Monday, December 6, 2010
Weaving Back In
Yesterday, I caught the Dumaine Street Gang as it second lined through the Treme. One friend snapped this great shot as the throng of people passed a moved VA Footprint house on St. Philip Street (in yellow) that once stood on Banks Street.
At various points along the route, I stood and marveled at just how important the historic architectural streetscape was to the second line phenomenon. Take away the distinctive houses and buildings that make the cultural tradition undeniably New Orleans, and it would be a wholly different thing. In that vein, it's encouraging to see the houses saved from demolition in the VA Footprint weaving themselves slowly back into the street fabric.
Last week, inside the Footprint, someone stole my laptop and back-up camera from my car while I was in at Outer Banks bar to check in on the Committee to Reopen Charity meeting (I didn't think I had left my laptop bag in my car, but alas). I lost many, many photos. But when I saw the wild, joyous life of the second line pass the moved house on St. Philip yesterday, things equalled out a bit. It was easier to accept the loss. All of the effort, all of the difficulty over the past nine months or so paid off when I saw a bit of the tangible outcome of the push to extract positives from the unwise hospital sites.
Everyone involved in the house moving undertaking - whether it was Builders of Hope or Mary Howell, who really sparked it all back in March - managed to help give New Orleans new life without forsaking what's best about the city, what makes it unique and worth celebrating.