All tagged CITY

The city after dark

"What's that?" my husband said. Even in the dim streetlights, I could clearly see what he was pointing at: a big gob of spit on the driver-side window of my car, which had oozed down all the way into the door handle I would now have to open. 

I went to the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans last week.

If you can imagine acute poverty patch-worked in with overgrown southern jungle, then maybe the Lower Nine won’t unsettle you the way it did me.

I’ve always thought of poverty as being loud. Traffic and corner stores. Voices yelling and music playing from an apartment on another floor. But in the Lower Ninth Ward, sometimes the only sounds I hear are the tires of my rental car passing over the ruptured pavement and my own breath as I peer out the window.

For a dollar

We had just parked our car on 6th street. We were going to dinner in, as they say, an up-and-coming part of town. Where restaurants with one-word names take over laundromats and quick-marts. Where twenty-somethings move in to shabby wood-slat homes. Hang a few strings of bistro lights.

When a woman passed us on the sidewalk going the opposite direction.