I could not have picked a worse week to travel to New Orleans - excruciating heat, Covid pandemic at its peak and a hurricane about to howl into Louisiana coast. First time in New Orleans, however, I eagerly walked the almost empty streets and turned my viewfinder towards a few encounters on my way - the front-line workers. They offered pedicab rides, served beignets, renovated historic buildings downtown, and entertained out of town visitors. Thanks to their perseverance, bravery and willingness to serve, the colorfully lit Bourbon Street was alive with nocturnal tourists and Frenchmen Street was filled with sounds of jazz and scents of late-night food.

The week was coming to an end when hurricane Ida struck the city with the strongest winds in Louisiana’s history. I returned home safe and turned my thoughts to the people in this series and their close ones. The storm washed away their hopes and knocked out power leaving them completely in the dark grappling with devastation and flooding. As the New Orleanians make a comeback and the Covid pandemic ebbs, I am envisioning another trip to the Big Easy curious to see what characters and scenes will get in front of my camera.

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