Flood Street, Ninth Ward, New Orleans, Three Years On

A gutted house interior on Flood Street (I’m sure I’m not the first to pick up on the awful irony). The Ninth Ward is mostly empty, just green spaces, a few houses, most of them empty, here and there. I had not been down into this part of New Orleans post-storm until last Saturday; I’d been in a neighborhood to the west last year, doing some work with Habitat for Humanity, but had never ventured across the canal until last week.

One of the few houses on the street that looked fixed back up; Our Lady is still keeping watch, anyway.

The front lawn of a washed-out little Catholic church.

A little further west, towards the canal. This is the Deep South; the greenery is irrepressible, and devours everything in very little time if it’s given half the chance.

Not the Ninth Ward this, but close enough. The oil spill was being mopped up Saturday, but was still bad enough to keep most of the river traffic bottled up. I took this photo from the landing opposite Jackson Square.

Odds and Ends, Fes Medina

These are rosaries for sell outside of the shrine of Moulay Idriss II, the founder and (current) patron saint of Fes. The haram-precinct surrounding the shrine is filled with small shops selling rosaries, incense, candles, and other devotional aids, as well as sweet-meats (Idriss being the patron of sweet meats as well as the city, apparently).

The Millenium Falcon in miniature showed up at a flea-market at the edge of the Andalusian Quarter, along with a host of other wonderful items, including stacks of used Heinenkin bottles…

The rose-petal and rose-water vendor down Tella Kabira, just below the meat-sellers quarter. The olfactory contrast is intense.

Zellij tile and calligraphy in a medrasa in the Andalusian quarter.

Potatoes and herbs on or near Zanqa Romain.

An interesting piece of decoration of the exterior of the Moulay Idriss shrine. I’m afraid I have no idea of its symbolic import- assuming it has some- so if perchance anyone out there knows, I’d love to be filled in.

Fruit and Leaf

Our family has been sharing a large vegetable garden with our neighbors, which has helped alleviate rising food prices. I missed the planting and most of the tending due to my sojourn in North Africa; I’ve gotten to help out with the harvest however, and will continue to do so until I leave for graduate school in a month and a half. While corn is growing more expensive by the week, we’re well supplied with our own stocks; in a couple weeks the tomatoes and beans will be coming in, and perhaps in tandem with them the figs, which are in abundance this year.

Below are a few photos from the garden:


We in South Mississippi woke up Saturday to several inches of snow covering the landscape- not a sight we see everyday around here. The snow not only lasted all day- rare enough- but even made it through Sunday, though I suspect we will loose it all tomorrow.

The camelias were not doubt confused, as only a few days before it seemed that spring was just weeks away.



Little brother Joseph samples the big heavy snow flakes (it was also perfect snow for sculpting snowmen and waging snow-ball wars).

Side by Side

The following are photos from the Lauderdale Confederate-Union Cemetery, located outside a little community a few miles north of Meridian, MS. I have driven past the big brown sign on Highway 45 several times over the past few years, always intending to stop but never having gotten around to it until last weekend. The cemetery was established to inter the bodies of men who died at a nearby hospital- both Confederates and Federals. A few of the graves are marked simply “Unknown.” I can’t think of too many cemeteries where both Confederate and Union dead were buried in the same location, making this little hill-top particularly poignant.



Great and Small

Over the weekend my youngest brother and I backpacked and otherwise rambled around the southeast corner of the Great Smoky Mountains. Despite relatively little fall colour due to a very warm early autum, the mountains were still magnificent. What follows are some highlights.

Sunset from Mt. Sterling, where we spent the night under the howling wind and the chatter of college students…


Sunrise from Mt. Sterling.


One of the bull elk in the Cataloochee area of the park.

Snow, Ice, Snow, Ducks

I’m in Denver this weekend for a debate tournament (which is great fun, usually; also verifies my lack of desire to be either a lawyer or a politician); it is somewhat frustrating however to be this close to mountains and such without actually being able to be off wandering around in them. Ah well. Did walk about a little this afternoon in a park across from our hotel and took a few pictures.

Around Town, Spring Time Early

Bay Street Presbyterian Church in the afternoon sun.

It actually felt somewhat like January today, at least this morning; this weekend however was downright humid, before the rain set in and cooled things off a bit. I also saw Japanese magnolias blooming; those usually don’t start until the end of February or so. Lots of other trees around are heavy with swollen buds.