Featured Photograph

Bud's Broiler, New Orleans, 2000

This classic greasy spoon at the apex of a triangular intersection in Midtown New Orleans did not survive Hurricane Katrina. A few years before its demise, however, the exterior of the building was used as location in the movie, Monster's Ball, starring Billy Bob Thornton. Whenever he was feeling down, Billy Bob's character went to Bud's Broiler to eat his favorite comfort food, chocolate ice cream. While the interior scenes were shot in a film studio, the exteriors were filmed right here.

I photographed Bud's Broiler two years before Billy Bob Thornton and his film crew discovered it. Waiting for two cars to come along at dusk, I exposed my 5"x7" film for about one minute, capturing the headlight trails as they streaked across space and time.

That same month, I also filmed Allen Toussaint playing his Steinway grand piano at home in a neighborhood just around the corner from Bud's. Both the house and the piano were destroyed by Katrina's floodwaters. After spending most of his life in the Crescent City, the legendary songwriter now calls New York City home.

– Joel Pickford

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