I’m Wondering


Music everywhere.

Music takes me everywhere.

I live in a city made of music. I live in a city made of ancient culture. I live in a city full of food. They all seem to be struggling.

Musicians can barely earn a living. You see some amazing musicians playing on the street. Some are in between gigs. Others are scraping by.

The folks who are the culture believe the city makes about $900,000,000 a year off of their cultural pursuits, which is killing them. That’s a lot of money. But, tourism is our only real business.

And, food. Our food is great. But, at our current rate of restaurant expansion there seems to be one restaurant for every 300 of us.

Something has to give. Or, not.

The biggest issue might be the newest of comers. The ones who want to gentrify everything. The ones who don’t like second lines on Sunday because they create a racket. The ones who came here for all the stuff I’ve written about… for years. But, when they get here they want the city to be just like the place they came from.

Of course, the newcomers have added a lot of stress to the housing situation. Many of the culture bearers rent, they don’t own, their homes. Their landlords see big money and sell their homes out from under them. They leave the old neighborhoods. They usually head upriver. They come home for whatever their festivals happen to be. They don’t admit this of course. One Baby Doll lives in Natchez, Mississippi. That’s a long drive for one event. Yet, she does it.

So.

There was a meeting between a lot of the culture bearers and the city this week. The city claims that they want to protect them. Losing this ancient culture means significant tourism losses. I missed the first meeting. I’ll make sure I’m there for the next one. Based on newspaper reports, a lot of issues got side tracked. I’ll see what I can do to address some of those issues. Unfortunately, for me, this might be a case of good intentions being the road to hell.

The picture. Music really is everywhere around here. I passed these buskers on the way to someplace else, as I do with a lot of my subjects. I made some clean shots of them playing, but the guy passing by seems to add something to the picture.

 

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6 Comments

  1. I cannot help but wonder too. And the expression “the road to hell is often paved with good intentions” rings true everywhere. Thank you for sharing many thought-provoking posts this week. Wish you and your family a good weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I through money at MACCNO pretty regularly, because they’re trying to do something about the problems you outline. I wish I could do more. When I’m in town, I tip the street musicians well.

    Won’t make it there this year, from the looks of things. Hoping to do so in 2020.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks, but they haven’t been active since 2015-16. And, when they were active nobody really knew what they did. Their old proposals wouldn’t come close to the issues today. If I were giving money to anybody, I’d give it to the Backstreet Cultural Museum or Big Queen Cherise Harrison-Nelson’s program out on Music Street in the Lower 9. What really needs to happen won’t because the mayor doesn’t know how to negotiate with the tourism folks.

    Like

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