fivecats: (Default)

Destruction #37

Destruction #37

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


After a while this all started to feel like just more of the same thing. More ruins of houses, more ruins of businesses, more ruined lives. One pile of trash looks just like any other pile of trash. One road with weeds growing through cracks in the asphalt lined with rotting buildings is all but indistinguishable from another.

I had no idea where I was during any part of the driving tour and I still don’t know where I was today. There was just mile after mile of destruction. Streets filled with abandoned dreams and lives ruined by nature and man’s indifference.


Destruction #38

Destruction #38

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Somebody knows this street, knows who used to live in this house.

Now they’re all gone, with very little to return to and even less in place to make that return possible.


Destruction #39

Destruction #39

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


I thought about this last entry this afternoon as I was driving back from setting up our booth and the Festival for the Eno. I was searching for something that would sum all of this up, some larger context to give these images and my experiences with them some deeper meaning.

I do know that I’ve learned a great deal more than I had imagined I would when i first felt the pull to go through these damaged areas.

This was the first time I ever felt that I, with my camera, had a duty, a responsibility to perform. There have been thousands of people photographing the destruction and lack of recovery in New Orleans, and my contribution wasn’t going to bring about any big changes, but I could still make the effort. I could document what I saw as best I could and then try to share that knowledge with people around the world.

The events that these images represent are, to me, part of a larger message that the former and current citizens of these areas need the rest of us to know about.


Destruction #40

Destruction #40

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


I have learned that the power of an image, even an image captured by someone as limited in talent and experience as myself, can still be powerful.

I have learned that those images can retain their power long after the actual event has passed. Working with them in a different time, place and environment makes little difference as to the impact they can produce.

I have learned that while there are no easy solutions to the largest of our problems, doing nothing and hoping they’ll go away is not only stupid but also morally wrong.


Destruction #41

Destruction #41

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Over at DemocraticUnderground, Aquart has graciously linked to my last two blog entries to try and spread the word among some of the DU readers.

Tonight DU reader and blogger intheflow replied with comments on my images. He pointed me to his images of the Mississippi Gulf region and they were, in many ways even more impressive than my own. His photo essays from December 2005, February 2006 and June 2006 are not only well documented, but heartbreaking as well.


Destruction #42

Destruction #42

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


I wish I had some way of wrapping this series up properly.

But, I don’t.


Destruction #43

Destruction #43

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


When I first heard about the levee break on August 29, 2005 my first reaction was that New Orleans was gone for good. I knew how far below sea level the city was and even if the flooding didn’t completely wipe the city out, there was going to be such massive destruction that I doubted the city would be able to find the financial resources to come back at all.

I followed the stories for days and then for weeks (thanks to Anderson Cooper’s 360 on CNN) afterward. With the waters not receding and the toxic chemicals from cars, homes and pesticides in the mix, I was certain that the flooded areas were not going to be habitable for decades to come unless a massive SuperFund-style clean-up effort was funded.

And I doubted that would happen.

I also felt New Orleans should not be rebuilt. It was a city waiting for a disaster like this one to strike and wash it completely away. If rich people want to build homes without insurance by the ocean’s edge, knowing that one day that house might well get washed away by a huge storm, that’s one thing. When it’s an entire city that lacks the ability to finance the relocation, recovery and return efforts, then that mistake shouldn’t be allowed to happen again.


Destruction #44

Destruction #44

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Now, however, I’m not so sure.

Clearly, New Orleans will never be the same as it once was. People who were relocated have established new lives, built new communities and new extended families. Many do not want to return. (I can’t say that I blame them)

What I can’t overlook, however, is that there are many people who do want to return. They want to reclaim their lives, their heritage and become proud New Orleanians once again. And they are waiting on their elected officials in all branches of government to serve their electorate and put the programs in place to assist in getting those people back into their homes and re-established in their communities.

That the big government officials are putting up roadblocks to this expectation only makes me want to see as many people be allowed to return to New Orleans as fast as they possibly can.

I went down to New Orleans thinking that it was the Great American Underdog story. I thought the underdog part was due to Katrina.

Katrina was only the first step in the process. What Katrina did more than anything, I think, was to expose the truth behind the government’s caring and concerned facade and show them all to be the out-of-touch, greedy, unconcerned fools they really are.

Should New Orleans come back? In some manner, yes. If only to show the politicians that no matter how little the politicians may think of the people, the people of the city know that they are more important, that their will is stronger than that of any politician.


Destruction #45

Destruction #45

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


I’d like to thank Lance Hill, adjunct professor at Tulane University for his time, knowledge and the driving tour that gave me the chance to learn about this area and the human/political conditions that allowed this to happen.

I’d also like to thank each one of you, dear readers. Whether you’ve commented or not, I know you’ve looked at these images and, hopefully, taken something away with you.


Destruction #46

Destruction #46

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


I’d like to dedicate all of these entries and images to the people of New Orleans. Those that lost their lives in the floods, those that lost their homes, their livelihoods and their dreams in the floods and those that are really working to make the city come alive again.

I’d also like to dedicate these entries and photos to the people who came from across the country to work on the relief efforts after Katrina hit. Those of you who put your lives on hold to attempt to help out total strangers simply because you felt you could do something to make a difference, you are the ones who continue to keep that small part of my soul from giving in completely to the pessimism that these images seem to cry out for

You all will be in my prayers for a long, long time to come.


Destruction #47

Destruction #47

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


...
fivecats: (Default)

Destruction #25

Destruction #25

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________



Selections taken from an article posted to the New York Times website, dated June 27, 2006 by Eric Lipton:

‘Breathtaking’ Waste and Fraud in Hurricane Aid

WASHINGTON, June 26 — Among the many superlatives associated with Hurricane Katrina can now be added this one: it produced one of the most extraordinary displays of scams, schemes and stupefying bureaucratic bungles in modern history, costing taxpayers up to $2 billion.

A hotel owner in Sugar Land, Tex., has been charged with submitting $232,000 in bills for phantom victims. And roughly 1,100 prison inmates across the Gulf Coast apparently collected more than $10 million in rental and disaster-relief assistance.

There are the bureaucrats who ordered nearly half a billion dollars worth of mobile homes that are still empty, and renovations for a shelter at a former Alabama Army base that cost about $416,000 per evacuee.

And there is the Illinois woman who tried to collect federal benefits by claiming she watched her two daughters drown in the rising New Orleans waters. In fact, prosecutors say, the children did not exist.

The tally of ignoble acts linked to Hurricane Katrina, pulled together by The New York Times from government audits, criminal prosecutions and Congressional investigations, could rise because the inquiries are under way. Even in Washington, a city accustomed to government bloat, the numbers are generating amazement.



Destruction #26

Destruction #26

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


“The blatant fraud, the audacity of the schemes, the scale of the waste — it is just breathtaking,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, and chairwoman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee...

Officials in Washington say they recognized that a certain amount of fraud or improper payments is inevitable in any major disaster, as the government’s mission is to rapidly distribute emergency aid. They typically send out excessive payments that represent 1 percent to 3 percent of the relief distributed, money they then ask people to give back.



Destruction #27

Destruction #27

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


What was not understood until now was just how large these numbers could become.

The estimate of up to $2 billion in fraud and waste represents nearly 11 percent of the $19 billion spent by FEMA on Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as of mid-June, or about 6 percent of total money that has been obligated.

“This started off as a disaster-relief program, but it turned into a cash cow,” said Representative Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas, a former federal prosecutor and now chairman of a House panel investigating storm waste and fraud.

The waste ranged from excessive loads of ice to higher-than-necessary costs on the multibillion-dollar debris removal effort.



Destruction #28

Destruction #28

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


The most recent audit came from the Government Accountability Office, which this month estimated that perhaps as much as 21 percent of the $6.3 billion given directly to victims might have been improperly distributed.

To date...federal prosecutors have filed hurricane-related criminal charges against 335 individuals. That represents a record number of indictments from a single hurricane season, Justice Department officials said. Separately, Red Cross officials say they are investigating 7,100 cases of possible fraud.

Congressional investigators, meanwhile, have referred another 7,000 cases of possible fraud to prosecutors, including more than 1,000 prison inmates who collected more than $12 million in federal aid, much of it in the form of rental assistance.

Investigators also turned up one individual who had received 26 federal disaster relief payments totaling $139,000, using 13 Social Security numbers, all based on claims of damages for bogus addresses.

Thousands more people may be charged before the five-year statute of limitations on most of these crimes expires, investigators said...

Auditors examining spending in Iraq also have documented hundreds of millions in questionable spending or abuse. But Mr. Kutz of the accountability office said that in all of his investigative work, he had never encountered the range of abuses he has seen with Hurricane Katrina.
R. David Paulison, the new FEMA director, said in an interview on Friday that much work had already been done to prevent such widespread fraud, including automated checks to confirm applicants’ identities.

“We will be able to tell who you are, if you live where you said you do,” Mr. Paulison said.

But Senator Collins said she had heard such promises before, including after Hurricane Frances in 2004 in which FEMA gave out millions of dollars in aid to Miami-Dade County residents, even though there was little damage.

Mr. [Gregory D.] Kutz, [managing director of the forensic audits unit at the Government Accounting Office] said he too was not convinced that the agency was ready.

“I still don’t think they fully understand the depth of the problem,” he said.


[end]


Destruction #29

Destruction #29

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


We turned off the main highway headed back to downtown New Orleans and headed down a road that, like many roads in that area, looked dusty and unused. Weeds grew tall on the sides of the road and there were no cars, no people to be seen.

We crossed over some railroad tracks and came to a stop sign. Our host dutifully stopped, despite the fact there wasn’t a soul in sight.

Turning right we drove down a road that at first glance looked just like the road we’d just been on. Weeds and little more took up the view.

Then I saw a rise in the land, a rise that wasn’t just an undulation in the flat New Orleans landscape. It was a man-made rise.

Of automobiles, stacked one atop the other, filling an entire field.


Destruction #30

Destruction #30

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


What do you do when people suddenly leave an area, leaving behind all of the symbols of their civilization?

I think this is a fairly unique event in American history. Floods have happened before and to large swaths of land surrounding the Mississippi River (which, btw, did not breech it’s banks in New Orleans), but this is the first time that I’m aware of where a huge portion of a major city has all of it’s population disappear, leaving so much behind.

What to do with it all?

As far as automobiles were concerned, I’ve already written about one image that I posted concerning cars towed to the area below an raised section of highway. That area, however, can only hold so many cars.


Destruction #31

Destruction #31

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


For better or worse, the city decided to re-open some long closed landfills off to the side of town. Cars were hauled from the streets to these landfills and dumped and stacked to form new car graveyards.

The cars likely still have gas in the tanks and their batteries under the hood, making this area ripe for a toxic mess all of it’s own.


Destruction #32

Destruction #32

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


The city has gotten some heat for the decision of the placement of these automobiles because it’s close to where the city’s Vietnamese community lives.

Members of the New Orleans Vietnamese community are, apparently, a very tight-knit group. They all evacuated together, traveling to the same city. Within two weeks the men of the community had decided they were going to return to their homes, despite it not being “legal” to do so yet. I’m guessing they realized they had no say in what happened to their community and homes if they weren’t there to protect them and raise their voices themselves.

So they returned. They, undoubtedly, lived in primitive conditions for months, without heat, electricity, running water, etc. Still they stuck together, helped repair each other’s homes and made them livable again.

Finally, the petitioned the utility companies to restore power and water to their homes. The utility companies balked at the idea, saying they needed proof that doing so was going to be economically feasible (i.e. profitable) considering to do so meant going through areas where there were no other people living.

The Vietnamese men were able to demonstrate sufficient numbers that the utility companies restored services to their homes.


Destruction #33

Destruction #33

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________




Destruction #34

Destruction #34

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Until I drove through these areas I didn’t realize how literal the phrase “massive cleanup effort” was.


Destruction #35

Destruction #

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________




Destruction #36

Destruction #36

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Going through my images I think I have one more set of twelve to post and that should do it for the New Orleans Destruction series. I have one or two other sets of more general nighttime images of New Orleans and then I suppose I’ll have to go out and start taking pictures again to have something to post.

...
fivecats: (Default)

Destruction #18

Destruction #18

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Local New Orleans TV station and website WWL-TV has a story written by reporter Bill Capo that is posted on one of their site. The story begins:

Tsunami relief workers shocked by 9th Ward tour, say they expected more signs of recovery
Two leaders of the Asian Coalition for Housing Rights who have spent the last 18-months helping victims of last year’s Tsunami took a walk through the Lower Ninth Ward Friday.

Their reaction was one of shock, because they said they expected to see more signs of recovery from Hurricane Katrina.

“We think of America as being this fabulous, powerful superpower, and it’s exactly like Third World situations,” said Tom Kerr.

“In my personal opinion, I think you should have done much, much faster. It should be much better than what I have seen today,” said Samsook Boonyabancha.



Capo also writes:

”Later this summer, a group from New Orleans east and the Lower Ninth Ward will travel to Indonesia to see what they can learn about the recovery efforts from the tsunami in some of the world’s poorest countries.”



Destruction #19

Destruction #19

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Early on in the drive we started seeing homes that had their front doors wide open, although it was clear no one was living there or had lived there since Katrina hit. Looking into the houses I could see that the walls had all been stripped of drywall, showing empty spaces inside broken up only be the 2x4 wooden framing timbers that made up the house’s skeleton. This was something else I didn’t understand at all.

It turns out to be another piece of the story that I, living outside of the New Orleans area, haven’t seen or heard from the major news outlets.

If homes weren’t damaged by the rising flood waters they were often damaged by the driving winds and rains from the hurricane. People who evacuated sealed their homes up tight, expecting to be back in a few short days. Instead, when they were shipped out to other states their homes, typically had some sort of water damage inside. These houses then became prime breeding havens for black mold. Black mold causes a variety of illnesses and can eventually lead to lung cancer. Once it infests drywall it cannot be cleaned off or removed. The drywall itself has to be removed from the house and carefully destroyed.

So houses were stripped bare to the frames and the wood was treated with a fungicide to try and save the house.


Destruction #21

Destruction #21

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


We saw several homes that had not only flood damage but also extensive fire damage. I couldn’t understand how or why someone would choose to commit arson in an already devastated, poorer area.

Our guide informed us that it wasn’t arson, but a problem with people trying to reclaim their homes and live in them again. Without power, they were having to depend on candles for light at night and charcoal and/or propane for heating water and food. All of those open flames indoors, such as the indoors are, were causing problems with house fires.


Destruction #20

Destruction #20

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Areas like the ones where many of these images in this series were taken were in a modest, middle-class, African American neighborhood. These were family homes, with playsets in many of the backyards and damaged toys amid the piles of trash in the front yards.

One of the subtle ways of keeping these residents from returning is to take the problem of open flames as being the source of house fires and scaring the fire insurance companies with fears of widespread claims from the area. As a result, people who own what’s left of these homes cannot get fire insurance on their houses. Without fire insurance, they cannot secure the loans necessary to rebuild.



Destruction #13

Destruction #13

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


What disturbs me the most about all of this is the subtle way in which a number of different factors all come into play to keep the former residents out of the city.

Take the city’s response to the Ninth Ward, for instance. While I was in town for the conference there was a motion made to cease all public transportation to and from the Ninth Ward. The reason given was economic: it was a cost-cutting measure that would help the cash-strapped city.

The implications of that motion, however, were far more devious. Many residents of the Ninth Ward were extremely poor. Employment for these residents was typically not found in the Ninth Ward but in the downtown area of New Orleans proper. Most of these people were renting, not owning their homes, and most could not afford cars but, instead, depended on the city bus system to carry them into the city and back home again.

If you’re trying to deny a community the ability to reclaim their lives, eliminating their ability to get to work is one sure way to help with that process. No transportation, no job, no income, no way to support yourself and your family.


Destruction #14

Destruction #14

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


There are piles of trash on most city blocks in the flooded areas. It’s difficult to tell exactly how long some of the piles have been there, but it’s probably safe to say that there hasn’t been any sort of scheduled pick up of trash in months and months.

Every now and then the rain comes and tries to wash the piles clean.


Destruction #15

Destruction #15

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________




Destruction #16

Destruction #16

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________




Destruction #17

Destruction #17

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________




Destruction #22

Destruction #22

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


FEMA offered trailers to many of the residents in the flood-damaged areas. We were told that many residents said “yes” to the offer but have never lived in them. I guess it makes it look like you’re still involved with your property if you have a FEMA trailer in your front yard.

We saw many trailers in the urban areas that our guide questioned. He was doubtful anyone was actually living in them. There were certain outward signs of life, or the lack thereof.

This one, in a more suburban area, was definitely lived in.


Destruction #23

Destruction #23

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


There was only one sign of someone trying to rebuild throughout the entire afternoon’s tour of the area.

This was it.

The roofers were Hispanic. If there is a lasting cultural shift in the city of New Orleans that Katrina has brought it’s the huge influx of Hispanics into the area. They’ve moved into the area in droves, the men willing to do the construction work that is needed all over the city and willing to do so for the moderate pay the contractors and sub-contractors are willing to offer and they’ll do so in the intensive heat and humidity that New Orleans’ climate has to offer.

This has caused problems of it’s own. many African Americans are finding it hard to reclaim jobs or find new jobs due to the large numbers of Hispanics that have moved in for those jobs.

The face of New Orleans is literally changing. And with it, comes a whole new set of racial tensions.


Destruction #24

Destruction #24

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


This huge billboard, visible from the freeway, seemed to sum up a lot of what I saw up to this point in our trip.

Yes, there are sporadic signs of hope here and there, but the amount of work necessary is best described in huge, bold block lettering that’s visible for miles.

_________________ . . . ___________________


A friend of Bonn’s, Aquart, has been sending out links to stories from a variety of sources that are usually not covered widely (if at all) by the major media for years now. The story I quoted at the top of this entry came from her. Once I read it I knew I wanted to lead off with quotes from the story -- and that I wanted to tell this friend about my images from the area.

She wrote back to me late Saturday night and offered to post a link to my blog and the images on the Democratic Underground website.

I greatly appreciate the nice things she had to say about my writing and images and to suggest to a much wider audience that they take a look.

...
fivecats: (Default)

Remains of Katrina Destruction

Remains of Katrina Destruction #1
Not As Seen on TV

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


NOTE: This series of images were all taken on our tour before getting to the Ninth Ward


I’ve written this in a few comments but it’s important enough to me to restate it here.

When I was taking these images I was working hard to stay in photojournalist mode. I was trying to take as many images as possible, working to document what I was seeing to be able to show people around the world what happened both during the hurricane and how our nation has left the poor of an entire city behind. Now, I have no illusion about the reach of this little blog nor the impact and strength of the images my camera captured, but this was the first time I’ve ever gone out and felt that what I was doing with my camera was important.

The sign in the image above was simply nailed to a street pole. The house behind it wasn’t particularly badly damaged, but the area they were in was. It used to be home to an entire neighborhood of lower income families. Husbands, wives, grandparents and kids. Whole lives were lived in these homes, these small yards, these streets. Couples romanced, people fought, they played, they built a community. It wasn’t ideal, it probably wasn’t even all that great of a life. But it was their life, their lives.

As a nation, we’ve let them down through “Katrina Fatigue,” disinterest and our national indifference to things uncomfortable. As a city, New Orleans has done worse: the government there has intentionally made it difficult to impossible for people to return to these neighborhoods.

In trying to remake New Orleans in their own, more affluent image, they’ve turned whole sections of their city into a Ghost Town.


Remains of Katrina Destruction

Remains of Katrina Destruction #2
I Would Never Have Coffee With Someone Like You

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


The after dinner speaker at the conference Thursday night was Jim Amoss, the publisher of the Times-Picayune, the New Orleans newspaper that kept publishing through the worst of Katrina, either online or in actual print. He spoke about the trials of trying to publish under such adverse and dangerous conditions, of his reporters trying to investigate reports of flooding while on bicycle, and of the decision to eventually evacuate the newspaper’s buildings when it was obvious they could no longer safely stay there.

He then showed a DVD of interviews with Times-Picayune staff members telling their own stories in their own words.

A photographer told the story of being on a bridge with a resident of the area and seeing a family of women all clinging to the side of their house. The women were a few feet below roof level, unable to go anywhere. There was no easy way for them to get to the bridge, nor for the photographer or the stranger with him to get to the women.

The photographer pulled out his camera, knowing that he needed to capture this image and share it with the world, to let the world know the reality of what Katrina had done and was doing to the residents of his city.

The stranger on the bridge with him angrily asked him what he was doing.

The photographer explained. The stranger denounced any sense of “duty” beyond what they could and should do to try and rescue the women who were obviously in danger of dying. In the midst of all of the tragedy they were having a philosophical discussion on the merits of what could and what should be done.

The photographer took his pictures, one of which (I believe) was featured on the front page of the Times-Picayune a day or so later.

“One day I hope we can sit down and have a cup of coffee and discuss this,” the photographer told the stranger.

“I will never sit and have coffee with someone like you,” came the response.

I tell this story because the old man closest to the corner of the house in this image gave me the same look as we drove past. I’m sure, to him, we were nothing but three well-off white men playing tourist and entertaining ourselves by tsk-tsk’ing over the misfortunes of others and taking pictures to show the others like us back home.

I wanted to stop and talk to him, to tell him that I was different that I was trying to do something to help in my own, small way. I doubt, though that he would have listened.

And, to be honest, if I were in his shoes, I doubt I would have done otherwise.

(I'll get that LJ Cut thing to work again one day. Until then...)


Remains of Katrina Destruction

Remains of Katrina Destruction #3

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


The spray-painted “X”es on the sides of the houses were put there by various agencies to demarcate those houses that had been “searched” by which agency, when and what was found. By “searching” the agency had people knock on doors and/or break a window to call inside and look in to see if there was anyone who could be seen.

If the elderly were trying to hide in their homes, afraid of being forcibly removed or if people were determined to not leave their pets behind to die, they hid from the police and from the military.

Many elderly people hid in attics and died from the excessive heat there. They’re still finding bodies.


Remains of Katrina Destruction

Remains of Katrina Destruction #4

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


When I first saw the images on television of policemen spray-painting the large, bright orange “X”es and other characters on the fronts of houses I remember thinking that, as a home owner, that I’d be might annoyed at having to clean that graffiti up when I returned.

The police, however, knew better. Not only was it a life-saving operation they were engaged in, but they knew there was no way people were going to be returning to these houses to live in without tearing everything down first.


Remains of Katrina Destruction

Remains of Katrina Destruction #5

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________



Remains of Katrina Destruction

Remains of Katrina Destruction #6

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________



Remains of Katrina Destruction

Remains of Katrina Destruction #7

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________



Remains of Katrina Destruction

Remains of Katrina Destruction #8

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________




Remains of Katrina Destruction

Remains of Katrina Destruction #9

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Driving alongside a raised freeway on the side of town I was amazed to see block after block after block of abandoned, vandalized cars. Our host explained that in an effort to clear the streets the police had all of the cars towed away. One of the locations they used to put some of these cars was the roadway under the raised highway.

Many of the cars had their tires removed and were up on cider blocks. Others simply had their rims resting on the asphalt.

This was because the police were left to fend for themselves. Gas tanks were siphoned so the police could have gas in their patrol cars. Tires were taken that would match police cruiser tires for replacement whenever necessary.


Remains of Katrina Destruction

Remains of Katrina Destruction #10

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________



Remains of Katrina Destruction

Remains of Katrina Destruction #11

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Most of the streets we drove through were deserted. Cars were a rare sight. Furniture, clothes, belongings and other signs of living were occasionally piled in heaps on the sidewalk and curb in front of a house.

It’s as if trash has replaced cars at the curbside of many houses.


Remains of Katrina Destruction

Remains of Katrina Destruction #12

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________




More images of New Orleans to come.

...
fivecats: (Default)

Cafe Du Monde #0

Cafe Du Monde #0

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Saturday morning Carlos, my roommate for the week, and I both got up early with the goal of making a breakfast trip down Decatur Street to the legendary Cafe Du Monde for beignets. As mentioned earlier, the overpriced unexceptional hotel had served their version of mass-produced, steam table-warmed square hockey pucks the day before. It was imperative that, as a true foodie, I not only get the taste of those tough, bland poseurs out of my mouth, but that I visit one of the genuine common man institutions. Not getting sick on the curbside of Bourbon Street from too many different slushie frozen daiquiris I could easily live without. Missing a New Orleans Historical Food Landmark, especially one that involved fried dough and copious amounts of powdered sugar would be something I would likely regret for the rest of my life.

Yeah, sometimes it really does come down to things that simple in life.

The night before or so I had read a comment by my good friend [livejournal.com profile] sakkijarvi in which he poetically wrote:

”Try walking Bourbon Street just after dawn . . . it’s the only time I’ve really enjoyed that part of the French Quarter . . . the light had a pale grayish quality to it . . . it was fairly quiet (I may have done this on a Sunday too) . . . there were a few folks hosing down stretches of the sidewalk and there was a sour smell in the air (mostly alcohol-related, I believe) . . . but the street seemed to reclaim, however ephemerally, some of its grace and beauty in those moments...”

I found that he was right. Decatur Street in the early morning light has almost recaptured some of the grace and innocence I’d like to think that the city once may have had many, many years ago.

It made me consider giving the city streets one last try before I left.


Cafe Du Monde #1

Cafe Du Monde #1

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Biegnets come three to a serving at the Cafe Du Monde. If you’re getting two orders, they combine them into a single plate and throw in an extra one for free. On the way there, Carlos was debating the proper number to order. Three, he said, could be too much. One was not enough. What to do?

I commented that three were just fine for me and he could order however many he wanted to.

I had little doubt that I could pick up the slack should he falter on his third one.

As it was, we each ate three and I polished off the fourth one with little trouble. In fact, a second plate would not have been entirely out of the question but for the fact that we actually had conference session to attend and it was going to be dangably difficult to take notes on them with me sound asleep in a sugar coma.


Cafe Du Monde #2

Cafe Du Monde #2

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


There was no dinner served for the final night of the conference, something that surprised me. A “reception” was listed instead with a New Orleans-style jazz quartet providing the entertainment. Being cheap and always on the prowl for cheap eats I decided to stop by and see what, if anything, they had available.

It turned out to be quite a spread for a reception. The four corners of the huge ballroom were each set up with different foods. Cheese and meats at one, pasta made-to-order at another, desserts in the farthest corner and chilled shrimp and oysters at another.

And, scattered along the far side of the wall were several open bars.

Dinner was obviously no longer a problem.

Several platefuls of shrimp and oysters and a few gin and tonics later, I was enjoying myself. I was sitting alone, not knowing too many of the other attendees, and happy just to have some decent cold shrimp for The Right Price. One co-worker stopped by, she tentatively asked about something we’d heard at the conference and I responded that another person and I had already discussed plans to do said thing long before the conference, but additional help would ensure that it would work. Said co-worker left, content that her time at the conference was not wasted.

As the last of the people were leaving I decided to stop for one last plate of shrimp and oysters. Along came another co-worker who I’ll call Mr. Earnon. I genuinely like Mr. Earnon -- an impression cemented when, on his first evening at the conference he looked at me with appreciative recognition after I said something and exclaimed, “I think I’ve finally met someone more full of $hit than I am!”

Well, yeah.

My gin and tonics and I were in a talkative mood and Mr. Earnon was willing to listen. I’m sure he was interested in scoping out how much I knew about various work-related subjects and to see just how much I’d learned in the last six months. And while I’m certain I wasn’t nearly as amusing as I thought I was being (a bad habit that has plagued me through life) I don’t think I completely humiliated myself, either.

We did, however -- or rather, I shut down the place.

Closing down a bar has a sort of dark lights, rough edged, vaguely romantic in an early Tom Waits-ish way. There is nothing, nothing similar to closing down a Sheraton Ballroom Reception. It’s pretty pathetic, actually.


Cafe Du Monde #3

Cafe Du Monde #3

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


As the last of the hotel staff was pulling the table cloths off of the tables, we got to talking. I think I asked him if he could pull the table cloth out from under the items on the table. He laughed and said no, but (in Mr. Earnon’s words later) he challenged me to do so.

I couldn’t decline such a challenge, especially in the presence of a co-worker. So I rose and took stock of the situation.

The table itself was round, not optimal for such a stunt. On a long, straight table there isn’t a problem with cloth coming up around the sides and the shouldn’t be so much drag on the material as well. Both should allow for a faster, cleaner yank of the tablecloth. Also, the tablecloth itself hung almost three feet over the edge of the table far too much to make a quick and easy snap. To do it properly I was going to have to pull the tablecloth from a bit inside the outer edge of the table and be able to step back quickly to make up for the extra overhanging length.

I moved chairs all around me to clear enough space. Then, knowing that thinking the situation out was just going to lead to problems and confidence issues, I reached to where i though would be an optimal point on the round surface, and prepared to grab and snatch.

In the middle of the night I realized what the other problem was -- the edge of the tablecloth was hemmed. This meant that even with the best of fast yanks, there was still going to be a distinct bump at the end of the cloth that was going to jostle everything on the table.

A drink was spilled, a plate was tossed a bit, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. Mr. Earnon found one “shrimp carcass” (as he put it) on “my” side of the table that had followed the table cloth.

It’s a skill I wouldn’t mind adding to my list of “Vaguely Entertaining But Largely Useless Talents” but, in the long run, it might be best if I didn’t.


Cafe Du Monde #4

Cafe Du Monde #4

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


With the morning’s biegnets and the early light on the streets both a fond memory I decided I’d spend my last night in New Orleans walking around. After demonstrating my lack of tablecloth removal skills, I retired to my room, grabbed my tripod and headed back out the door. There were pictures to be taken and biegnets to be had.

I took the long walk up Decatur Street, past the touristy section in the French Quarter and into the outer area where the locals like to hang out. Eventually Decatur ended with another street continuing in that direction a slight shift to the left across a narrow street. I decided that was about as far as I needed to go, and turned to the right and headed off to see what else I could discover.

What I discovered, however, will have to wait for another series of images in another posting.

The midnight beignets were okay. Not nearly as good as the ones first thing in the morning. Part of it was certainly the change in company (being alone instead of with Carlos) and part of it was having them twice in the same day. Still, I knew I wasn’t likely to get back to the Cafe Du Monde anytime soon.

The outside section was even more crowded than it was first thing in the morning. People were sitting around, some a bit louder than necessary, but all were enjoying themselves. Good friends, good hot, sugary treats and a nice place to sit and watch a bit of the world go by without any pressures to get up and re-involve yourself with any of it. In my book, it’s even better than the ever-churning slushie daiquiri machines.

I like nightime photography. The necessity of the long exposure forces the eye to pick out those things that don’t hold still from those that remain motionless for seconds at a time.

The floor beneath a table, scattered with a good dusting of powdered sugar, however, makes an ideal, motionless subject.


Cafe Du Monde #5

Cafe Du Monde #5

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Between the conference running well into the evening most nights and the surrounding area outside the hotel being a combination of urban blight and the fratboy worst of every boardwalk you’ve ever seen, I still hadn’t found Bonn anything to bring back to her from the trip. True, she had said the only thing she wanted was pictures from the Ninth Ward, but I wanted to bring her something tangible from my time away as well. I had really only enjoyed two places during my time there, the Upperline Restaurant and the Cafe Du Monde.

I had decided to get her a coffee mug from the Cafe when someone got up from the table across from me and took a group picture. I stood up and said, “You realize the only problem is that you aren’t in that picture. Would you like me to take one of all of you?”

They all agreed that it was a fine idea, and two quick shots later I handed the camera back, collected all of my things and went up to the take-out window to buy Bonn’s mug.

The woman with the camera from the other table suddenly appeared next to me with a dollar in her hand, as if to give it to me.

I looked at her, confused and slightly insulted.

“Take that away,” I said.

“You have a tripod,” she explained. “One of my friends thought you might be a professional and I didn’t want to insult you by not offering you something.”

I explained I was just an amateur who was taking pictures for his blog.

“Oh, I have a blog!” she said, eager to change the subject. “What’s your blog’s name?”

I gave her the URL on the back of a business card and we left it at that.

I don’t quite know why it irked me so much. It may be that the person didn’t believe in random acts of kindness and somehow thought that such acts are only done for in the expectation of being paid. At any rate, my scowl was probably a bit too much for the misunderstanding.



(Next Time: More images of the damage around the larger city of New Orleans)

...
fivecats: (Default)

Ninth Ward #1

Ninth Ward #1

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


At noon Carlos and I left the air conditioned comfort of the hotel for the cluttered car of a friend of his, an author he’s edited and published in the past. I had been warned that if I got him talking about New Orleans at all he’d likely tell us about the city in a wide geo-political, racial and historical perspective.

That was, of course, exactly what I wanted to hear.


Ninth Ward #3

Ninth Ward #3

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


For an hour we were given what amounted to a fascinating lecture on New Orleans political and racial history, all in the context of what’s happening to the African Amerian community today and the all-but transparent attempts at the city government to assure the poor blacks who were shipped out of town do not return. Ever.


Ninth Ward #13

Ninth Ward #13

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


A couple of words about these images:

All of them were taken from the inside of a car as we were being driven around some of the most damaged areas of New Orleans. As a result, they were all taken with a minimum of preparation and composition. Many were taken with a scatter-shot approach, hoping that I’d at least get something useful out of the many, many shots that I took.


Ninth Ward #14

Ninth Ward #14

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


For instance, the picture above has a very clear “ghost” image of the top of the car’s dashboard where the defrost vents are. One works with what one has to work with.


Ninth Ward #17

Ninth Ward #17

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


The other thing that struck me when I was post-processing these images this afternoon was how they all looked like the kind of isolated events seen in the [Bad username or site: ”ruralruin” @ livejournal.com] (Rural Ruin) LJ Community.

Individual homes falling in on themselves, slowly going to seed, is really nothing new.

This wasn’t like that, though. These houses were one after the other after the other after the other.


Ninth Ward #2

Ninth Ward #2

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


All of these shots were in the same neighborhood. All were about a block or two away from the sight of the levee break that flooded the Ninth Ward.

It’s fairly safe to say that all of these houses were at least mostly submerged by the waters flowing into the bowl of the Ward build in the long, heavy shadow of Lake Ponchartrain.

Our driver told us about a friend of his wife who had a home in these blocks. When she finally came back to see what was left of her house, she found nothing. No debris, nothing.

Until she started walking around the neighborhood. She finally found her house – three blocks away and sitting atop another house.


Ninth Ward #7

Ninth Ward #7

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


My one regret with these images is that, for me, they lack the power I sorely wish they had. I had wanted to go to the Ninth Ward to report and to document. I know I’m too tired to do the former and I had only one chance to do the latter and I don’t feel I succeeded very well.

Throughout the afternoon I took over 250 images from a number of different neighborhoods. I’ll see about posting more of them if there’s any interest.

Here are a few other images to last you through the rest of the weekend. I’m heading off to bed.

‘night all.



Ninth Ward #9

Ninth Ward #9

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________



Ninth Ward #

Ninth Ward #5

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________



Ninth Ward #15

Ninth Ward #15

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________



Ninth Ward #12

Ninth Ward #12

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________



Ninth Ward #10

Ninth Ward #10

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________



Ninth Ward #12

Ninth Ward #12

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


...
fivecats: (Default)

Caged Statue

Caged Statue

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Part One

I really wanted to like New Orleans. In fact, I was certain I would like it. New Orleans is the Great American Underdog of Cities, the town that was all but wiped out by a massive twist of nature and then spat upon by the ineptitude, greed and corruption of officials at all levels of government.

We watched in amazement as people were rescued from their rooftops. We saw family members trying to get their elderly relatives or tiny children to safety. My world view of the US was forever changed by seeing the daily horror show of people left starving and dying amongst themselves at the SuperDome and Convention Center.

How could you not want these people to not only survive, but bounce back and thrive in the city they love so dearly.


Ginger Mint Julep

Ginger Mint Julep

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


From the comfort of our den, I watched the scientists discuss their computer models of projected rising sea levels and the loss of land in and around the New Orleans area for the next ten to twenty years under normal conditions. I saw the devastation of the Ninth Ward and how whole neighborhoods were completely wiped out. I wondered aloud if it was wise to rebuild. The money necessary to make it safe again was going to be massive. Just cleaning up the soil from all of the toxins that had seeped into the ground from all of the household chemicals, gasoline and other everyday poisons was going to take years.

I watched as the government sat back and did nothing.

Call is racism, call it class-ism, call it whatever you will, but these people were left to fend for themselves with nothing. And in the aftermath, the levels of government all lied about the numbers of people they, each in their own way, helped to kill.


Night Street Shops

Night Street Shops

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Here’s my cynical view on what’s going to happen here:

News coverage of the lasting devastation from Katrina will continue to remain out of the news spotlight until the one year anniversary. There will be a fury of news coverage with last year’s footage compared with this year’s footage. There will be momentary outrage at “the system” for not moving to fix things. After all, didn’t we send them bazillions of dollars last year?


Antique Rifles

Antique Rifles

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


That story will be followed up by the latest developments with the 1+ billion dollars of Katrina relief money that has either gone missing or has been skimmed off the top by those who make a living off of the misery of others. With that, the American public will start to get angry – angry not so much that the citizens of New Orleans still don’t have their lives back, but angry that the supposed leaders not only didn’t lead, but they didn’t even keep track of all of the money they should have overseen.

Americans will then turn their backs on New Orleans, saying, “You had your chance.”

And that will be that.


Iron Benches

Iron Benches

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________



Part Two

Before leaving for New Orleans, Carlos, the editor and my roommate for the week, asked if I would like to go to a nice restaurant while we were there. As a foodie, I’m more than willing to go to someplace where I can trust that the food is good. And, besides, shouldn’t New Orleans have good food?

The hotel food has been... hotel food. Their attempts at vegetarian cuisine have been, not too surprisingly, fairly awful. Their worst food offense as a New Orleans hotel was the bennets they served at breakfast. A bennet is a fried dough creation that shares a kindred soul with the humble donut. This square-shaped, powdered sugared confection is a New Orleans staple and it’s spiritual home, the famed Cafe Dumond, is just a few blocks away from the hotel. Why, then, they felt the need to make a lidded serving tray full of dried, tough imitations was beyond me.


View From the Hotel Window

View From the Hotel Window

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


The nice restaurant was The Upperline, a 23 year old establishment in the Garden District of New Orleans. After spending the last four days in the cesspit of the city, I was so happily surprised and relieved when the taxi drove us away from the area and down a street that I thought ended just a few blocks away. The downtown area quickly, by car, gave way to an older neighborhood with homes that reminded me of some of my favorite areas in NW Washington, DC.

It was so surprising to feel so comfortable, so surrounded by things familiar so quickly after spending four days with the exact opposite reaction.

The Garden District was spared the flooding, but the residents still had to evacuate. No power, no food, no staying.

I was squeezed into a taxi with four other people and wasn’t able to take pictures of the neighborhoods I saw. You’ll just have to take my word for it.


Corner Restaurant

Corner Restaurant

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Dinner was fabulous. A gazpacho with a fresh tomato base with just enough seasoning to give the tail end of the taste a subtle complexity, intrigued me for the entire bowl. The entree was a fish so flavorful and moist but yet lightly smoky and grilled on one side that I intentionally failed to ask anyone if they’d like to try a piece. The fish was served atop a salad nisoise, with a side hit of a light pesto that took me by surprise. The pecan pie was lacking something for me, but I was in the definite minority at the table on that one.


Ghost Of Nola

Ghost of Nola

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Food, to me, is like movies and books: I love it when it’s good, created by someone who knows exactly what they’re doing and understands the medium and pours their artistic soul into their creation. When it’s bad, I have no time nor patience for it.

I came to New Orleans hoping to find a city I could admire and respect. I finally found a section of the city that did that for me.

I’ve also been listening to Anthony Bourdain read two of his books in the car recently. (Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour) and wanted to have at least one fine dining experience. I got that, too.

Not bad for a single night.

...
fivecats: (Default)

Joy for Sale

Joy for Sale

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


In the days following September 9/11 there was a universal feeling amongst Americans: We Were All New Yorkers.

New Orleans was different.

Maybe it was because we’d already had one great national tragedy in recent history. Maybe it was because the horrors September 9/11 hit so swiftly and suddenly that we had the wind knocked out of us and Katrina was like a long, sick nightmare that went on for week after agonizing week. Maybe it was because there were seemingly endless streams of poor refugees that needed to be housed, fed and clothed for months and months afterward.

Throughout it all, I think Americans felt sad and sorry for the citizens of New Orleans. There was, however, never the cry of “We Are All New Orleans.”


Glamour

Glamour

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


When I came down to New Orleans I really wanted to like this city. It is an underdog city, one that is going to have to fight long and hard to be rebuilt. I wanted to see and photograph things that made people feel for this city as I imagined I would feel for this city.

I’ve learned that my first night on any business trip is not going to be an easy night to sleep through. Walking long into the night until I’m tired can be a way to help get some sleep that first night. So, camera and tripod in hand, I set out on Canal Street.

Walking out the hotel’s front doors I headed to my left. From my window on the 20th floor of the Sheraton I knew that to my right lay a Harrad’s Casino, which meant I was going to the left.

Canal Street is wide. Two lanes of traffic on either side with a parking lane plus cable car tracks laid down in the center of the street meant I could walk down the middle of the road without being run down by cars.

The signs of damage are everywhere. The only thing was, I couldn’t tell what was potentially flood damage and what was long-standing urban decay. Having grown up in the Washington, DC area I recognized urban decay from years of driving around sections of the city that had once been vibrant, fashionable areas that had become dusty ghost shells, slowly falling back to the earth from which they had been raised. Some of these buildings could have fit in on any of those streets.


Alley Parking Lot

Alley Parking Lot

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


I looked for watermark lines on the sides of buildings but couldn’t see any. Most of the buildings I saw reminded me of what my grandmother had said of the people she was meeting just after she was moved into a nursing home: “These people are dead, they just don’t know it yet.”

Walking back I decided to do the very touristy thing and walk up the famous Bourbon Street. I remember my parents when I was 7 or 8 years old going to New Orleans and saying how nice it was. When TV crews film in New Orleans, they always film on Bourbon Street. Even Anderson Cooper, when he was doing his months long reporting from New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina, even long after the major media outlets had moved on to newer, more sensational stories, filmed there.

If nothing else, there had to be good things to take pictures of.


Trolly Line Walk

Trolly Car Walk @ Night

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Bourbon Street is, like all of the streets in the city’s historic French Quarter, incredibly narrow. With buildings going up two and three stories and many of them having the French Quarter’s characteristic balconies, the street felt incredibly claustrophobic. People walked in the streets, which were closed to traffic, and even on a Tuesday night there was a clear frat boy party atmosphere.

I soon found out why. Bars with suggestive names quickly gave way to ones whose red neon blared “Larry Flint’s Hustlers.” Loud rock and roll cover tunes played by local bands who sounded bored by the meager Tuesday night crowds inside came out of several buildings on each block. Shops with sexually suggestive t-shirts and other stupid “souvenirs” were everywhere as well.


Jester Daiquaris

Jester Daiquaris

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


All of the bars had their windows open and many had entire walls to the outside missing. Many had Slurpee machines spinning with brightly colored frozen liquids spinning, all with marketing names inspired to make you feel good about plunking down your six bucks for a large plastic cup full of frozen daiquari that you could walk the streets with.

My thought had been to walk down several blocks and then walk back. When I saw the hot pink neon for “Larry Flint’s Barely Legal” I knew I’d had more than enough and I took the next side street to my right.

A street or two over I was amazed at the difference. Instead of the Sodom and Gomorrah debauchery a block away, this street was filled with art galleries. Nice, tasteful art galleries that I would have enjoyed walking through if they hadn’t been closed. (I usually avoid art galleries)


Robot Violinist

Robot Violinist

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


A block or two down and antique shops started entering the mix. I’m no expert on antiques, but I knew that these weren’t your normal roadside Junque Shoppe finds, but the dangably expensive real things. A shop that specialized in Civil War era muskets with it’s walls lined with them. An 18th century French parlor set up in a window looking more like a museum set but brighter and more highly polished.


French Parlor

French Parlor

June 2006 New Orleans, LA

____________________________________


Having seen the poor and the forgotten, the mindless drunkenness and then shops that catered to people with far more money than I’m ever likely to have, I just didn’t know what to make of it all. Sure, it had been an emotionally draining and physically exhausting day, but I still just couldn’t put all of what I’d seen together in my head. It was all too close together, all so much on top of one another that I didn’t understand how the one could possibly live next to the other and yet pretend you didn’t see it, didn’t know it existed. The paradox was just too big for me to handle.

Or maybe it was what I perceived as the deception of the city. It seemed a city willing to allow for it’s own little tourist trap section to go to hell, turning a blind eye to it all as long as the businesses pay their sales taxes, licensing fees and do nothing to stop the tourist money coming in.

This, sadly, is not strictly an American problem. The world is filled with majestic cities that overlap atop the poorest of the poor. New Orleans, though, was harder to take. After the devastation of Katrina and the refusal of many of the citizens to leave and their demands to have their city rebuilt, the nation poured billions of dollars into the area.

And what do we have to show for that billion dollars? I couldn’t even find hope, unless you want to call workers installing a bright and shiny new Foot Locker shoe shoe hope.

I know I’m seeing the city as an outsider and, worst, a tourist. With the guidance of a helpful local who could give me some of the history behind what I’m seeing I’m sure my perceptions would be different.

And there might be a chance of that on Saturday. The Managing Editor I’m sharing a room with has an author he’s edited who lives here in the city. In the Spring he drove The Managing Editor and his son around some of the still devastated and left to rot areas of New Orleans. He’s a long-time resident and a former labor organizer, so I’m sure he has some wonderful stories to tell.

...

Profile

fivecats: (Default)
fivecats

October 2016

S M T W T F S
      1
23 45678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031     

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 23rd, 2017 10:49 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios