A friend of mine once lived in the French Quarter of New Orleans. After first visiting during Mardi Gras, I returned every few years, my last trip occurring just a few months before Hurricane Katrina. While everyone knew that the city was basically a big bathtub, and that a storm could fill that bathtub with water, no one expected the unthinkable to happen.
And then it did. What surprised me was the long-lasting impact the storm had. The city was devastated, livelihoods were wiped out and thousands of people left the city forever – including my friend Bob. I visited a year after Katrina and much of the city seemed like a ghost town. It’s slowly recovered since then.
Ben Carver spent three months walking the neighborhoods of New Orleans, capturing the city as it exists ten years after Hurricane Katrina. An exhibit of his photos recently took place at the White Room in Shaw, featuring selections from the 600+ images that comprise this collection.
For anyone who has visited New Orleans, the photos evoke a lot of nostalgia. I’ve been a fan of the city since reading A Confederacy of Dunces, one of my favorite books of all time. It’s unlike any other place in the United States – and I hope it remains that way.