ELYSIAN FIELDS LOST
by Jeffrey Murrell

These are all photos taken in/of New Orleans years before Hurricane Katrina struck.

The place has always been so dirty and dangerous that it should have been declared a federal disaster area way before then!


New Orleans City Hall.
Since I moved away in 1991, they put a really tacky, Vegas-style neon sign where it says CITY HALL. Fortunately, however, Katrina blew most of it off the building!


Bourbon Street by day
(drunks all went home already).


Bienville - The "Founder" of New Orleans.
This statue used to be by the train station downtown where you could get shot for $5.00! Around 1997, they moved it to the corner of Conti & Decatur Streets in the French Quarter.


The Louisiana state flag flying in between the Stars & Stripes and the New Orleans city banner.


Urban blight and decay like this was common place all over the city, long before Katrina flooded everybody out and caused so much property damage.


Severe urban blight and trash used to be everywhere, just within sight of downtown skyscrapers.


The St. Thomas Housing Projects!
Run for your life!!!

(Hopefully, these will all get bulldozed now.)
»» UPDATE!! ««


A big ol' pile of tires that sat in this alley not even a mile from downtown for years. Nobody did anything about it!
(Can you say "MOSQUITOS?!?")

More trash and blight right near downtown.


Yes, they lived there in the midst of all that trash, and they were trying to scurry out of sight before I could snap this shot of them!


An average size "Palmetto Bug"
(that's New Orleans for "Cockroach").


A city street pot hole (you wouldn't want to lose your keys down there)!


Brilliant street planning - note the converging "One Way" signs. (You figure it out!)


The house where I found my cat, Pip.


Another shot of the place where I found my cat, Pip.
Ol' Jim, Curley, and the rest lived there.


My cat, Pip, enjoying a cheap beer on the kitchen floor (you can see an actual key to the City of New Orleans hanging on her collar) - Rest In Peace, puss-puss . . .


You think the smog in Los Angeles or Houston is bad?
(circa 1980 or late '70s)


A New Orleans cemetery - people can't be buried underground or they come floating back up!


How would you like to have a
loved one laid to rest here?


And this was a nice day, relatively speaking.


You can count on rain like this at least once,
if not twice, every day in the summer
(it makes getting around sheer HELL).


January 1990 - Snow all over the BIG EASY!
(Yes, it snows there once in a blue moon.)


The A&P store Max would always get me to take him to.

A distant view of the city skyline from the University
of New Orleans' campus on Lake Pontchartrain.


My actual invite to the 1992 REX RECEPTION & PARTY.
(I refused go!)