Poppy Z. Brite has more on the New Orleans tradition of St. Joseph altars:
The last St. Joseph altar at St. Augustine Church in Tremé, as well as some other pictures of this fascinating church, an irreplacable piece of New Orleans history in general and black New Orleans history in particular that is, of course, being closed by the archdiocese. If this closure goes ahead, as it looks to be doing, it will be possibly the greatest disgrace and worst mistake New Orleans has ever known. At least the worst since they ran the I-10 overpass through the heart of the black business district on Claiborne, taking out dozens of ancient oaks and destroying the soul of a thriving neigborhood. Anyway, I helped set up the altar today. It's been an interesting three days:
Thursday: frantically making cookie bags with tough, hard-bitten St. Bernard Parish survivors in a cramped trailer
Friday: chopping vegetables and cooking casseroles with genteel Catholic ladies in Metairie
Saturday: assembling an Italian altar at a black church with my freak friends
And of course tomorrow I shall spend all day visiting altars, at least nine unless I hear that Bobby Hebert has decided to fulfill his promise of running naked down Poydras Street if his alma mater, Northwestern, wins its tourney basketball game, in which I may skip a few in order to second-line behind him. (Purely in the spirit of a parade, of course!)
Be sure to click over and follow her links. She also wrote an editorial on the closing of Our Lady of Good Counsel.
For basketball fans, particularly like me of the ACC fandom wing of nuttery, y'all might appreciate this additional nugget from Ms Brite:
... I am going to go gloat about LSU's basketball win over Texas A&M. I honestly don't know when I became an LSU fan. It happened when I wasn't looking. If they were playing UNC, though, I'd go Tarheels all the way. Tar is thicker than blood. Or something. I will never buy a Chevy because Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is advertising them. Duke is puke, Wake is fake, but the team I hate is N.C. State. If God is not a Tarheel, why is the sky Carolina blue? Shut up, Brite. You're not making sense anymore.
I will reply to her hatred of N.C. State with the only poem I remember from grade school: God's favorite color may be Caroline blue, but you gotta go to heaven in a red canoe