It is really cold here in New Orleans. I’m just not used to this stuff. My poor little frozen fingers, clamped over the Surly brake hoods! I was just claiming it couldn’t possibly be too cold to bike. And it won’t be here in New Orleans, but shoot, it was cold out there today, and I’m going to whine about it! I took Freret home from a wildly unproductive workday and stopped to meet friends for donuts. Man, I love donuts. Anyway, I got off the bike and unpeeled my numb fingertips to take a picture of this graffiti on a blighted house at General Taylor. I’ve passed this house on my bike at least a jillion times and watched the grasses grow, get cut, and grow again. The cat’s claw has just gotten worse (though it is beautiful in the spring). Then this graffiti showed up on the Lowe’s home wrap (man, that stuff is everywhere). It reads: I love each one of you is something special in this world. I hate it. I don’t know, I mean, I ride around here all the time, and the blight is just incredible. No world where everyone was special would have this neighborhood just blocks from those St. Charles mansions. Now, maybe that’s the point of the graffiti–it’s incongruous, so here I am, thinking about it, and now it’s done its job. Sheesh. You live here, you don’t need that reminder. Or perhaps it’s just being nice, saying, yeah, it looks like we abandoned this place, but somebody out there loves you… Of course, there’s no punctuation, so maybe the tagger likes the general sentiment that “each one of you is something special in this world.” I’m not personally all that comforted by that, but to each her own. Or maybe it’s Banksy. In which case, it’s art.
I’m not sure if, “Or maybe it’s Banksy. In which case, it’s art.”, is a tongue in check comment but I am continually amazed by what is considered “art”.
love this post, yo. I had never walked down Freret before until a month ago – yeah, I know, how embarrassing – and was also astonished at the level of blight and decay I saw. I agree that the general sentiment of that graffiti is ambiguous as hell (and sorta depressing). Of course if you want to REALLY convince yourself that humanity is degraded, you just have to read ladies bathroom graffiti at pretty much any New Orleans bar. Sheesh.
Maybe the tagger has a sentimental attachment to the house, who knows? Or maybe it was just a convenient canvas. I have mixed feelings about graffiti – while I don’t condone defacing personal property I do find beauty in the more elaborate work on abandoned buildings, etc.
Are you on Flickr? So many of your photos would be great added to some of the New Orleans-based groups.
Keep it up – I love seeing your snapshots!