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Ice-Box Art: Hot Words in the French Quarter

In New Orleans' exuberant French Quarter, even a discarded refrigerator can be a canvas for artistic or political expression.

Elsewhere, hurricane cleanup crews may be content to set the smelly iceboxes on the sidewalk and forget about them. But here, residents have begun dressing up their cast-off coolers with feathers, bow ribbons, and enough cold commentary to give a political leader the chills.

One French Quarter fridge is addressed as though for delivery to President Bush at the White House -- COD.

Another scolds New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.

And a third sarcastically recalls the "great job" Mike Brown was said to be doing, shortly before he was put on ice as FEMA's man in charge of disaster relief.

In other parts of the city, the ubiquitous sidewalk refrigerators have become temporary venues for advertising ("This space for rent?"). But in the French Quarter, the main goal seems to be humor rather than commerce.

At least, one hopes that's the case. One outdoor refrigerator is sealed up with duct tape and a handwritten warning: "Do Not Open. Mother-in-law Inside."

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Horsley is NPR's Chief Economics Correspondent. He reports on ups and downs in the national economy as well as fault lines between booming and busting communities.