Lots of tubas.

It started during the pandemic and was enhanced by Delta-x and Hurricane Ida.

Memories. They’ve been floating around for days. It was bad enough when time was flexible. Now? Whew.

And. Then.

The anniversary of Warren Zevon’s passing arrived. You know. The guy who sang “Werewolves of London.”

He was so much more than that.

But, for me, his very last song is THE song. It’s called, “Think of me for a little while.”

The song without the video is hard enough to listen to without balling. With the video? There wasn’t a dry eye in this broken down house.

And, speaking of broken down, I am grateful for what little damage this house had. When I think of the upriver communities of Houma and Laplace who were destroyed beyond recognition, I am humbled by our luck.

We are on our way out of here, either for a few months or forever. I’ve been though two 100 storms in 16 years. That’s enough.

Where? A couple of places. I’ll let you know. Until then, enjoy every sandwich.

I thought that as I moved on that I would show you some of the images that approximate my memories.

Unfortunately, pictures can’t come close to what’s in my head. I think that’s the way it alway is. That’s as it should be.

In case you are wondering, I made these pictures all over the place. It’s all part of my life.

I have no idea what’s next and that feels freeing.

I’m not sure what this picture says. If it says anything at all. It’s one of my drive by pictures. In fact, it’s a drive up to picture. I guess I like the composition and the color. It did take a bit of work in post production to get it anywhere near close to what I saw in my mind’s eye.

Well. An orange shirt anyway. This is an image from a second line parade in Central City. It was a big one. Six divisions. Stretched for blocks. Big enough that even The Rebirth Brass Band Marched. Sheesh. They won a Grammy last year. But. These things are very special. And, very, very traditional. For me, I suppose everybody is getting used to me and how I work. I like to work close. Up close and personal. With wide lenses. How close? The man in this picture stumbled. He steadied himself  by placing his hand on my shoulder. They used to push me out-of-the-way. That is their right. Now, they help me out. That is also their right. 

Ah yes. One night in The French Quarter.One night on Bourbon Street. Bourbon Street. The street where music never stops. The girls always beckon. If you pay for them. The place where beer and alcohol flows like water. It smells like it. The place where a lot of people show their true selves. It is probably my least favorite street in The Quarter. But, I go there. Sometimes. Looking for pictures. Like this one. Not much to it. See the picture. Point the camera. Press the button. Shoot. 

I was poking around in Arabi. No, not in The Middle East. It’s a little town across the border from Orleans Parish, located in St. Bernard Parish. For the most part, it’s a pretty little place. The houses look like they belong in New Orleans. And, they are just about as old as the ones found there. But, every now and then you run into something like this. I’m sure the palm trees were bent and broken by Hurricane Isaac. But, it doesn’t look like the house as been lived in, or at least worked on, since Hurricane Katrina. That was seven years ago. It still has its inspection “X” on it. Those were left by early responders as they went from door-to-door looking for anything, or anyone still inside — living or dead.  MD means some officers from the Maryland state troopers was there. The zeros mean that no human or animal bodies were found inside. There are also two condemnation notices attached to the house. I have no idea how badly this is damaged, but those two notices mean it will be torn down soon since the house is blighted and abandoned. Oh. Somebody thought that it would be a good idea to flood the place as well. The fire plug is just gushing water.

The picture. I actually did a lot of post production on it. Between the environmental conditions and the way I photographed, my picture had a very Disneyland-like quality to it. That didn’t really speak to what I saw, so off to work I went. This was actually done using OnOne’s Perfect Effects. 

Yesterday, I wrote a little about Freret Street and its relationship to Central City. I thought I’d give you all a quick look at the street and some of the things that you can see there. It’s an overview and I’m sure I’ve missed something that somebody might think is important, but these kinds of shoots are always a work in progress.

A lot of people who talk about the redevelopment of Central City point to the Freret Street corridor as a good model. One that the developers of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard should follow. I’m not sure about that A dozen or so semi-upscale restaurants does not a community make. But, as a walk up to the Central City work, I had a look at Freret Street. Well. Mostly I go there to eat. Yes. There are some good restaurants and some over rated ones. But, I suppose that’s in the eye of the beholder. Anyway… here’s my idea of a busy restaurant. This is a server at Dat Dog. Yes. Hot dogs and sausages. They start at about $8. That’s a lot of money, huh? It’s a lot of money for different sausages that are grilled on the same grill, and therefore, all taste about the same. Andouille? Kielbasa? Tastes about the same.

I’m not a foodie. I’m a photographer. A storyteller. So I won’t say anything further about the food. Here’s the picture. I shot it at a very slow shutter speed to capture the energy in the place. Funny story. The server looked it at on the camera. She said something to the effect of too bad it’s out of focus. It’s classic me. Oh well. She’s not a photographer…

When I work in Central City, a lot of what I find is in the details. It means that I can’t just drive to an appointment. Or, drive around looking for things. I have walk around looking for little details that either function as a sort of point picture, or as something large as an icon that speaks to a much larger concept. I’m just thinking out loud, here. But one way signs pointing in two directions, with one pointing to a kind of stop sign, seems to be about life itself. I don’t remember if I thought that when I made the picture. The beads? Just Mardi Gras beads that have faded in a harsh Southeast Louisiana, summer sun. Fortunately, they faded into colors that blend with the signs on which they are draped. Ah. The wonders of nature.

When I work in Central City, I shoot I lot of close up images. Even my portraits seem to get right to the heart of the matter. But, on the evening that I made yesterday’s picture, I took a step back. I wanted to see what the view from Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard looked like to somebody who was just walking down the street. This picture pretty much captures it. Of course, I gilded the lily somewhat. I took the picture during the so-called golden time which pretty much guaranteed that there would be a reddish-yellow glow. Then, off to post production I went. I used a setting in Snapseed that gives the image an old film look. I never stop with the software-driven setting. I always tinker. I added contrast, a little sharpening and I changed the color. I wanted the picture to look more like an evening in the other LA. Los Angeles. I guess that it worked. You tell me.