House at S. Saratoga and Foucher

House at S. Saratoga and FoucherToday looked so lovely, and it was, but the wind was heavy on my ride home from school.  My legs are feeling tired lately, so I was taking it as easy as I could, pedaling lightly down Freret.  It is always surprising how different a ride down Freret is from a ride down St. Charles.  And they are only a few blocks away.  I stopped to take a picture of this house on S. Saratoga and Foucher.  It is falling apart, literally, leaning heavily to the right.  Plants have started taking over, growing from the attic window.  Windows are broken and doors are missing.  The New Orleans Fire Department has plastered a red sign on the front, letting everyone know the structure is unsound.  It is a warning, should fire break out, to protect firefighters.  From my vantage point, it seems pretty obvious this house is unsafe.  There are also smaller white signs advertising demolition and remodeling services tacked up to the front and sides of the place.  Somehow I don’t think the problem here is lack of knowledge about those services.  I first noticed these red signs on a ride through Central City on my way to Mid-City last week.  Some streets are just lined with these red signs, another layer of marking the remaining–and spreading–blight.  Just six blocks over from this house, there’s no blight.  There are mansions.  Man, some days I just wish I could redistribute some wealth.

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