even sure what to tell you about this place. So, there’s this. It’s a former double located in the Lower 9th Ward. It was likely destroyed by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina. That’s all I know. For sure.

Here’s what I don’t know.

It’s almost spotless inside. Most of these places are littered with trash left by people who were hanging out after the storm. There is no graffiti. Anywhere. The city is covered in graffiti. Some of it artistic. Most of it, not so much. Even though there is some high summer grass in the front, most of this lot is freshly mowed. And, look at the bottom picture. The overall scene. What do you see? That magenta paint trim is fairly fresh. If it was from the pre-Katrina era, it would be faded and mud covered.


Here’s my guess. Somebody still cares about this place. It has pretty good bones. It could be rebuilt someday. Likely, the person who owns this place still thinks of it as home. Maybe, they can’t come home. There are lots of reasons for that. No Money. Illness. Death of a family member.

This place was a double. Yes. I said that already. I want to make a point. It’s what we call a duplex. You can see that easily by the way the front doors and windows are positioned. If you walk around inside, you can see that there were two matching bathrooms and two matching kitchens. The place was efficiently constructed. Both sets of bathrooms kitchens fall along one plumbing line. Even though it was once a double, it could have been renovated well before the storm. Many doubles in New Orleans have had the middle walls removed and have been turned into a bigger single family home. Or not. Many times if they were left as a double, grown children live next door to their parents or other family members. Older New Orleans communities are very tightly knit.

That’s all I know.


Broken glass still remains.

Broken glass still remains.





  1. I can totally appreciate the photos and story you’ve created. Beautiful!
    Some of my favorite (though, amateur) photos are those of abandoned buildings and broken glass. There was one such building I passed each time I made a trip to a neighboring state for work. Finally, I stopped and photographed it when the light was cooperative. I’m so glad that I did, because it was tore down just a few weeks after. I always wondered what tales it held.
    I hope you don’t mind my ‘groupie’ behavior – I really love your stuff!


    • In the early days after the storm, but once the heaviest debris were taken away, you’d see a lot of this. Overgrown fields with one lawn neatly trimmed and cared for. One day I stopped and, the owner had just finished. He told me why he cut his lawn. If you dig way back in this blog, maybe around 2011 you’ll find some of those pictures. Even today, where houses have been rebuilt through Brad Pitt’s “Make It Right” group, people still leave bits of old porches and cement piers as sort of a memorial. At the end of the day, a lot of this ground is sacred. Many, many people died here.

      No worries. We know groupies in this house. Mostly male. You are nowhere near close to any of them. You want to talk about pictures and tell stories. Like me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the insight, Ray. Amazing. My heart hurt for New Orleans. Probably because my family and I had a fluke flood run through our home exactly (to the day) a year before. Our losses seemed so much smaller after reading and seeing the terror of Katrina. I will most definitely go back and look. Thank you!


  2. It’s coming on to ten years at the end of August. Hurricane season starts in 5 days. I remember leaving the day before, packing very little and thinking that we’d be back in no more than a week. Never lived in that house again. If these pictures are any good, it’s because I lived the first part. Famed war photographer Robert Capa once said, “If the picture isn’t good enough, you weren’t close enough.” You can take that in a lot of ways. 🙂


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