Small business. A tire repair shop. Along St. Claude Avenue. In New Orleans.
Many of them were flooded by the storm and never came back. Some did. And, some were reborn as something else. It took a while. After all, this neighborhood was broke down, poor and crime ridden before the storm. While some neighborhoods were on their way back to recovery a few years later, this one was still in shambles five years later. Then, slowly, people started to rebuild with outside money. Young people from other places in the country started coming into the neighborhood. They do what they can to rehab, rebuild and restore. To be sure, the neighborhood is still funky. And, still has a lot of crime. But, it’s different. And, it’s not gentrified. And, those new people? They like bright color. Drive down some sections of the street and the buildings are painted red, yellow, orange, hot pink. No muted colors for these folks. No, indeed.
The picture. First, I’m not sure this place is still there. I photographed it on one day. And, about two or three weeks later I didn’t see it. But, I wasn’t really looking for it. So, I might have just driven by it… blindly. Second, the picture stands on its own without all the weird post production. Third, the picture as you see it looks and feels like a piece of film that I found after the floodwaters receded and I could dig through my archives.
So, it’s real to me.