Friday, September 08, 2006

Maps I Would Like to See: Median Lawn Height

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.


  1. A love for immediate results when he exercises?
    A woman in our neighborhood mows the same few blocks of neutral ground every weekend.

  2. It certainly represents a certain pride of place. I'm hopeful we will start seeing more mown lawns.

    Including mine, which has grown quite due to illness of the teenager I pay to cut it.

  3. Ours doesn't look so good either, but at least the constantly replenished piles of construction debris in the front yard seem to have killed everything, so it's a short, brown, subtle trashy instead of a tall, weedy, in-your-face trashy.