Katrina Killed the Klown

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    - - Photo I took in 2009 at an abandoned 6 Flags amusement park in New Orleans, compliments of 2005's Hurricane Katrina. A park that, at one point, sat beneath 8 - 10 ft. of flooded waters. Sometime after drying out, someone spray painted 'Six Flags 2012 coming soon' on the wall above the downed and dearly departed clown head. But they were clownin.' Six Flags will never rebuild there.

    My 'breaking and entering' story here:

    - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    New Orleans. What a place! What a world unto itself. Its rusted, moldy, empty Six Flags park symbolic and emblematic of a sad, stormy past that still affects its troubled present.

    Ohhh -- if only you could have joined me at the Louisiana dead end of dead amusement rides. In the faded, nearly forgotten Six Flags.

    I spotted the haunted lines of its empty roller coaster from the Ninth Ward off Interstate 510 while playing tourist in 2009, promptly begging a friend to pull over in order to illegally investigate. She relented.

    Adults instantly transformed into jittery kids, we found an open gate -- infiltrated it -- and proceeded to sneak around the 'End of World' setting, half expecting mangled Zombies to creep out of the shadows at any moment. So, sooo surreal. An adrenaline enhanced experience I'll NEVER forget. It was like exploring an eerie junkyard theme park on ecstasy, the sick criminal cousin of Disney World. In a good way.

    I could have spent days, if not weeks snapping pictures on the lonely grounds. But we could only stay for as long as Mother Daylight allowed. Which was about 45 minutes.

    But for that short period that seemed like hours -- man oh man, it was too good to be true! We had the ENTIRE ruined site to ourselves. At least until we spotted slivers of movement across the way and nearly ran, thinking it the Po Po. The police.

    Turned out to be 3 teenage friends wandering in amazement, just as we were. When we approached the wide-eyed group, they said they initially thought we were security (especially since we were wearing black shirts) and almost fled themselves. We all laughed at the revelation, shook hands, compared notes and moved on.

    Soon after, with darkness calling as well as the reality of other breathing things called 'humans' in proximity, the special solitude of the place lost its luster. And with the fear of the Po Po fresh on the brain, we quickly left.

    Later, I read of a handful who had been arrested on the property for trespassing; so our fears may have been justified. However, many more got away with the same as you can find tons of online pictures featuring the site.

    Since then I've seen conflicting reports on the fate of the park, with a few pegging it for demolition. Too bad. So sad.

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    MORE PIX: Set of abandoned New Orleans Six Flags here

    Pajarita Frenetica, Dróid, and 50 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 5 more comments

    1. Keoni Cabral 38 months ago | reply

      Thanks Droid, you're too kind.
      too true, too true...

    2. Julie A. King [deleted] 38 months ago | reply

      That's such a great shot.

    3. joeysoliver 37 months ago | reply

      Great shot again sir. wow. I read this and got excited doing so. I know now that shooting is my thing if your image and your story of this photo expedition got me this stoked. I'ts still original for you so there!

    4. lyd.ium 37 months ago | reply

      Very interesting series! Great mood of abandonance

    5. nwestphoto 37 months ago | reply

      These r some great shots. I like the way the shadow cuts across the eye. Nice stuff!

    6. jcc55883 37 months ago | reply

      Reminds me of the poem "Ozymandias" by Shelly. There's a line that runs; " ... on the sand, half-sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown and wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command, tell that its sculptor well those passions read." Talk about coulrophopia!!! (I think that's what they call fear of clowns?).

    7. flatKat 37 months ago | reply

      Like this processing a lot! Did you have this out a bit brighter before? or am I experiencing flickr weirdness again?

    8. Keoni Cabral 37 months ago | reply

      I knew there had to be a term for the extreme fear of clowns, just didn't know what it was! : ). Also, I found Ozymandias online as I hadn't read it before, the line is a great association!

      Thanks and good memory, you are correct! I had this up previously with much brighter colors. I had used Picasa at the time but just got Photoshop and wanted to reprocess it with a darker feel. Ok, just figured out what the deal is with the flickr weirdness u mentioned before: if I reprocess a previously posted, etc, I occasionally change the date so it shows on my front page, that's why it wasn't showing on your side...

    9. olydemon 37 months ago | reply

      Great work Keo!

    10. dididumm 37 months ago | reply

      He's still smiling. Creepy clown.

    11. dbr7 37 months ago | reply

      There's something about derelict amusement parks that I find chilling but also really interesting. Great stuff!

    12. CHIO.SUA. 37 months ago | reply


      An extraordinary use of color

    13. psychoticadvisor 36 months ago | reply

      You mean there are people who fear clowns? *Gasp* That's so prejudiced!

    14. CandMllsp 34 months ago | reply

      Love the creativity in your shots!!!

    15. IanLudwig 34 months ago | reply

      Very dramatic shot. The whole set is good but I think this one is the best.

    16. Bernice Wagnitz 26 months ago | reply

      I also saw this piece much brighter with color, unless someone used it in a piece of collage I've seen. I loved your clown since my eyes first saw it. I am not afraid of clowns but understand some people are, to a great extent and just as many that love them so Yeah for all the Clowns in the universe.

    17. alisonreed 21 months ago | reply

      yep got arrested here. came from florida to celebrate st. patrick's day, tagged along with friends who heard about. none of us even knew it was trespassing. the cops love the money they get from the fines.

    18. Project Casting 19 months ago | reply

      This picture is wonderful! I'd like to use it in our blog www.projectcasting.com scheduled for posting October 4, 2012, with your name given with photo credit and a link back to your flickr page. If you do not wish to have your work reproduced then please email me back at admin@projectcasting.com with a link to the picture and I'll have it removed from our postings. Thank you for sharing on creative commons!!!

      amazing photo collection!

    19. steveanaya 6 months ago | reply

      Crazy shot! I've seen this in many mentions about the "Abandoned Six Flags in NOLA". KUDOS!!

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