The Crescent City is haunted by more than just ghosts. History here runs thick, dark, and rich as the Mississippi River that cradles us in the curve of her body, and we are inundated by innumerable stories. Walk in the Treme, down narrow streets where the homes that crowd together are as diverse as its residents who call each other neighbor. Shotgun houses with Greek revival columns jostle with Creole cottages and townhouses, bedecked in ornate woodwork, or elaborate wrought iron railings. Paint shines fresh in jewel tones or mellows with age, sun faded and peeling in layers to reveal a history of hue, of each bright coat a home once bore. There is beauty even in decay. An abandoned house trimmed in cherry red lolls back on its cypress timber bones, walls slumping under the lonely, weathering weight of decades. A living lattice of cat’s claw vines pierce crumbling plaster, wreathing termite gnawed beams, cradling and supporting even as green tendrils slowly advance decay. The stories that filled this house are only distant echoes. Did a pair of lovers slow dance on summer nights in the living room, where sunlight now filters down through the rafters and bowed floor boards? Did a grandfather feed generations from the long empty kitchen, patiently teaching little hands to shell peas and knead dough, from the recipes his own grandmother passed down? Like ghosts, so many stories can only be glimpsed out of the corner of one’s eye. We know there’s more but can only perceive faint fragments. Like an empty house slowly reclaimed by the earth, where a rose bush given over to wild brambles still whispers of the love that tended a garden, and we may dream that music once filled its walls.
Story By: Wendalyn Wolf
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This photograph was made in the French Quarter, located in New Orleans, LA
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