Monday, September 29, 2008

I Have The Mango

Some local illustration

My third week in New Orleans is underway. The first two weeks have been fairly quiet. There hasn't been an excess of activity yet, which has been good. Plenty of time to enjoy the city and think through whatever it might mean to live here.

Meeting people has been enjoyable, and interesting... One day I met a neighbor. He asked me how I spelled my name. "With a PH," I answered. "Oh! Just like my best friend!" he exclaimed. After a few minutes of conversation he started back toward his porch and said, "Nice to meet you Kevin." Two days later he met me for the first time again, and so I went along with it. "Nice to meet you too."

There is no shortage of interesting characters in the area, and even after two weeks I've seen several people around the city more than once. One of my favorites is Mr. Okra, who drives around in his marvelously decorated truck announcing his fare on a speaker "I have squash, I have watermelon, I have the Mango..."

My neighborhood is a healthy place to contemplate cultural engagement. Everyone is a culture-maker in some way. Basically, as Andy Crouch explains, culture making includes any activity that alters the horizons of the possible for a given group of people. Our neighborhood is populated by many who are relatively materially poor. But even more than that, many of the same people are poor in another sense - they have been convinced that they are incapable of the essentially human task - expanding the horizons of the possible.

For now, I am working on some design projects, leading art activities with kids after school, and working on renovating our church building. Drawings coming soon!

Tributes to St. Roch, the patron saint of miraculous healing.

A fresh one by Banksy, on the 3rd Anniversary of Katrina.

My caricature of Pastor J.B.

From where I sit, with Turkey, Brie, & Apple on Baguette at the Sound Cafe on Chartres.


fergus said...

How exciting!

Cameron Bunce said...

that looks like a whole lot of fun there man,
remembering you

Carlee said...

what did Prophet Watkins think of himself?