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?

Anyway.

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.

So.

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…


So. A few nights ago I attended White Linen Night in New Orleans. The Crescent City. The Big Easy. The City That Care Forgot. Yeah. That place. The weather really was a little too hot and too humid for my taste. But, we were all dressed in white so we were cooler. We thought. We weren’t. And, we certainly weren’t cool in the hip sense of the word. Way too much white. We were mostly just soggy and hot. But, that didn’t stop some people from dancing the night away. Here some are some of the dancers now. Dancing in CAC or the Contemporary Arts Center. Wonderful art space. Really too hard to give the art its due with sooooo many people milling around. But, worth visiting. I think I go there once every five or so years, whether I need to or not. That’s not fair. A hurricane kept me away for many of those years. Anyway. For those who want to know the technical stuff. ISO 100, f 5.6 and little the shutter speed fall where it may. 


 

“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.

 


So. I went to White Linen Night in New Orleans. Maybe 35,000 people — mostly in white — trying to look at art, have a bunch of drinks and eat some miniature food while milling around the arts district. It was hot, humid and very sultry. Well. Too hot. Too humid. Not that much sultry. But, I’m glad that I went. I did something that I’ve never done. And, I won’t have to do it again. As usual, I made a lot of pictures. Too many pictures.

But.

The best picture was my own art. At least, I think it’s the best picture. Even if it isn’t, at least I made my own art. Then I really over did it in post production. You’ll see. Have a look. It’s not often you see a chair sitting on a loading dock. At night.  


I seem to be on a roll with Ry Cooder songs. Most of  these songs are from an album called I, Flathead. Strange desert, country music with a Ry Cooder twist. Makes me think of some of the stranger places that I’ve photographed along Route 66 for that project. So. These pictures were made in a couple of locations. Some were made in Gallup. Others were made in a place called Budville. And, some were made near Continental Divide just over the border in New Mexico when you are traveling east from Arizona. The thing about these places is that you can see most of them from Interstate 40. But, they get much more interesting when you get off I-40 and drive the bits and pieces of what’s left of Old Route 66. Technically, there really isn’t much more to making these pictures that “see the picture, take the picture.”