While I was going on my little bike ride in New Orleans I made a quick stop on the river side of Audubon Park, next to the Zoo. There is a cool tree there – an ancient (planted circa 1740) and enormous live oak. Locals call it the “Tree of Life” – its official name is the Etienne de Boré Oak. It’s a beautiful spot – very popular for wedding photographs – and was worth a look even on a rainy and overcast cold day.
I noticed a work crew with a highlift and a series of ladders working around the tree – laying down plywood for stability in the muddy soil. A van pulled up and discharged a couple of women drinking hot coffee. They walked over to the workmen and began to plan a project.
Walking around, I found a large collection of finely detailed birdhouses. Most were still in a pile off to the side, but a bunch of them had already been hung off the branches, mixed in with the Spanish Moss.
It was pretty cool – I wished that I could stay and see them all hung up there – but I had places to be so I peddled on.
Now I have had time to look up the installation online. It was an advertisement for an online peer to peer house rental company, Airbnb.com. Each of the birdhouses had been carefully made as a tiny duplicate of real homes that are for rent on their service.
Neat little advertising gimmick, if you ask me.