June 12, 2018

A Southern Journey from the Summer 2018 issue. 

I am again driving through the moon-flecked summer night, the hot dead bugs against my windshield summer night, the benzene-sulfur-streaked chemical stacks streaming into the gleaming Gulf summer night. It is so damn hot down here, so sultry, but I don’t want to turn the air-conditioning on in my little red fuel-efficient rental vehicle; I want to breathe in the heat, bathe in the heat, dance with it! And I happen to find a watering hole where I can do just that, in the belly of the belly of the belly of the beast. The Neon Moon Saloon, a cement-floor biker bar in industrial Houston. There’s a lively game at the billiard table, rough red-faced men at the wooden bar, a glowing neon cabinet of booze. It is an end-of-the-world type of place, and this is the end of the world.

June 06, 2017

On the morning of August 28, 2005, I evacuated New Orleans with my parents, less than twenty-four hours before Katrina came ashore, driving fourteen-foot storm tides ahead of it. We spent hours on the five-mile bridge over Lake Pontchartrain, watching Lawrence of Arabia in the back seat while waterspouts spun beyond our windows. When I woke up the next morning in Nashville, a newscaster in a dry poncho was standing near the Superdome; she talked only of wind damage. 

April 27, 2016

Elysium is an examination of the diminishing urban forest of New Orleans, forever altered by a 70% canopy loss due to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and further destroyed by rescue and restoration crews in the wake of the storm and in the years since.

May 10, 2016

After Katrina, a New Orleans soccer team comes home.

In February 2006 we picked up the pieces of our season. Again we were a traveling band of groupies, following our sons.

August 28, 2015

During those few months immediately following the storm, when there was much concern about the city’s diminished population, any critical mass of people felt strangely victorious, a desperate grab at a handful of social fabric. O’Neil’s memorial was a loaded moment of many loaded moments in the new New Orleans, a place and time when everything you did carried meaning.

August 24, 2015

In the ten years that have passed since Hurricane Katrina, David G. Spielman has documented New Orleans’s ever-changing landscape in haunting black-and-white haunting images that chronicle endurance, neglect, and recovery.

August 20, 2015

I would like to tell the story of New Orleans. I would like to do so in simple, declarative sentences. I would like my narrative to be neat and linear, like I learned in school and on television. Do not think me unequal to the task.

August 18, 2015

There’s a strong breeze from the South and petals are flying off flowering trees. We can smell the briny Gulf of Mexico. Dozens of new seedlings have been planted and braced so they can set roots. Audubon Park used to get the attention, but City Park’s spruced up and all promise. Covering thirteen hundred acres in Mid City, this has become everyone’s park.

August 18, 2015

The Country Club is a pale yellow, classic nineteenth-century Creole mansion with a grand front porch. Inside are fifteen-foot ceilings, polished hardwood floors, and palms 
in pots. People dine in the house’s rooms, and there’s a bar in the back near the pool where Anne, on her way to the bathroom, saw a naked woman ordering a drink.

February 25, 2015

An interview with filmmaker Holly Hardman.

Good People Go To Hell, Saved People Go To Heaven is not an uncritical film, but it’s also not a polemic. The story unfolds as a delicately probed and fairly portrayed panorama of people and belief that is both touching, at times, and terrifying.