What was left.

T

his was once good business. Along came Hurricane Katrina who changed everything with her floodwaters the poured through broken federal levees. A lot of businesses were destroyed or closed.

Smith Tire seemed to linger. Whenever I passed by, it seemed to be closed. Or, was it ever open? I have no idea. I’ve heard, but I haven’t seen it with my own two eyes, that it’s gone.

That’s too bad.

No. This little building wasn’t a landmark. But, it helped to make up the fabric of the community, at least in its neighborhood. If it’s gone, I know that it will likely just be a barren, empty space. In neighborhoods like this one, nobody demolishes a building to build something new and better. They just leave a gap, like the missing teeth of a jack ‘o lantern.

Sometimes that’s necessary especially if you have a building that is a drug den, or if too many people are sheltering in it because they might cause a fire and burn down half of a street’s worth for buildings. But, this building was on a main street. It was locked up tight. There was no sneaking in or out of it.

I have nothing to draw from this. I’m not making a statement about the society or the world in general. I just like old things.


422... or something like that.
422… or something like that.

422. That’s what the address looks like in this picture. If you tried to find it on Google Maps  you’d be way off.

Because.

The address is really 3442 Washington Avenue. I had a real problem determining that because the building sits diagonally on the corner of Washington Avenue and Galvez Street. Which street gets the address? Even though I grumble a lot — well, make that constantly — about technology, Google Street View came to my rescue. And, as an aside. I learned to text using voice rather than my big fingers. I did that just today. Yeah, yeah. I know that for what came to most of you five years ago, came to me an hour ago. But. Still. It’s a big break through for me. Makes you wonder how I walk and talk at the same time doesn’t it?

Anyway.

I photograph this place from time to time. Usually, it’s after a second line has passed through. Because I’m a repeat customer, I have watched this little neighborhood in Central City change over the past few years. The first time that I stopped to take pictures a guy was washing his car next to the gas pump. He told me to be careful, all the while looking from side to side to see who might be walking up the street. Today, it’s not quite so sporty. That’s much better.

The picture. You know how I took it. F 8 and more-or-less be there. A little help in post production to make things a little richer, brighter and more colorful and there you have it.

Oh, my gallery opening. Just in case you are wondering. Not that many people. Our big dream was to have people show up early, see the show, walk across the street to have dinner at the legendary Mandina’s, get on the red streetcar, go to NOMA and attend the big PhotoNOLA gala. Of course, most people forgot all but the last line. Oh, well. There is a gallery walk today. Even though we aren’t in what most people consider to be the artistic area of New Orleans, I imagine more people will find their way to the show. And, walk across Canal Street and have a great lunch.

But.

Here’s the really great part. I hung this show never anticipating to sell anything. Maybe we might take a few orders for prints, but to my mind that was about it. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I sold a picture off the wall. To an older couple. You know if I’m saying older… They collect art. They didn’t have a lot of local work and they wanted my work. The really big deal to me is that they bought it off the wall. That is super rare for these kind of shows. Even as I write this 18 hours later, I am still stunned. In a good way.