Harlem Plantation, Plaquemines Parish, LA

I found out about this house while Googling for things to photograph in Plaquemines Parish. There isn’t much information on the internet other than that it was built in 1840 and is considered architecturally significant as an example of the shift from French Colonial to Classical architecture in south Louisiana. I have no idea who owns it now, but it obviously hasn’t been lived in in decades. Sad to say, but I think this one is beyond saving. I wasn’t even 100% sure it would still be there when I set out, the most recent photo I was able to find was the Google Street View for that stretch of Louisiana Highway 15, dated October of 2013. But it was right where the GPS coordinates said it would be.

I didn’t have very good light, it was midday on a totally cloudless day so it was very hard. These are just my cell phone shots, I also shot some B&W in my Viv and Ektar in my Argus C3—haven’t taken that one out in a while. I forgot what a satisfying “ping!” the shutter on that one makes.

Harlem Plantation

Harlem Plantation

Harlem Plantation

Harlem Plantation

Harlem Plantation

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Old house on the River Road, Pointe a la Hache, LA

Between Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon, Pointe a la Hache lost over 50% of its population, so there are a lot of abandoned properties in the town, especially along LA-15, which runs parallel to the east bank of the Mississippi River. Hope and I picked one more or less at random to photograph.

Old House

There was some damage around to the back of the house, nothing that looked like it would be impossible to fix. But if whoever lived there lost a steady income thanks to the oil spill, maybe they couldn’t afford even minor repair. Or maybe they just couldn’t afford to keep it up; those old houses need constant repair, and they are really hard to heat and cool. It’s sadly ironic that what made them suitable for the climate in the days before central air/heat—raised off the ground, high ceilings—now makes artificially cooled/heated air leak out of them like water through a fishnet. Too, since the levees were built they don’t get as much natural a/c from river breezes. And of course insulation has come a long way in the last 100 years.

Old House

Someone’s keeping the property mowed, but the house is starting to both sink and crack, and vines are growing over the outside. Left to itself, it will be unrepairable within not too many more years.

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St. Thomas Cemetery, Pointe a la Hache, LA

St. Thomas Cemetery

The cemetery wasn’t all that interesting, but I liked these peeling old statues found at the back.

St. Thomas Cemetery

St. Thomas Cemetery

The weird swirl they elected to use in place of an O gave me True Detective flashbacks.

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Lomographers of Acadiana: Pointe a la Hache, LA

I had my photography group’s meetup here last month. Pointe a la Hache is the parish seat, but since Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon it’s almost a ghost town. It’s right on the east bank of the Mississippi and the primary business was fishing, so both of those things really hurt the town. There are less than 200 people living there these days, and the only business left is a combination diner/convenience store. (Unless you count the Catholic church.)

The damage to the courthouse precedes the hurricane, though. Some idiot who was about to go on trial in 2002 decided that burning down the courthouse would be a good way to destroy the evidence against him; instead he was convicted of his original crime AND arson. Parish business is now conducted in the town of Belle Chasse; there have been several ballot measures to move the seat there officially but they always get rejected. Sentimental reasons, I suppose.

Plaquemines Parish Courthouse

Plaquemines Parish Courthouse

Plaquemines Parish Courthouse

Plaquemines Parish Courthouse

Plaquemines Parish Courthouse

Plaquemines Parish Jail

Plaquemines Parish Courthouse

Plaqumines Parish Courthouse

Plaquemines Parish Jail

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Fuji Neopan 400: Fort Jackson, LA

I shot one of my precious rolls of Fuji Neopan 400 at Fort Jackson, I thought all that brick would make a good subject for B&W.

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I like this photo because of how the little figures in the distance tricks your perspective into thinking that downed tree is huuuuuge–it was pretty big, but not THAT big!

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Lomographers of Acadiana: Fort Jackson

April’s meetup had to be re-scheduled because of Granny’s funeral, so it was last Saturday. I chose Fort Jackson in Plaquemines Parish, a decommissioned masonry fort from the 1820s. There are a lot of those south of New Orleans, but most of them are closed right now because of Hurricane Isaac. I didn’t find anything online that said Fort Jackson was closed, and in fact there was a Civil War re-enactment there just a couple of weeks ago, so that must mean it’s open, right?


PICT0996, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

*bangs head repeatedly on nearest hard horizontal surface*

FUCKING LOUISIANA, I SWEAR. Of the many, many things that are annoying about this state, top of my list right now is that our parks and historic sites are constantly getting shut down due to hurricanes. And since fixing them up isn’t a budget priority, they stay shut for months or sometimes even years–and then by the time they get them open again, oh hey look out, here comes ANOTHER FUCKING HURRICANE. Katrina shut all the forts down for so long that they were only open for about 18 months before Isaac came along and shut them all down again.

What’s frustrating is there were still lots of people there; even just the outside is pretty interesting, and it’s right on the river. If they opened it and charged a small fee, they would probably have enough money to fix it up by the end of the summer. Maybe I’ll write a letter to whoever is in charge of parks and rec for the state. I’m not going to bother with Jindal, because he’s a Rethug douchebag who doesn’t give a shit about this state outside of how he can use it as a springboard to higher office. Good luck with that, brah.

However, driving through Plaquemines Parish gave me an idea for another shoot. I kept seeing signs for a town called Pointe a la Hache, which I thought sounded interesting, so I Googled it when I got home. It’s the parish seat, but it’s very near where Katrina made landfall, so it got pretty wrecked and only about 200 residents have returned since the storm. So it’s got kind of a ghost town vibe, and there are a lot of ruined buildings. The courthouse was damaged by arson over a decade ago and has been left as is, there’s been a “temporary” courthouse in nearby Belle Chasse since. The parish council has tried 3 times to move the seat to Belle Chasse, but it always gets rejected. Louisianans: we love to pay lip service about how much we cherish our history, but we don’t want to actually spend any money on preserving it. *sigh*


PICT1003, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT1011, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT1008, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT1010, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT1002, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT0999, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT1020, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

PICT1023, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.