Today reminded me of summer. I rode my bike just to ride and taste the wind. The day started with rain, but then it let up and the sun was shining and I felt free, zipping through Uptown for a lunch date with A. I wasn’t sure where my bike would take me after that, but I overheard some folks talking about some installation art on Piety. I hopped on my bike and rode down to the Bywater to see if I could find what they were raving about. And I did. Prospect 1 New Orleans means art is everywhere, including unofficial parallel exhibitions like this one, featuring seven large scale installations in a warehouse on Piety and Chartres. All seven recalled Katrina and the floods and the ways that people remembered and documented what is beyond words. This one is Floodwall by Jana Napoli. These are all drawers collected from the littered streets of NOLA following the levee breaches and floods. And here they are, a sample of the 700 she has, eerily separated from their kin, their homes. I wondered as I looked at these what it would be like to come to this wall and see your own drawer stuck on this wall next to so many other lost ones with their own individual stories. And then a man asked about one of them, said it looked just like his. So the gallery curator pulled it out of the wall as he and I looked on. It wasn’t his address; it wasn’t his drawer. But it was identical, just like so many stories here, each as individual as these drawers and pulls, but also shared.
On a final note, this is my 100th blog post. I’m happy to report that I enjoy bicycling and watching and writing just as much as I did when I started What I Saw Riding My Bike Around Today. My bike, my camera, and my blog have all helped me see, much, much better than I ever have before.