Sitting and playing.

T

he next day. We needed coffee. Good coffee. It turned out that a coffee house was less than two short blocks from our hotel.

Even better were the people who worked there. The were friendly and energetic. One of them took us to this place, an empty club.

Apparently, it was fully functioning until a movie production company used it to make a James Brown biopic. When they tore the set down, they gutted the building.

Those are the kinds of stories that you won’t hear if you just pass through a town, keeping to yourself. I suppose you could look around and never say a word to anybody, but what would be the fun in that?

Anyway.

This little bar or club or cafe is now being rebuilt back, good as it ever was.

One of these days we’ll pass through Natchez again and see it for ourselves. But, not this year.

T

here is some post production technique to discuss.

As you know, I’m about feeling more than seeing.

The picture was easy to make, especially if I didn’t want to show you the guitar player beyond what I did.

The club felt smokey, with a little bit of mist drifting in and out. I could see people standing around listening to the band, drinking beer and hanging out.

But, the club was empty. There wasn’t a finished wall in sight.

So, I softened everything. I made the scene glow a little bit.

The rest is in my imagination. Or, yours.


Through the empty window.
Through the empty window.

I’m not even sure what to tell you about this place. So, there’s this. It’s a former double located in the Lower 9th Ward. It was likely destroyed by the floodwaters of Hurricane Katrina. That’s all I know. For sure.

Here’s what I don’t know.

It’s almost spotless inside. Most of these places are littered with trash left by people who were hanging out after the storm. There is no graffiti. Anywhere. The city is covered in graffiti. Some of it artistic. Most of it, not so much. Even though there is some high summer grass in the front, most of this lot is freshly mowed. And, look at the bottom picture. The overall scene. What do you see? That magenta paint trim is fairly fresh. If it was from the pre-Katrina era, it would be faded and mud covered.

Why?

Here’s my guess. Somebody still cares about this place. It has pretty good bones. It could be rebuilt someday. Likely, the person who owns this place still thinks of it as home. Maybe, they can’t come home. There are lots of reasons for that. No Money. Illness. Death of a family member.

This place was a double. Yes. I said that already. I want to make a point. It’s what we call a duplex. You can see that easily by the way the front doors and windows are positioned. If you walk around inside, you can see that there were two matching bathrooms and two matching kitchens. The place was efficiently constructed. Both sets of bathrooms kitchens fall along one plumbing line. Even though it was once a double, it could have been renovated well before the storm. Many doubles in New Orleans have had the middle walls removed and have been turned into a bigger single family home. Or not. Many times if they were left as a double, grown children live next door to their parents or other family members. Older New Orleans communities are very tightly knit.

That’s all I know.

Today.

Broken glass still remains.
Broken glass still remains.

Overall
Overall


Keeping it clean at Croissant D' Or Patisserie
Keeping it clean at Croissant D’ Or Patisserie

I took a break. In the middle of chasing around on St. Joseph’s Day, I knew I needed coffee. Espresso. Something to keep me going. I arrive at Croissant D’ Or just as they were closing. Being a good small business, they were happy to make me something even though everything had been cleaned. They even let me sit even though the floors were being washed. Since I believe like that you really should have a camera everywhere, I was ready. I made this picture.

There is more to the story, but…