Tag Archives: new orleans

“Standing But Not Operating” – Book On Sale!

UPDATE 4/15/12: ‘Standing But Not Operating’ is now on sale on Apple’s iBookstore.

I am pleased to announce that I now have a photography book on sale for the holidays!

The book is entitled “Standing But Not Operating” and is a compilation of shots of Six Flags New Orleans.

For those unfamiliar: Six Flags New Orleans was flooded under 9 feet of water and destroyed during Hurricane Katrina. The property was subsequently left to rot by Six Flags who cherry picked what they could from it and left the rest as a liability for the city.

James and I ventured down there in April and found our way into the park illegally, eventually being caught by the police for trespassing and graciously allowed to retain our images.

From the back cover:

“Standing But Not Operating” is a term used for an amusement park ride that is still standing in place but for whatever reason not operating.

Since being ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in August of 2005 the amusement park formerly known as “Six Flags New Orleans” has been standing but not operating after facing abandonment and an uncertain future.

For the few who have visited the park since it’s closure it has served as a place frozen in time. A haunting memorial to the devastation and perseverance of the city of New Orleans.

This is a 40 page 10″x8″ softcover book and includes 37 of my favorite shots from that trip which I am selling for $30. I am also making an iBooks compatible ePub available for $9.99 if you’d rather have that.

To date this is personally my most beloved photo project. I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I do and I really appreciate your support.

You can pick up the book here: Standing But Not Operating

Of course the original photo set will continue to exist on Flickr at a lower resolution. If you’d like a preview of the images feel free to check them out here: Standing But Not Operating on Flickr.

Thank you!

Missing: New Orleans

We took advantage of not having to drive anywhere yesterday by sleeping in and relaxing around the hotel for much of the morning.

The weather was a uncomfortable mix of overcast, humid and hot. The kind of day where you can feel yourself getting a sunburn through the clouds and sweat seeping through your deodorant. This didn’t stop us from venturing out far and wide on foot. We first wandered over to a record store and then to Cafe Du Monde for beignets.

From there we wandered northwest through the French Quarter, eventually stumbling onto a voodoo museum and spending some time there.

We learned about Marie Laveau and New Orleans’ rich voodoo history. The kind of stuff that I’m not sure how to feel about or what to believe, but I know definitely not to mess with or cross people involved. Interesting stuff to say the least.

From there we took up a suggestion from Aki and paid a visit to the St. Louis Cemetery. The whole thing was interesting to me as it’s very crowded and completely paved. Due to New Orleans being built below sea level the bodies have to be buried above ground so they don’t shift up out of the dirt. This particular cemetery was home to many voodoo priestesses and the whole thing just reeked of creepiness.

From there we took the suggestion of Marcus Gilmer Marcus Gilmer to check out Domilises for amazing Po’ Boy sandwiches. It was a bit out of the way but well worth it. If I could eat one of those daily I would.

After that we took off to find a place called Holt Cemetery a little known, barely maintained resting place of many unmarked graves and penniless war heroes. Unlike the earlier grave yard, this one was almost exclusively below ground and many of the plots had fallen in on themselves. I plan to research and write a whole piece on this place so I’ll leave it at that for now. The experience was truly chilling and thought provoking. It provided a much different view of the city than you hear about often.

It was nearing the magic hour where the light hits everything perfectly (link) so James and I set off to take a gamble and visit a place that not many have visited in the last few years: Six Flags New Orleans.

The story of that visit, along with Holt Cemetery are enough to fill several posts and simply too much to write from my iPhone in-between shifts driving. Yesterday was by far our heaviest day of the trip, so more photos and entries will come when I’m settled in. For now here is a small set of shots.

Straight on Through to New Orleans

New Orleans

We started off this morning right with a breakfast buffet at a Shoney’s restaurant. I had never been to one before, James said he remembered them fondly from his childhood and had thought them all to be closed.

We rolled into Birmingham around 1:30 looking for a bite to eat. @Amy_norinn suggested via Twitter that we check out Golden Rule BBQ, but after the last two days we’re both a little BBQ’d out so we hit up my friend Zack for a suggestion. He immediately shot back with a place called ‘The Garage Cafe.’ Knowing that Zack is from Decatur I figured his suggestion to be spot on.

The directions were weird because they lead us smack in the middle of a residential block but sure enough we found it. When we arrived the place looked awesome. Sort of an artsy / DIY / punk bar cafe surrounded by antiques.

Sadly, they aren’t open until 3pm and our hunger just couldn’t wait that long, so we took Amy’s second suggestion of a place called Jackson’s. I’m sad to have missed The Garage, it seems exactly like my kind of place hopefully I’ll get to come back here some day. We instead went to a place recommended by Amy on her second attempt, Jackson’s. It was fairly standard bar cafe food but we were just happy to eat.

From there we wandered around a little bit and found an ice cream shop where we both got cones and then hit the road to New Orleans.

We arrived at our hotel around 9pm and after settling in went out for a bite to eat. Sadly everywhere we tried was closed so we wound up at a Krystal’s (think fake White Castle) on Bourbon Street. The last time I was here I had avoided Bourbon Street and while it was an interesting walk, it’s definitely not the type of place I’d like to spend time. We quickly made our way to Royal Street where the way the streets are lit it’s almost as if someone is preparing a stage show on every corner. The architecture of this city just shines and the two of us spent time wandering and photographing before making our way over to Flanagan’s for a drink.

The last time I was at Flanagan’s during the Mercedes Benz Tweet Race I fell in love with this city. There is a presence here that I cannot explain. It draws me in and makes me want to explore.

Photos now. More later.

Into the great wide open.

Open on FlickrA week ago I had my final day at Apple Inc.

As much as I deeply love Apple it was one of those things where it was just time for me to move on. The constraints of working a retail job have been a challenge to my personal creative pursuits for some time so after six and a half year I’ve decided to move on (for now at least).

Today marks the beginning of something else entirely. Today I am leaving on what I hope to be the first of many road trips across the United States, during which my goal will be to write and publish a photo set daily from the road.

On this trip I will be accompanied by the always awesome and always funky fresh James Vest. The two of us will be exploring our way down to New Orleans and back over the course of 8 days.

We’ll be reaching out on Twitter to crowd-source the things we do in each city and others are welcome to meet up with us if they so choose.

I have to cut this short as I still have a few things to take care of before hitting the road. Expect another blog later today but in the meantime here is how you can follow us:

John
Twitter | Flickr | FourSquare | Gowalla

James
Twitter