New Orleans House Party: The death of Dylan

Rose, whose house we cleaned the day the day before, turned up in Slidell. She's a tour guide and quite knowledgeable about the history of N.O. She showed us the main two breaches in the levees: 17th Avenue and London Avenue. We also went to the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard Parish, where there was an 8-mile breach in the levee. The main hurricane storm surge came right up MR GO (Mississippi River Gulf Outlet), which is in this area.

We couldn't really go into the Lower Ninth Ward, as Rose said they are still finding bodies in that area. We did see a huge shrimp boat, beached right in the middle of the street near where Rose lives. It was so strange to see it still there after seven months--a monument to the destruction that Katrina brought.

After the tour, we went to Larry's house on Catina Street. He lives in the Lakeview area of New Orleans. Larry is a white man in his early 40s, with a goatee, glasses, and a Harley shirt. He'd had hundreds of Bob Dylan CDs and albums, he said, but they were all trash now. He was pretty cool about losing his collection and stated that the collecting was the fun part.

At Larry's house we stripped all his drywall and bathroom tile. We were told to change our respirator masks at least every three or four hours. Some of us had developed coughs from breathing in all the mold and mildew.

We went out that night to the French Quarter. We ate a place called the Gumbo Shop, which was very good. We walked around the parks and the promenade that leads to the Mississippi. It was beautiful and appeared untouched by Katrina. It seemed weird that only a few blocks away there was so much destruction.

Words and pictures by Adam Craven

Editors note: Last month, Adam Craven, a graphic designer for City Pages, barreled down I-55 to New Orleans in a caravan of five rented minivans. Along with a crew from his Minneapolis church, the Rock, he spent a full work week cleaning out houses in Louisiana. This is part four of a five-part series.
Day One, Day Two, Day Three, Day Four
, Day Five


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