New Orleans. We aren’t what you think.
Art. They say all art is about the maker. That most meaning is brought to that same art by the viewer.
Mistakes. I’m great at making them. I may have pretty much made a year old mistake. Most of my 2015 work that you’ve seen ‘s either Mardi Gras culture, Dystopian views of the city, or my kind of nature photography — which is really cheating because well, let’s just say that it is.
A friend of mine recently passed through. I took him out shooting. With a camera. Not a gun. Sheesh. I gotta be careful with every word. The first time was mostly for a smallish second line in Central City. We explored the Bywater a little. The second time was out to the Lower 9th Ward. Those places interest me. They make me happy because in the last five years I’ve watched them progress. But, to the first time visitor they look broke down, ruined, forgotten. Like one of our nicknames, “The City that Care Forgot.”
What I did’t do, stupidly, was direct him to Uptown, to Lakeview, to the places where recovery really has taken hold. We live Uptown. In the Garden District. Yes. Sure, our streets look like Berlin 1946. Our water pipes need serious work. And, our power lines? We’ll let’s just say if two squirrels meet on a power line, we might not have electricity for a couple of hours.
But, it’s a seriously pretty place. The people who rate such things, say that we are the best neighborhood in the country. Not, the most pricey. That’s in the Bay Area or up the Hudson River near New York City. Just the best. I don’t care about that. I just know that one neighborhood in New Orleans probably doesn’t look like another. Even in the general area called Uptown, the neighborhoods differ dramatically in just a few hundred yards.
In an exchange of comments and on his blog, my buddy — he is among a lot of others — said that New Orleans is a tourist place. For people who want to party hard. Well, yeah sure. The French Quarter is certainly that. But, as I always say to visitors, “Get the hell out of Quarter and see the rest of the city.” Or, at least view the Quarter from a different point of view like the Steamboat Natchez pictures. I don’t see a bar or club in that picture. He also said we are run down and dirty. Hmmm. Everywhere? We’d better move. Right now.
By the way, he’s not the first or only person to say that.
I said earlier this year, at around its turn from 2015, that you sort of guided me to what this blog should be. I took your comments very seriously. But, as they say,”Never tell God your plans.” So we got sick. With some weird upper respiratory cold-like thing. It took forever to get healthy. I’m much better now.
It’s time to do what I said I’d do. Prettier pictures of places that you can come see when you visit. Places away from the most common of tourist locations. How’s that?