Friday, January 26, 2007

Beautiful denial.

Seven years ago, Rob Walker had just moved to New Orleans:
I've been walking around our neighborhood a lot, just wandering back and forth to the grocery store or taking the dog out for a stroll. There's no logic to the architectural styles. But you notice two things. One is that the houses are built high, and often there's a big, massive, marvelous staircase of some sort leading up to a porch and a front door that might be three feet or even six feet off the ground. This, of course, is because it can flood here in a really serious way. The second thing you notice is that the yards, the steps, the porches, the areas in front of the house are often just covered with plant in big pots, and statues, and chairs, and things. Just strewn all over, as if they were indoors and protected, as if nothing could ever threaten them, not man or nature. These yards and porches are often incredibly beautiful. And in their way, they seem to me a pretty convincing manifestation of pure denial.
Rob Walker, Letters From New Orleans 19-20 (Garrett County Press 2005).

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