Fishing to Escape Gentrification (VICE. Nov. 2013).

Moving to New Orleans from Florida in 2000 seemed a really sketchy thing to do at the time. Plenty of my old friends had gotten the hell out of the Sunshine State, but none of them had moved to the South’s murder capital. I figured the city’s vibrant music culture and cheap rents (the key to personal freedom) made it a risk worth taking, and New Orleans looked like the perfect place to hide out as the rest of America marched forward into the corporate maw.

Alas, in the last few years New Orleans has fallen victim to the same kind of gentrification afflicting every other “cool” city. Waves of relatively well-off, seemingly rootless young people have flooded in and co-opted and perverted and “improved” everything from the rents to the cuisine. The trendier parts of New Orleans now feel like Austin, which is to say a bit like Brooklyn, or Portland or… you get the idea. Invited here by politicians and other opportunistic natives, money and its attendant cultural trappings have more or less killed our blessed isolation and, in turn, a bit of the romance of living here. Where New Orleans’s landscape was not long ago dotted with beautiful, naturally occurring acts of originality by many different races, nowadays you can’t throw a gluten-free small-plate entrée without hitting a young, healthy, upwardly mobile person intent on creating something “cool.”

In times like these I’m thankful that fishing will never be cool.

The ocean was my escape from the entitled jocks and nitpicky, conservative old folks of my Floridian childhood (I still maintain that if you stand on the shore with your back to humanity, Florida is one American’s nicest states). I have recently run back to the water to get away from New Orleans’s trendy, tattooed and pierced lookalikes. The ancient art of fishing has become my antidote to encroaching gentrification. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE @ Vice Magazine…

Or check out one of my buddy Jared’s nature videos! 

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