Houses in Central City

I took a day off from riding my bike yesterday because my knees were begging me.  Fine, I told them.  Fine.  But today we’re going out again.  It felt great to ride today, especially after a seat adjustment that has me sitting up higher.  So I took my bike with me on a task ride–to the drugstore, the post office, coffee, bike store, and home again, in the rain.  I rode through Central City again on my way to coffee.  This neighborhood is like so many in New Orleans: full of incredible contrast.  In other cities I’ve lived in (Boise, Hartford, Berkeley, Oakland, NYC, Paris, DC, Portland) the decay is studiously kept apart from the new.  Not so here.  This picture captures a bit of what I mean.  The house on the left is habitable, looks well kept.  The house in the middle is literally falling down.  You can see the lean and the roof has caved in, falling down I mean.  The house on the right is under construction, soon to be fancified like the houses across the street which you can’t see here.  There’s a clothesline running across the scene, tying all three together.  Some parts of this town aren’t like this–the “private” streets in Uptown, Nicolas Cage’s neighborhood in the Garden District–but most of this place is a study in precisely these contrasts.  Or perhaps this is just the honesty of southern poverty.

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