Returning to New Orleans: a photo essay

Melanie Stetson Freeman, the Monitor's veteran photographer, reflects on a recent trip to New Orleans.

Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor
Mardi Gras masks are for sale in a shop in the French Quarter. Tourism in the city is up, although summer is not high season because of the hot weather. Five years after hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, parts have been rebuilt and are prospering, while others are still derelict.

Recently, Melanie Stetson Freeman, a Monitor photographer for the past 25 years, accompanied staff writer Mark Guarino to Louisiana to photograph New Orleans five years after flooding from hurricane Katrina devastated the city. Melanie has taken numerous trips to capture the effects of the hurricane and the slow rebuilding of a city that she has not only become quite familiar with, but has also grown to love.

“New Orleans is quirky and odd, some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet – music everywhere, wonderful food, just people that you can walk up to and have a great chat with. You know, you’ll go by a park and there will be a band playing and people dancing in the middle of the day. You just never know what you’re going to find around the next corner.”

GALLERY: Melanie’s photos from her recent trip to New Orleans

The duo also traveled to Chauvin, La., to cover the effects that the Gulf oil spill has had on Cajuns living in the region. Check out Mark’s story in the Aug. 9 issue titled, “Oil spill imperils Cajun identity.”

Did you know you can buy photos taken over the past 60 years by Monitor photographers, including Melanie Stetson Freeman? Visit our Photo Store and see many photos from around the world – including some from Melanie’s recent trips to the Dominican Republic; Washington D.C.; and New Orleans.

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