I happened to be a passenger in a van traveling along Beach Boulevard from Ocean Springs to Gulfport last week, and while I occasionally have taken pictures while driving, I can now definitively say that it’s much easier to do while riding. Forced by my compatriots to be a back-seat driver, I made lemonade out of lemons and snapped away, compiling a group of photos that forms a visual commentary of the Mississippi Coast, going on 6 years after Katrina. Thankfully, I had my trusty but bulky Nikon D80 SLR with me instead of my easier Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ5 point-and-shoot, which has too much of a delay to be useful while driving or riding.
No photo of Beauvoir–too hidden by trees to get a long shot while driving past at 45 mph. That’s a sign of renewal though, since the trees were stripped bare after Katrina and I could have gotten the shot then.
My traveling companions, at least one of whom scores several points higher than me on the Snarkiness Scale, dubbed these porticoed, elevated, and fully ramped public restrooms “Taj Matoilets.” I wonder how much more these cost than the simple and easily replaceable non-elevated concrete block structures that more commonly serve the same function on most beachfronts? Never fear though, I’m sure they’ll last through the next big storm. Maybe they could even be used as shelters?
Lots of For Sale signs and big empty lots
But some signs of life . . .
And in Gulfport, the steps to the once-stately First Presbyterian Church now stand beaten up and with no building to lead to. The endangered Markham Hotel and the newish federal courthouse stand in the background.
We turned north toward home on Highway 49 in Gulfport, so we end our journey with the best building in Gulfport, in my humble opinion, the Gulfport Post Office, opened in 1910 and designed by the Office of the Supervising Architect in Washington DC. Who says government architects can’t be good designers? Unfortunately, the building’s days as a hub of public activity are coming to a close, as the post office is moving to higher ground and no doubt, a more efficient and less impressive building.
Categories: Gulf Coast