End of the Line September 28, 2010Posted by Mark Folse in 504, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
In the accidental marsh along Marconi Avenue, once a set of power lines crossed the Orleans Canal and went somewhere. Now there are no power or telephone lines, just the lone guy wire. The street lights are wired underground and so did not work when I came home in 2006, Marconi between Lakeview and City Park was as dark as any country lane, and there was little traffic. You could stop in the road and watch the ducks waddle across from the lagoon to see what the frogs were making such a ruckus about. Further south toward the railroad trestle it was eerie to drive in the pitch black, headlights illuminating the twisted fingers of oak branch that overhang the road, every frightening Disney forest scene replaying somewhere just beneath your stomach.
The iconic bit of wood stands like much of New Orleans, against all odds or common sense, leaning persistently into its last guy wire. One wonders why it’s still here, but it persists in the middle of a marsh because we all have better things to do than to take down old telephone poles.There’s a band playing somewhere, but first we have to eat. And just because it’s no longer in use for its original, practical purpose it serves as a trellis for wild vines, as another roost for the hundreds of water birds in the park, as a reminder that we build our future atop the ruins of the past as almost no other place in America does.