Or. Something like that. This picture was made at night. The Garden District, especially at night, has a very spooky look and feel to it. You can just feel the ghostly presence. It should. And, you should. It is a very old area in a city that is very old in itself. Many of the old mansions are crumbling. Some are not. Before Anne Rice fled to San Diego, she lived in the Garden District. Now she wants to come back. She misses the ghosts. When they are in town, John Goodman and Sandra Bullock live within a few blocks of each other. They are spooky. Don’t you think?
This is an old carriage house. The mansion to which it belongs is huge. Given the state of the carriage house, I’m pretty sure this is one of those old mansions that is grand in name only. In New Orleans, and I suppose in plenty of other cities, once-monied families hold onto to their family property even though they no longer have the money to maintain it properly. I know it happens with more blue-collar families, since there are over 65,000 abandoned and blighted homes in the city But. That’s a whole other story.
At night. Hand held — not a great idea. But, sort of accidental. Post production done to bring the brightly-colored image back into something that speaks to the real scene. Run down. Eerie. Decrepit.
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.
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.
I’ve been working a lot in New Orleans Central City on a large project. Every now and then, I just cruise through, taking a look to see what I missed in a more general sense. One night — the same night — that I made the picture I posted yesterday as “the dark end of the street “– I happened to stop by a building that I call the castle. I made a few pictures and then the building that you see in this post caught my eye. It is ramshackle and falling apart. But, something about the warm yellow light coming from the windows contrasted with the blue-green light of dusk on the building’s walls seemed to make an inviting picture. So I made the picture. Normally, I try to square it up; either by framing it when I push the button. Or, by cropping and tilting it. Not in this case. The odd angles seem to enhance the effect that I saw in my mind’s eye. Here’s a detail that I saw when I was there. On the second story there are five openings. From the left, one is a window. One is boarded up with a piece of plywood. The next opening is a door that is made from solid storm shutters. It appears to open onto a deck that wouldn’t hold much weight. To make matters worse, look at the railing. A lawsuit in progress.
So. Once I got some power, I wanted to look around. I photographed whatever I saw. Sometimes I made a picture worth talking about. Mostly, I didn’t. But, there is this little picture. It is literally a drive by shooting. Have a close look at this picture. There is a guy lurking in the background, probably wondering what I was doing. Likely, he thought I was up to no good. He was right. After all, taking his picture…
I normally post once a day. Usually in the morning unless I get very busy or I’m traveling. But. Today is special. So, I’ll post twice. Today is a little sad. But, it’s also a little time for reflection. Where were you in 1969? What were you doing when you heard this? “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” For those of you who know me outside of this blog, you know that I’ve been on a little bit of a journey through my own past. This brings it into sharper focus.
The Holy Cross area in New Orleans is actually a sub-district of The 9th Ward. Sub district is one of those words that I stumbled upon while researching what I photographed. So, this is St. Maurice Church. It’s been decommissioned by the Catholic Church in New Orleans and is now for sale. The church was built in 1857. It really doesn’t look it, but that’s what the sign on the wall said. That’s also what any history I found said. It must be correct. Maybe not. I’m skeptical that way. Numbers add up to nothin’, you know?
First, St. Maurice. He was the leader of the Roman Theban Legion. They were famous. In the Third Century. He was ordered by Maximian to kill a large group of Christians. He refused and Maximian ordered his own troops be decimated. That means killing one of every ten soldiers. When that didn’t work, he killed them all. The Christians. The soldiers. And, St. Maurice. He did that in what is now Switzerland. And, you wonder why they stay neutral.
Second. Holy Cross. It is the final eastward development of New Orleans. It was established in 1849 by a group by brothers, sisters and priests of — you guessed it — The Order of The Holy Cross. They built an orphanage which became what was Holy Cross School in 1895. The school moved to Gentilly — another area in New Orleans — after the entire Holy Cross area was flooded by Hurricane Katrina.
I didn’t know any of this until I took the picture and decided to do a little poking around. Well, that’s not entirely true. I know what decimated means. I studied Latin in high school. Anyway, it just shows you what a little research can do. That, and boredom.
The picture. More i-Phone work. I tuned it up a bit. Well, a lot. I used by Snapseed and OnOne to do the work. The picture was silhouetted, but didn’t have much else. I thought the church was a little spooky so I created a picture to reflect what I saw.
“A wise man was telling stories to me. About the places he had been to. And the things that he had seen. A quiet voice is singing something to me. An age-old song about the home of the brave. In this land here of the free. One time one night in America.” — David Hildago & Louie Perez/Los Lobos
The lyrics have nothing to do with this picture. But, something was triggered in me last night. It brought me back to something that happened exactly 16 years ago. One that day, my mom passed. She would have liked this song. It is about America today.
Hmmm…. Doesn’t make much sense. Does it?
This picture was made near New Orleans. I was pushing my little Sony cameras about as far as they could go. After all. Hand holding a camera to expose by the light of the moon isn’t easy.
By the way. One Night, One Time is the very first song on the very first Los Lobos album. Good start.
I was experimenting a little the other night. I wanted to see what my little Sony NEX could do at night. I should have known being that the sensor is the same as a Nikon D7000. But, even so, the processor is different. It is supposed to be better because it is newer. So. This is ISO 3200 in very, very dim light. There wasn’t even a lot of ambient street light to make this work. Yes. I did some post production tricks.
Where? Well. An odd little area in Jefferson Parish where Kenner stretches to the Mississippi River. Apparently, this is a very old area. So, the city leaders thought this would be a good place to create a historical district. For the most part, it never worked. There used to be a train museum, which might still be there for all I know. There used to be a Saints (the football team) historical museum here. Why here? I have no idea. But, it was moved to The Superdome. Where it should have been in the first place.