The Picture

What came before.

The city that care forgot. That’s us. New Orleans. Even as some areas are gentrified and priced out of the locals ability to buy or rent, others still languish almost 16 years after they were flooded by Hurricane Katrina.

It’s likely that many of these neighborhoods were failing long before the storm did its thing and put the final nails in their coffins.

And, that’s too bad. In this day and age of low housing stock and extreme rising costs of home ownership or rental, these flooded houses might have been able to reduce the pain.

However, these old buildings have been sitting for a long time. The city deems them unrepairable and demolishes them. I suppose that might be the way to go. But, it seems wrong to me even though I know it costs less to build something new rather than to restore and rebuild.

And, you wonder where my weird dreams come from?

Mix real life New Orleans with other real life experiences with whatever is buried in my brain and you get strange dreams.

I’ll write more about part of my dream in the next coming days. I haven’t forgotten. I can’t forget.

When I first photographed this abandoned house, the bushes and trees were green but manageable.

The next time I went back everything was overgrown. And then, the last time I returned everything was dying in place.

I haven’t been back in a while. I suspect that by now the little remaining wood of the house has started to rot. The bushes aren’t dying because they have truly been embedded themselves in the ruined building.

Photographing them is easy. It’s really just documentary work, and presenting the pictures to you.

As always.

One more thing. I’m starting to lose direction. I replied to a friend, that for me, social media has become a waste of time. It started from a question of privacy. She posted something on her blog and I started receiving ads for it here, on Storyteller.


I’ll let you know, but I’m giving serious thought to ending Storyteller after 11 years of almost daily posting.

When I started this blog I thought it would be a way to generate work in one form or another. That hasn’t happened. I thought it would be a good way to build a community. I’ve grown a good number of readers but I never hear from you.

I read a lot of other blogs. I started looking at some of their comments. They get 80 or 90 on each post. At best, I get two or three on every other post, or something like that.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s me. I don’t know what it is about me but it is me.

They say with age comes wisdom. Understanding “It’s me” is very wise. I think.



12 responses to “The Picture”

  1. Love Alone Avatar
    Love Alone

    Reblogged this on Love & Love Alone.


  2. Sharon E. Cathcart Avatar

    I feel you, Ray. I am often disheartened by the lack of interaction; you and a couple of others are the only ones.

    At the same time, I know I’m guilty of reading, hitting “like,” and not saying much quite a bit of the time. I need to do better.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      Maybe. I don’t know how many followers you have. But, I have some 16,000 between email and reader followers. Certainly, that many people should generate some kinds of discussions.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sharon E. Cathcart Avatar

        I am a little shy of 300, so the volume is definitely smaller.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Leah Avatar

    I really enjoy your work and I will miss it if you discontinue Storyteller. My activity per day is really limited by a fatiguing chronic illness and that’s why I don’t comment and converse much; usually only on a few other cat-themed blogs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      Thank you so much. We’ll see what happens after I start to recover a bit.


  4. Judi Castille Avatar

    I know what you mean too. I followed a blog, it was witty suddenly yes a good read, but there was a huge amount if commenting. I couldn’t quite understand why. I still don’t understand social media’s key. I am glad we catch up. I would miss not catching up, so don’t go too far?
    Maybe try blogging once every couple of weeks. It’s not so spontaneous which has its downsides, but we still get to see your photos and hear those backstories.
    I like this photo. I like abandoned places to dream about what might have been. But often I wonder why so often these places are so beautiful yet unused. Madness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      Social media’s key like most of the current crop of photo contests is about sharing things that people like. You see that on Instagram almost everyday. Me? I come from the school of Neil Young who said, “Whenever I find myself in the middle of the road I head straight for the gutter where things are a lot more interesting.” Basically, he follows his muse, as I do mine.

      If you read today’s Storyteller, you’ll see what I’m going to do. Since, I can’t auto transfer everyone, I’ll only take those with whom I actually have a relationship of some kind. Of course, you are included.

      As far as back stories go, I really haven’t been doing that for a long time. If you could open the media component of Storyteller, you’d understand that I’ve been photographing the same stuff for the last five years. In fact, there was a picture I had in mind of the ghost house in New Orleans. In my mind’s eye I saw people in the middle background and a streetcar in the background. Sounds like a nice picture, yes? I shot it three years ago and forgot about it.

      Oh, that used place? It had about 15 feet of water in it during Hurricane Katrina and that water sat for about 6 weeks. Even though it was still standing, I doubt it was structurally sound in any way.


      1. Judi Castille Avatar

        Glad your transferring me over…its the same with design…many artists produfantastuc work, but very repetative and predictable. I am mot keen to do tgat. Bit like my life so far, I like risks, challenges and wandering. Funnily Tony always drives the same route to our factory. Now we tend to do things seperate more due to our businesses, I take many different roads. I get bored and that makes me anxious. Off to read your post. Exciting.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

        I have a pretty large group of followers. But, most of them are ghosts or have left blogging. I have a much smaller group of those I actually talk to. All of you are coming with me.

        For me, it depends. If it”s a place that I go to repeatedly, I find the most efficient way of getting there and don’t vary. If I’m out and about I tend to take the long way home as they say. In either case I always have a camera which is not my phone.


      3. Judi Castille Avatar

        Can’t see today’s post. Last one I can see was the Blue photo.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

        Sometimes, it’s timing. You are ten hours ahead of me.


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