Apologies for the delay between posts. I was settling back to Brooklyn, procrastinating, freelance writing and looking for a steady job. (I am still looking, and very much hoping for good news about a recent job interview. Wish me luck!)
So! Where were we? In the first real post about Cinclare, we just finished up touring the main mill. But that still leaves numerous intriguing outbuildings and structures, so let's take a look at those.
The photo below was taken inside the first molasses tank, which has been cut open for storage.
I recently headed north of Baton Rouge with two new pals I met through this blog to see some Civil War sites and other nearby points of interest.
With battlefield exploration, you have to fill in a lot of blanks with your imagination. My own brain supplied vague jumbles of mustachioed men in double-breasted coats fighting each other with bayonet guns and cannons. I'm not going to front--I have not retained a lot of information about the Civil War from high school history class, not that much of it ever sunk in. For me, any battle descriptions go in one ear and out the other, unless it's told with some compelling human element or perhaps if it is acted out in a movie starring Patrick Swayze.
But for those interested and knowledgeable on such matters, I can tell you that we visited the site of the Siege of Port Hudson. Back then, it looked like this:
See those mounds in the illustration? If my sources are correct (and I have no reason to believe they're not), I'll show you what some of those mounds look like now.
Here we have a cluster of abandoned businesses...or are they? As usual, this visit to a rather mundane site in the setting sun's light had a few surprises in store.
My job takes me onto State Street a lot, which strikes me as a sort of shantytown ghetto of off-campus LSU student housing. As for the non-students living on the street, most of them don't look like they're faring so well in the game of life. There is always at least one person of questionable sobriety on State Street, no matter the time of day. When I finished these photos around 5 p.m. yesterday, one red-faced shirtless man was past the questionable stage and was on his way to rip-roaring drunk. When traversing State Street on foot, I just hope I won't get run down by a car as I step into the street to avoid a huge puddle, turn an ankle on one of its many pedestrian hazards, step on discarded underwear, or get hassled by the dudes drinking on the porch who once tried to summon me over.
I'm not sure why it took me so long to notice that these three large buildings were empty, but I suspect it's because their ramshackle appearance is not all that different from most other buildings on the street. I had to visit three times, as the first time my battery died, and the second time there was a team of guys working on the buildings. Are these being renovated, or torn down? It appears they're being renovated, as they're clearing out the junk. I like that they may be preserving old structures, though it's surprising to see such dilapidated buildings get a makeover.
I spent a late afternoon wandering around downtown last week because I decided to go through with my proposed idea, Main Street, Exiled: Disappearing Downtowns, on a new blog Disappearing Downtowns. I will only be here in Louisiana about one more year, so this new blog is a way to keep up the ABR-style photography wherever I roam.
I have now used this title at least twice in previous blog posts, but not on this blog, so no matter.
Kara and I and Miss Lola Mae the chocolate Labrador went out on another bicycle jaunt on Sunday. We encountered numerous dogs, of the "hot" and "stray" and "barking like they wanted to rip out our jugulars" types.
Here is one that falls under the "hot dog" category, on the side of what I decided was an old whistle stop cafe, as it was set right along some train tracks.
If you look closely, you'll see the ghost of what appears to be a hand-painted Community Coffee banner on the building.
I know: BFD. It gets better after the jump.
If you find abandoned buildings, vehicles, and discarded furniture scenic, then Scenic Highway lives up to its name.
Co-explorer Kara and I arrived in this unfamiliar part of town on bicycle with her dog, Miss Lola Mae, trotting alongside for protection.
As Kara, another newcomer by way of North Carolina, observed, it looks almost Caribbean here sometimes. I've never been, but knew what she meant.
The money shot of the day was found just past the corrugated-metal building on the left, and is found here after the jump.
Sometimes in Baton Rouge, you see an abandoned gas station / auto repair shop like this one, just after Gustav...
...and it's got a lot of crap lying around, including in this case, a pom-pom.
But overall, big whoop.
Other times, like this new view of another abandoned auto shop (courtesy of the hurricane), it's appealing in a beautiful decay way and even reveals some hidden cars.
Still others might have interesting guts, but you can't see in.
I even have one additional car shop in the coffers, but it's part of the next post.
But all of the above are trumped by the creep factor of the following ex- gas station/ auto sales & repair shop, Greenwell Auto Sales.