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Katrina Killed the Klown | by Keoni Cabral
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Katrina Killed the Klown

MORE PIX: My set of abandoned New Orleans Six Flags here.






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:


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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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Taken on December 1, 2009