Photography is a hobby that I've been spending increasing amounts of time on. I bought an entry level Sony DSLR a few years ago, and although it's clunky, I'm always happy when I find a way to cram it into my carry on luggage. I usually really like the outdoor portraits and stills I take (read: I'm total crap with a flash) and thanks to the magic of digital the price tag of trial and error isn't all that high.
When I found out we were going to New Orleans I knew I had to bring "the big camera." It's such a beautiful city, full of pockets of loveliness in unexpected places. Here are some of my favorites from our New Orleans trip.
And speaking of New Orleans and art, I've been interested in the politics of the city for a while but after wandering around and attending a policy conference there I'm pretty inspired to add the following to my (ever growing) "to read" list:
1 Dead in the Attic: After Katrina. This is collection of stories about the year after Katrina. Several of the touristy shops had it on the shelves and I almost picked it up but I knew I could get a used copy for like $1 somewhere and we all know that the big camera and the book were never going to fit inside my "personal carry on item such as a purse" allowed by southwest for the ride home.
Bienville's Dilemma: A Historical Geography of New Orleans. The author, George Campanella, was one of the speakers at the opening plenary of my conference and he was pretty much the coolest nerd I've ever listened to. Clearly this guy would be total shit at a cocktail party but give the man a power point and a laser pointer and he's magical. He mixed geography and sociology in a way that was really pretty captivating.
Hope Against Hope: Three Schools, Once City, and The Struggle to Educate America's Children. The author of this one was also at the opening plenary. And this is probably the book I'm most excited (and most likely) to read. Apparently, post-Katrina, 80% of New Orleans public schools are now charters. I'm pretty anti-charter so I'm excited to read about the complicated politics that got NOLA to that point. Also, the author rattled off a number of fascinating statistics (New Orleans is now spending about DOUBLE per pupal as they were pre-Katrina!) and we all know I'm a sucker for statistic, discussions of equity, and education policy. Too bad it doesn't come out until February.