"You should kiss the ground you walk on if you were born in this country— take it from an old man who once had to wear the Star of David on his shirt. There’s a safety to living in such a diverse place. It’s much more difficult to brainwash a population that is composed of so many different nationalities and so many different viewpoints."
"I wish I’d partied a little less. People always say ‘be true to yourself.’ But that’s misleading, because there are two selves. There’s your short term self, and there’s your long term self. And if you’re only true to your short term self, your long term self slowly decays."
"Let me tell you what’s happening to me. I’m on the PTA at my child’s school, the Secondary School of Journalism in Park Slope. I’m currently advocating on behalf of my child, and seventeen other children whose parents don’t speak English. These kids are from Ecuador, Peru, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, everywhere. These kids have all done very well on their Regent’s exams— I’m talking 90/95th percentile. Very smart kids. They were on their way toward qualifying for an Advanced Regents government scholarship,that would give their parents badly needed money to help in their education. But the fine print of that scholarship says the children need three full years of a foreign language.
And the principal at the school FIRED the Spanish teacher. She is not hiring another foreign language teacher for an entire year, effectively disqualifying all these kids from that scholarship they need. When we try to talk with her about it, she acts like she doesn’t owe us an explanation. When we try to call the Board of Education, they tell us to put it in writing. They get us all excited. They have us think if we write a nice letter, and use good grammar, and use all the correct punctuation, something will happen. Meanwhile another year passes, and nothing. And the kids don’t get their scholarship. You know something like this would never happen at a nice Manhattan school like Stuyvesant.
We’ve got a new mayor and a new chancellor. So we aren’t blaming them. But they need to know how impossible they’ve made it to help our kids. Trying to get something fixed in these schools is like praying to some false God. You call and email hoping that God is listening, and nothing happens. Meanwhile the kids suffer. All these parents that I’m representing are good, simple people. They say: ‘Don’t worry Annette, God is going to fix it. God will make it right.’ I love them. And I love God. But I tell them: ‘God won’t fix it! We’ve got to fix it!’”
New Orleans is a food desert.
It’s weird, I know, because we have a huge reputation for our food—but our soil can’t grow it, not after the storm. Everything comes through the port, down the river, on the highway. Other people bring food to New Orleans to sell. They build grocery stores in Metairie, downtown, Uptown, on Magazine.
But they don’t build in the Lower 9th Ward.
There’s no grocery store there. There hasn’t been one since Katrina in 2005. It’s an extreme low-income neighborhood that depends on a problematic inconvenient public transit systems to cross the city to get any fresh food.
They’re reaching out to local universities and institutions and offering fresh fruit and vegetables to the community—but they’re also offering hope.
OSBG serves as a school, a service institution, and a place of employment for teenagers and young adults from the Lower 9th who want to give back and get more for their community.
But that’s all going to go away without help.
The New Orleans City Council recently passed through new zoning ordinances, and this landmark of the Lower 9th (built by a married couple in 1955 by hand with cypress wood) has to be rebuilt to code. The renovations cost $100,000.
They can’t afford this. They’re a nonprofit barely scraping by. They put together an IndieGoGo campaign, but it’s stagnating at just under $3,000—$97,000 short of their goal.
If they don’t open their building before the summer, the community could lose this resource for good. No garden, no produce, no program, no building.
Please help them in any way you can. Donate a dollar, signal boost, share this post, their link, anything anywhere you can do it. This is important, and soon it could be gone.
I live a pretty risky life doing something that only somewhat interests me.
Don’t know what to do with this one. I just had to put it out there.
Photograph by Jonathan VDK.
There is so much that i love about this picture.
I managed to get the invisible zipper in correctly! Here is a video to help anyone else who has trouble with this one.