New Orleans has become one of my favorite places to visit since the unfortunate hurricane Katrina destroyed a huge amount of the city. (Okay, that’s a little dark, let me back track…I was 15 when Katrina hit, and my parents weren’t keen on traveling when I was a kid.) Streets lined with abandoned buildings and hotels left to be scrapped and reclaimed by nature make New Orleans a nice pocket for exploring in the south.
Shortly after turning 21, I headed south with two friends to shoot New Orleans. At the top of my life of things to shoot was the abandoned Six Flags. I’m grateful that I took the time to shoot this place despite being the most hungover my 21-year-old-self had ever been. It was January in New Orleans and I was on my college winter break. I booked my tickets last minute, overpaying by a lot, but it was worth it once I landed in New Orleans. We explored a few smaller spots, failed at getting into a hospital in downtown then headed out to explore the Six Flags.
Like a kid in a candy store, when I arrive at Six Flags I couldn’t decide what I wanted to shoot. It was an amusement park that had taken on a whole new roll of entertainment- abandoned entertainment. I started by shooting the downtown area in the entrance that was made to look like Bourbon street. I was still a little angry at Bourbon street for the hangover I suffered, so I didn’t spend much time shooting the downtown area.
I took the time to climb up a wooden roller coaster which was horrifying but amazing at the same time. If you’ve ever gotten to the top of a roller coaster, knuckles white, and looked at the walkway thinking “I’d rather get off here and walk down” your logic is incorrect. Slowly stepping down the wet wooden stairs that seemed to be as narrow as a needle was less than ideal. Apparently that wasn’t enough to stop me from climbing on top of the metal roller coaster across the park, though.
The flying swings and a beautiful Ferris wheel (now tattooed on my shoulder!) made for some beautiful photos as well, and when I returned to school the following week they were the first photos a printed and framed. Even though I struggled to get through the day, by the time the sun set on over the park’s lake, I was stoked that I had made the trip out there. I was also suddenly inspired not to drink before any more of our adventures, which continued in Arkansas.