Monday, April 19, 2010

what is new orleans?*

last summer when i was living in new orleans i saw this interesting little display (for lack of a better term) on the mailbox down the street. the first time i saw it was speeding past on my bike and couldn't stop. later i went back to investigate and pay a past-due cable bill. ANYWAYS... attached to the mailbox were handmade postcards, stamped and addressed to some place in minnesota. the postcards featured scenes of new orleans, some jubilant (a parade, a jazz funeral) and some not so (katrina damage), and on the back were the words "what is new orleans?"
i have to admit that i took a postcard to work on at home and never mailed it in - i just didn't know how to put in so few words and in so little space what new orleans meant to me. i went back just a couple days later and the display/call to action/public art was gone - either all of the postcards had been sent by proud new orleanians with something to say, or they'd been taken down. i still don't know what happened. i thought this might be a type of postsecret to empower a city and unite its residents, and maybe it is... but when you google "what is new orleans," the first link that comes up is the city's wiki page.

to the anonymous postcard posters - i hope your project is going well! although you might want to think about creating a website, just sayin...

*small update: check out this npr article my sister found about a different social experiment along the same lines


  1. this is sweet! you never told me about this!

  2. you never told me either, this is amazing! i love little acts of public art