Thursday, October 2, 2008

Time stood still

Thursday- Today we went to Baton Rouge to meet Thomas Neff. It was a nice drive and such a nice day. We got to hear about what he did when the storm hit, and we looked at his silver prints. We went to a near by po'y boy place to eat lunch and then we all went to Barns and Noble and supported him by buying his book. After we got back Becky, Ryan, Keith, and I went back to Lakeview to give Chuck some images and say thank you for being so generous. We then went to this abandoned Elementary School. It was sad and creepy in a way. It was as if the momment in time was frozen. There were projects still hung on the walls and the water lines were still along the walls of the school. We met a local that came in and said that the Lakeview area was once the more populated area and only 33% came back after the storm. It was sad to think these kids left thinking they would be back in a few days and never came back. Some may have moved to a new city, others are probably in a new area of the city, and others could have lost their lives.

The best experience for any photo journalist

Wednesday- We meet Robert who lost is mother and grand daughter in the storm. He has met everyone you can think of because he was one of the first to come back and live in his trailer in the lower 9th ward. He will be receiving one of Brad Pitts make it right houses. Hopefully by the next time I come to see him he will be in his house. He is one who deserves it the most. We had one of the best experiences we could have yesterday. We got to meet some of the Times Picayune photographers and ride with them on there assignments for the day. It was so cool. I went with Jennifer Zdon and got to hear what it's like being a woman in the field and her sad Katrina stories. After words she looked at my images and we all got the Katrina book filled with all of the images they took over the last few years. This book is filled of amazing photos of all the people we meet and more. After the Times we went to the Chalmette Battle field. It was a fun relaxing sunset walk. At one point Antonio had a bright idea to go over the open in the fence from the cemetery to the walk way. So Becky, Ashley, and I followed and as soon as we all got two feet over we realized we were walking in a big grass puddle. It was pretty funny.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

First Post of the Week

This is my seconded trip and it has already been just as good as the first one. We left Minneapolis at 3:15 p.m on Saturday. We arrived in New Orleans at 9:00 p.m. Sunday morning I was up for sunrise shooting at 6:30 a.m. We went to Laffite LA, to drop Anthony off. It was an hour drive from the city and we weren't to excited about it at first, but it ended up being a really cool experience. I meet a Keith Harrison who was sitting in this chair in front of a pile of garbage left from Gustuav. He told me his job was to sit there and issue tickets to people that were dumping the wrong things. People were allowed to dump anything other than vegetation and anything electric. Later back in the city we took a Katrina tour. A lot of it was things I knew, but there was some things I did not know that were very interesting to learn.

Monday morning began at 6:30 once again. This time we went over to lakefront and the lower 9th word. I met some people again that were telling us about Brad Pitts foundation make it right houses. They seem to be bigger and very modern like, not the original New Orleans style of houses.

Today- Tuesday morning shoot once again at 6:30. I went with Becky, Ryan, and Keith to the Lakeview area. A lot of the houses were coming back strong. It seems to be a common thing now which was not the case in March when I was here. We were lucky to meet Chuck Byrne who is 60 years old and has lived in his FEMA trailer for two years now. He sad a quote today that stuck he said 2 years in 200 sq feet. That's how long he's been in the trailer and how big it is. His story was so sad like many others. His old house stood up on stilts now behind his trailer, Marked with the x also like so many. He said He evacuated before Katrina hit with his wife and two daughters. They left food and water for the pets for three days. They didn't think they would be away for longer also like so many others. When they came back there house had water up to the street signs. His daughter found her rabbit dead and there bird and snake were rescued. His wife was devastated and wanted to start fresh somewhere else. Chuck on the other had couldn't leave his house he had grew up in it and wanted to pass it on to his daughter. Currently Chuck is leaving in the FEMA trailer and rebuilding his house on his own free time. His wife and he are divorced and his youngest lives in Tampa with his ex wife and his oldest lives just in mid city. His dog spunk was hit by a car after the storm and lost one leg. Even though this man lost his home he had grown up in, he was divorced after the storm, and is still having trouble getting the money he needs to rebuild, he still has a good look on the future and life. I also got to go visit Ms. Gibbs today who I met last time. She is an elderly lady and young at heart. She was so glad to see me come back and give her pictures I took when I met her in March. I hope to keep coming down here and visiting these people. The things I have learned from these pepoles stories is remarkable. I admire them and there stranght to keep going each and every day and to just be happy to be alive and well.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Google Map

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Here is a map of some of my Locations that are confirmed. there are others still in process just finishing final arrangements 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


My ideas for this essay:
1. Focus on the people of New Orleans ( I want to focus on the non-profit organizations that are helping people wether that be with food, housing, or re-building. I also want to incorporate the children of New Orleans.)

2.My last resort if I can't do my first story would to expand my last essay on the new and old. The rebuilding and the damage still left from Katrina.

Helpful Links/Contacts:

Rebuild New Orleans
Jon Skvarka
Event on October 3rd

Save Our Schools-New Orleans
Angela Daliet

Common Ground Relief

Seconde Harvest-Food Pantry
Debora Fleming

Boys and Girls Club
Keith Boone

Backstreet Culture Museum
$5 addmision

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Reflection on When The Levees Broke

Watching When The Levees Broke for the second time was harder to watch than the first time I watched it. It made me angry the first time, but I was even more angry the second time. I can’t believe that the people had to go through that and they were called refugees of all things. Our government were calling these people that were going through so much, something that they were so far from being. They really should have been calling them brave and heroic. The thing that bothers me the most is that our president should have gone to help right away, but it took him two weeks to do anything. That’s our president who is supposed to have the peoples best interests in hand.
Watching this after being there is so hard. I met a few of the people that lost everything including their loved ones and after all of the things they saw and still see around them everyday, they still have faith and love. These people want to rebuild their homes and lives and they can’t.
In Act 2 there was a shot of a United State of America Canvas on a fence. When I saw that tears came to my eyes because I took a picture of that when I was there and it was in my essay. That fence was in the lower 9th word behind and next to houses that were damaged and left behind. I hope that going back I can continue on trying to show people things still need to be done and now after Gustav they need food, water, and power once again.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Essay on American Experience

Essay on American Experience: New Orleans Ch. 10

When I was watching the video I knew I wanted to do this essay on chapter 10 because it was about how after hurricane Katrina New Orleans decided to pick up the pieces and plan to have Mardi Gras despite the fact that the city was no ware near recovery. A lot of people wondered why they would still go through with Mardi Gras that year. Some people thought they should not let Katrina take away another thing from the city and others thought people wouldn’t come for the festival.
New Orleans is surrounded by water, but full of music, culture, food, and parties. The people that truly new what New Orleans was all about they understood why after so much devastation and loss, they would still have the biggest party of the year. People in New Orleans said, “What we do is have a good meal and go dance.” And that is exactly what they do. When the time came for Mardi Gras people needed a party and celebration to keep their sanity.
From personal experience I found that the city was very much full of life. Even thought it is still struggling to make a come back it’s full of music, culture, and fun times. I felt like there was this music ghost following you around. You would be in the car and there was jazz on just about every channel, walking by a house people were sitting out side with music in the background. I find it very interesting and poetic that a city with such loss can still kick up there feet to some good food and music.