I'd like to see a map depicting the median height of lawns throughout New Orleans.
For months after the storm, it hardly rained, and yards throughout the city remained short, scraggly, and brown. But with summer, the rains returned, and the sub-tropical vegetation exploded. Now, in flooded parts of the city, it's common to see formerly manicured lawns grown thick with jungles of weeds standing as tall as a person.
I would expect a rough correspondence between lawn heights and population: short lawns, people are living there; tall lawns, largely uninhabited. But the correlation wouldn't be absolute. Recently I was driving past my cousin's house in Gentilly, a hard hit part of town. Most of the houses are unoccupied (and many will probably remain so). Most of the yards were rough and wild. But at one of the houses, a man was mowing the lawn. The house itself, was clearly empty. There was nobody around to appreciate the well manicured grass. But they were mowing it all the same.
Does the mown lawn indicate an intention to return? A particularly stubborn sense of civic pride? An exceptionally zealous breed of lawn fanaticism? I'm not sure exactly what it means, but I know it means something.