New Orleans – Displaced

Four years after Hurricane Katrina hit Lousiana, New Orleans has made strong efforts to reconstruct. Tourism has had a strong impact on the main city neighborhoods. Other neighborhoods still resembled ghost towns in 2010 and more than 60% of the former residents were still displaced. 

American Flag, folded in a cupboard
What’s Left of the Flag

The American Flag is folded 13 times and presented to the families of those who have given their life for the nation. This flag rested on a can of beer in a cupboard of what used to be “Favalora’s” Sandwich shop.

Favalora's Sandwich-Shop is abandoned today
Favalora’s Sandwiches

Favalora’s in St. Bernard used to be what appears to be a thriving restaurant and Po-Boy Shop – judging from what is left of the interior. But the owner has not and will not return to reclaim the place, as the untouched flag in the cupboard tells us.

Notice of Involuntary Demolition
Notice of Involuntary Demolition

Roaming the streets of St. Bernard, I found many of these warning signs as that at Favalora’s on windows and doors. Essentially it says: If you have failed to reclaim your house (either because you are dead or have not returned for any other reason), we will soon be tearing down your home. Have a nice day. Oh no, wait. That last part it does not say.

destroyed door of veteran meeting point
The Veterans

Inside Favalora’s used to be a meeting point for America’s Foreign War Veterans. The facility is no longer used.

St. Louis Cemetery #1
Down to Heaven

St. Louis Cemetery #1 is the oldest cemetery in New Orleans (1789). The graves still showed destruction from the storm 5 years after. Since New Orleans is literally built on a swamp, the tombstones are not sunk underground, but built above ground. When there is heavy rain fall, the cemetery’s alleys gather full of water, creating reflection pools inviting confusion between up and down.

Empty Cart in front of a boarded up Dollar General store
Empty Cart

The Dollar General store – like most stores in the Ninth Ward – has not found a new owner. Five years after Katrina, only 60% of former inhabitants have returned. Many of those who lived there before were of lower income and social status. An area not particularly interesting to businesses.

Santa Toy
Santa Bubbles

At the door in front of a house filled with children’s toys, sadly-faded Santa greets those who accidently come by.

Empty house full of toyss
The Fun House (outside)

This free standing house in St. Bernard is filled with children’s toys and sports equipment while the appliances and inner walls have been stripped.

Inside of a torn house filled with toys
The Fun House II (inside)

The interior walls have not survived the storm, nor have the windows of this house. The bathroom appliances have been torn and scattered around the entire place are all kinds of children’s toys that neighbors have gathered here.

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