I was crouched down on the pavement in near-100-degree heat and 90% humidity, my camera aimed at one of the thousands of potholes that dot New Orleans’ streets, when a car pulled up.
The window rolled down and the driver stuck her head out wanting to know if I was photographing that crumbling street because it had done damage to my car (it happens a lot).
No, I told her, just taking some photos of potholes.
“Go back by Upperline,” she told me. That was, in fact, the street where I was headed next.
For New Orleanians, such infrastructure headaches are just a part of life in their beloved city. Potholes, sinkholes, crumbling sidewalks, abandoned buildings, and houses falling down mingle with gorgeous 200-year-old mansions, historic streets, gleaming new city centers, and the modest homes of folks just trying to get by.
Some issues seem like a no-brainer when it comes to city planning. Of course, damage is par for the course in a city as old as New Orleans. Much of it is still left over from the wrath of Hurricane Katrina, even 11 years later. But we adapt to these all-too-common infrastructure eyesores and make the best of it. That’s what New Orleans does.