Special security in Mid City.

I saw this little guy while I was meeting friends for lunch.

This little carving may be the best possible security in New Orleans.  Better than the NOPD. Better than the guys in jeeps and drink coffee in my neighborhood. Would you try to break into this house with this guy sitting there? Lord knows what’s waiting for you once you get in.

Now that I’m back, I’ve been reading blogs.

I get so confused.

There seems to be a trend in picking a word for the year. I guess this is supposed to replace resolutions. If a word is going to be your mantra, why don’t you just read some Buddhism? You don’t have to change your religion to do it. You’ll learn a lot. About the world. About yourself. You might even understand your dog a little better.

Then, there’s some kind of concert going on at one blogger’s site. I’ve never understood the rules, of which there are too many. The last time that I tried to play, I apparently didn’t know the correct title to a song. The person who wrote it was sitting next to me at the time. Her comment was something along the lines of that’s how I introduce it on stage. Now, people are picking their favorite Beatles songs. Yes, “Day in the Life” is one song written separately by two musicians. They combined the lyrics during rehearsals. Anybody who claims them as their favorite band knows that.

Sheesh folks.

We all want 2019 to be much better, much more positive than 2018. Lighten up. Have some fun. Grow beyond one word. Stop making rules up for something that should fun. If you like something, go do it. If you want to grow, go do that. Otherwise, 2019 is going to be a giant let down. It’s gonna be rough in the political world. Imagine, calling out a brand new Congresswoman over dancing that she did in college. Her reply was wonderful. She walked out of her new office and danced.

Go dance.

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A little bit of everything.
A little bit of everything.

The neighborhood.

Just a street in Mid City. Not far from the old laundry building. The buildings are sort of typical of some older houses that have been handed down from generation to generation. And, survived the storm. Survived bad weather. Hot weather. Humid weather.

So is each generation’s stuff. Typical. It survived. What were grandpa’s things was once papa’s. When he passed, it became his children’s. And, so on. It gets displayed. Proudly. On the street. In no particular order. It looks chaotic. But, it’s not. If you look closely, you’ll see that everything is in its place. Even if that place doesn’t make sense to you.

The pictures. They found me. I was leaving the laundry building and was just sort of looking around. This isn’t particularly hard. You just have to keep your opens open. You just have to see. Most importantly, you have to clear your mind. Turn your brain off. And, just photograph.

Easy? Right?

Classic neighborhood stoop, Mid City, New Orleans
Classic neighborhood stoop, Mid City, New Orleans


Sunday Flowers
Sunday Flowers

I couldn’t stand it. I just had to go make pictures even with another impending storm. Over the years I’ve become a Louisianan. Go about your business when you hear storm warnings until the storm actually arrives. If it’s not too bad, just keep doing whatever you were doing. If it turns sporty, find a little shelter. As I told a friend of mine, you never really get wet in a rainstorm until your underwear is soaked. Another friend suggested I shoot decrepit flowers. That friend is my first friend’s wife. Maybe they are in this together.

So.

There you have it. Decrepit flowers on an old bar’s stoop. Judging from the amount of beer cans in the trash, I’m guessing the bar is still open. I have no idea why these flowers are where you see them. I found them that way. Honest. I was actually drawn to something across the street. I walked over to the bar because it was one of those corner structures that I like so much. When I looked down…

Eventually I continued upriver, got caught in the big storm and kept working. You’ll see those pictures later. This week. Honest.


All fall down
All fall down

Conversations. Online and in the real world. Some can be pretty amusing. They make you chuckle. They bring back memories. They make you think. And, some just make you wonder what the…?

Let’s start with the bottom picture. All those rusted garden tools. I’d forgotten about that picture until an old buddy of mine started talking about bad lawn mowers on Facebook. Wow! “Bad Lawn Mowers.” There’s an indie band name if I ever heard it. I chimed in with the great backyard cement story. That’s a whole other story. I’ll tell you someday soon. Or not. It has to do with my dad. A big backyard and a lot of cement. And… a lawn mower.

Anyway… those rusty tools. They were lined up just as you see them in the side yard of an abandoned house. I started taking pictures of them. A guy wandered over from across the street. He told me not to steal his tools. Yeah. Right. Those are the tools of my dreams. Broken, rusted and mostly junk.

The top picture is of an old abandoned apartment building. It may have been a single family home once. Years ago. Many years ago. Now the roof is on the stoop and the stoop is covered with junk. Look closely. There’s mail in one of those mailboxes. I wish the US Post Office would put my mail in my box as well as that.

The bottom picture. You saw a more loosely cropped version of it. I thought you’d be interested in those two pieces of paper taped to the door with painter’s tape. Those are building permits. There is only one wall left to this building. Granted, it’s a two story wall, but that’s it. Somebody is living their dream. And, getting around New Orleans building codes. As long as there is one wall standing you are just doing interior work and rehabbing the building. If you tear the whole building down and start over, that’s a new building. Permits are more expensive. Taxes are higher. And, so on…

Speaking of stoops. That’s what they are called in inner city New Orleans. And, Brooklyn. When you get out of New Orleans and into the south, they are called porches. A little further out or into a slightly better neighborhood, they are verandahs. I have a verandah. I can’t afford it.

Rebirth in the Irish Channel
Rebirth in the Irish Channel
Rusted and broken tools.
Rusted and broken tools.


So. I was looking for a higher angle to photograph the beginning of Uncle Lionel’s second line parade. The best I could do was stand on the stoop — or porch, to some of you — of an old abandoned house. Yes. There are plenty of them in New Orleans. Some 62,000 by last count. While I was there, this young guy asked if he could share. Of course he could. He also agreed to add something special to my crowd picture. Here he is now.