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Photo Essay: Love Yours NOLA


New Orleans is a city that always someone inspires me. It’s full of so much culture, beautiful people, and amazing architecture. A couple days ago, I was inspired, by what started as just a trip to grab a quick bite to eat, which ended up turning into a couple hours of exploration around a neighborhood called Treme. During the exploration, I noticed a couple of things, particularly gentrification, and how I could literally go from one block and see a predominately Black community, and another and see several whites riding on bikes. The things is, the two didn’t seem to interact much with each other. It was as if they lived two separate lives without acknowledging it other. As I got home to edit some of the photos, I was inspired by J Cole’s song “Love Yours.” Each time I visit NOLA, I see a huge transformation happening in the city, but it’s never usually for the people who originally lived there. Thousands of people are migrating in, and (appear) to be out of touch with what existed previously. When you explore the city, you’ll see real moments that make you think of real things. “Heart beating fast…let a n*gga know that he’s alive.”  You’ll see real life moments from real life people. “So tell me momma please why you be drinking all the time? Does all the pain he brought you still linger in your mind?” It’s an authentic culture that’s inescapable. “There’s beauty in the struggle.”

While I could’ve taken the time to pinpoint which lyrics I think lined up with each picture, I think I’ll leave this one open for interpretation. This is my first photo essay, LOVE YOURS NOLA. -Mike Orie