Portland Day 1. Touchdown, get up, get down, get downtown, up & down
Day one of my trip to Pacific Northwest has been a 24 hour window of many ups and downs, both literally and figuratively.
I was leaving Cincinnati with a a lot of emotional reasons why some time away on the other part of the country would be good. Completing one full year at ArtWorks has been both fulfilling and frustrating. Both hopeful and stifling. While I feel very good about where I’ve been able to land after Grad-School the past year has been nothing short of ups and downs. Life ahead of me looks bright, but I very much needed some time away from work and professional endeavors. Several dating relationships have begun and ended in the past year. My hope a year ago was that I would take this trip With someone special rather than continuing to travel the world solo. I’ve had amazing opportunities to see this world of ours and it has enriched my life immensely. However, at 30 I’m tired of seeing beautiful vistas with me, myself, and I. They all agree, it would be better to share the breath taking moments of discovering our world with someone who excites me to discover their world. I left Cincinnati in the midst of a new relationship that had taken a very sharp and unexpected turn to confusion-town. Disappointing, confusing, and any other adjective that says “yeah, just go chill on the other side of the country…. don’t sweat this one for right now.” I’m still traveling alone, but I’m more confident in my ability to read my position in relationships. Sometimes I disappoint, sometimes I’m disappointed.
So nonetheless, getting to Portland when I did was a welcome change of pace. My cousin Laura and her husband Davey have got it made. All of the thought processes I have regarding “standard of living” versus “quality of life” they’ve got it figured out and it’s amazingly refreshing to see. I’m sure neither of them make a ton of money, They are squarely in the modern “middle class” making less than their education and capabilities justify but enough to provide them the means to have an enjoyable life. And boy have they! They have a lovely bungalow home in North Portland in the St. John’s neighborhood. It was probably a kit home back in the day when Sears Roebuck would sell kits and people would assemble their hours themselves. Yeah, those were the days. They work when they need to, but their life is squarely focused on the the things that give them pleasure: fishing, their dogs, their dream of running their own farm, time with each other, and the joys of nature. Never once do you perceive that they are in the pursuit of wealth. They are in the pursuit of happiness. Awesome.
It’s a funny thing when you wake up on the west coast at 4:15 am and realize that you’re body is waking up at its normal time (7:15am) but since you’re on the west coast, it’s earlier. After some coffee and and egg breakfast, Laura and I headed over to Forest Park for a hike/run. I’m not much of a trail runner, but I love running through the woods. There was a great semi-paved (gravel) road within Forest Park that allowed for a picturesque 4.5 mile round-trip run. This will be repeated.
Then it was a bus ride into Portland and let the day come to me. I’ve allowed technology to steer by day more than I initially intended. Between bus directions, a map to get my bearings, and a few brewery recommendations I really dropped the ball with my intention to just talk to people to find my way around the city. I’ve not been as ambitious with that as I have on previous trips.
I.Rode.The.Streetcar. WOOOOOAAAHHHHH!!!! The streetcar and the light rail just sorta blend in here. Which is what should happen. All of the hullabaloo over the streetcar pisses me off for no other reason than it boils down to a “car-entitled” transportation culture versus a “there are other viable options of moving from point a to point b” transportation culture. Yes, the streetcar likely spawned some transit-oriented-development in Portland, but more than that the various modes of transportation available here reflect a true freedom of choice in mobility. “Freedom” and “Choice” are rhetorical terms that conservative, generally anti-multi-modal persons like to throw around. But really it’s the other way around, when your ONLY viable mode of transportation is the automobile, you are imprisoned by giant corporate car companies, oil conglomerates, insurance companies and other private entities. Having options like a streetcar, to me, is real freedom of choice.
Laura and Davey are grilling salmon tonight. I’m stoked! I need to get back that way. OUUUUUUTTTT!
John Cranley is to the Cincinnati Streetcar Project as the Tea Party is to the Affordable Care Act "Obamacare"
If John Cranley’s efforts to revoke the progress made on the Cincinnati Streetcar sounds eerily similar to the Tea Party’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, you are correct because they both reject fundamental principles of American democracy.
American democracy is based on a representational government, in which voters elect persons to represent them in government and make decisions on their behalf. Those decisions are not easy, they are not supposed to be; which is why we should be electing really smart people to be able to see all of the variables and make good decisions on behalf of all of us. But when those decisions are made, they should be finished. Done. Sometimes they align with your political beliefs, sometimes they don’t. But that’s how it works, our elected officials make tough decisions, then they move on to other important decisions. The Tea Party has taken Obamacare to the Supreme Court to test its Constitutionality, the Supreme Court upheld the law. The Tea Party has backed candidates who’s primary political position was anti-Obamacare, however President Obama was re-elected and Democrats retained control of the Senate. The law has been passed, the decisions have been made. As the Tea Party continues to try and undermine the law by defunding it, they are undermining the confidence that any American or any one throughout the world has in our government’s ability to make a conclusive decision, which is fundemental to having any confidence in our government at all. If there is never a point where we move on, then never is ever decided, rendering our democratic process useless. As Thomas Friedman and Bill Moyers state unequivocally, if the Tea Party is successful in their efforts against Obamacare, our entire American Democracy is at stake.
John Cranley is leveraging these same radical Tea Party philosophies against the voted-on, approved, funded, re-voted on, re-approved, and currently-being-constructed Streetcar project. The project was brought forward by City Council in 2008 - both Cranley and Qualls supported the resolution (a resolution is an intent to do something, it’s not a law or city ordinance). The resolution was put on the ballot for the people of Cincinnati to vote on it in 2009, it passed. In 2010, based on this approval issued bonds to fund the project. In 2011 John Kasich and Republicans in Columbus under-cut funding for the project in keeping with Tea Party ideology by attempting to cripple bold visions that support vibrant cities, and the scope of the project was reduced because of this sabotage. In 2011, the people of Cincinnati re-affirmed the project through another ballot initiative.
Our democratic process has vetted this project and has decided it’s future. The bottom-line is that four different iterations of City Council have voted to move this project forward. Move on. John Cranley is connecting to a Tea Party influenced political climate that believes nothing is ever resolved until it is resolved the way they want it. This ideology is reckless, juvenile, irresponsible, and as is playing out in Washington potentially calamitous to our entire way of ruling ourselves. Some may not like democracy, but the alternative is far far worse.
“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”—Martin Luther King Jr.
“A Strong man may not be able to change the circumstance but he compels them to contribute to his life, he may not be able to change the direction of the wind, but he can set his sails so it will carry him towards his destination”—
I’m sitting on the p&b bus back to Boston hoping to make my connections to get to the airport in time. But were in rush house traffic and using the HOV (High occupancy Vehicle) lane which is actually separated from the rest of the lanes. And I’m looking at the other cars and am sickened by the fact that everyone of those cars represents ONE person per car, 1! Why do we do this to ourselves?? Don’t believe the romanticized car commercials showing you blowing down a windy California road or across the Australian outback. No THIS is where you’ll be using your car. Bogged down rush hour traffic! Sick.
Kassie will give me crap for putting this up, because she’s who I told about it first.
Anyway, here we go. So when I was in NYC something hit me about how we perceive place. Much like my post from Wilmington about “over there’s and right here’s” let’s take that a step further and think about how we actually learn about place and perceive place. Outside of where we live immediately, we generally learn about other places or other cities by looking at maps. I love maps! I mean hell, I won the 6th grade geography bee. Maps reveal arrangement of civilizations over vast stretches of the earth. It’s a way of breaking down these enormous places and puts them into metrics that we can understand. If we know 1 inch equals 5 miles, well then you have some where to start from.
When we learn about places outside of our home territory we use these maps. While there are attempts to put place in to context through history and social commentary, I feel like our minds generally wrap themselves around the physical nature of other places. We see the yellow street grid, we see the green parks, we see the blue waters, and gray building markers. We might even think that all of those labeling words are literally on the ground as well. But what is the biggest thing missing from maps?
It’s an amazing feeling when you go to a place that on a map is this inconsequential, mundane, just-like-every-other-one street corner. But then you are actually there, on that street corner and there is AMAZING life happening, street performers, children and their parents playing, businessmen walking from place to place, Frisbee throwing, sun-bathing. It’s not until we inject the human side of place that we really begin to see and understand the true essence of the place.
How can we better portray the human side of place? Something for me to consider, because maps are so 6th grad.
So I’m walking around Fenway Park and pass behind the green monster and see this bar, Bleecher Bar. I say, hmmm. As I walk up I think I can see the field through the bar. I go up and sure enough you can. I say, ” you need tickets for this place”. “nope”. The bar is literally the old utility gate in straight away center field. It’s friggn’ awesome!! If you see the fence, and see the fence/gate in center field. That’s where I’m sitting.
Where did separate but equal schooling begin? Boston MA. Probably didn’t know that, look up Robert Morris and the ruling of a state supreme court where he was asserting that providing equal educational opportunities is a foundation of the state.
On the subway: me:”it’s [freedom of religion] is a founding principle of our country, and it’s more like a YMCA for another faith than a “mosque”” other person: “yeah but the YMCA didn’t blow up those buildings” me: “neither did these persons” 3 minutes later, guy sitting next to the other person: ” how do you know ‘they’ didn’t do it?” me: I guess i have faith there are moderate decent people in the Muslim faith”. Let’s not live in paranoia and fear, but a) forgive a christ calls us to do and b) stop living in fear and paranoia of a relatively small percentage of radicals. Let’s not even get started on the extremist actions taken in the name of Christianity, we often are not helping our cause.
I just got back from a very pleasant evening with some new friend at a Random bar in a random town just outside of Boston. I’m staying in the Super 8 in Weymouth, just for a night as I get some Boston lodging arrangements lined up.
Anyway, as I was lugging my luggage to the Super 8 (they did have the light on for me, maybe that’s Motel 6, I’m not sure), I passed by the Union Brew House. It looked like a nice little house bar (a house converted into a bar). So I figured I’m come back later. After looking online and seeing that they had a 10-midnight menu with pizzas etcetera I went at 10:05.
After the kinda awkward, “hey is anyone sitting here” moment at the bar, it was literally no time at all that I was chatting with people on both my right and left. And they were really friendly in the BAHSTIN (sound it out) kinda way, but friendly nonetheless. Something that I didn’t really experience in NYC. People who are willing to get to know you, even if you from that state down there in Kentucky. The loved sharing stories of their trip to Memphis, or telling me what BAAHHHs (Bars) were good and what beaches to go to etcetera. It was a great evening and the pizza was pretty good too.
Off to bed, in A BED! and then into Boston tomorrow
I’m not gonna try to recreate it now but I hada good post going about the human interaction or lack there of, on the subway. But trying to write it underground then save it until I got above ground and could send it through the data network, yeah that got flubbed up. I’m going to coney island, there are other people on the train, where to I cast my gaze???
Came out to Queens today and it is obvious that graffiti is the artistic expression of choice. The thing is only some of it is an eye-sore like you would expect. A lot of it is actually really good ‘art’ just done with spray cans. I’ll try to get a picture.
What would Jane have thought about the tourism economy?
I just started reading a book, I’ve had for several months now (thanks to Dad for the birthday gift), “Wrestling with Moses”. It’s the story of how a lowly secretary from rural Pennsylvania, Jane Jacobs, stopped the powerful NYC builder and planner Robert Moses, from building the “Lomex” or the Lower Manhattan Expressway. The Lomex would have ripped out some of what are arguably the most iconic areas of New York: Greenwich Village, SoHo, West Village, much of the Financial district, and others. Having been in NYC for a few days now I’ve noticed something that most of us get tricked into believing, if we only base our knowledge of nYC life from NYC based shows: this town is teeming with tourists. Anything that you’ve seen regularly on TV: the wall street Bull, NYSE, Rockefeller center and others has tourists around it all the time. They are not just elements of a city around it, they are currently destinations for the shutterhappy, myself included guilty as charged. But it’s made me wonder how the tourism economy effects the day to day life of a city’s people. I remember living in Nashville locals had a little love-hate relationship with Broadway and the “honky-tonks”. I wonder how Jane Jacobs would respond to our comodification of city life and culture. Culture and vitality as something to be viewed like caged animals in a zoo. How can city planners, chambers of commerce and the people at large create places that are exciting to live in and visit, without sacrificing one for the other?
This thoroughbred's out of the gate in the Big Apple
Quick post on the way to bed.
I have touched down in NYC!! And man is it INTENSE!! I got off the bus at Penn Station, which is a major hub of all coming and going in the city. And when people move here, they move fast and with a purpose. No place for the dainty “uhhh, where am I trying to go??”
Penn Station is located directly below what is now Madison Square Garden. And apparently, according to my buddy David, the demolition of the Old Penn Station is what catylized the Historic Preservation Movement across the country. Basically saying that if ‘they’ can just tear down something like this at the first suggestion of another plan, maybe we need to make that process a little more involved.
Getting down into the subway was interesting, as subways have a way of disorienting you, which way is up???
I finally got to the west Village and my buddy Dave Sztyk’s. He’s got a great apartment with a view of the Empire State Building, but unfortunatly not a view of the Hudson River, which would as well have good sunset vistas. Nonetheless, he has roof access, so we ate homemade hummus with Pita, drank Rolling Rock beers and chatted over the streets of NYC. Not at all bad.
After that we went for a stroll of the hood. NYU and Greenwich Village are very close, so we went to this Doner Kabob stand, and for drinks at “Down the Hatch” complete with beer pong and foos-ball tables.
It was a great first few hours in NYC. Looking forward to trying my hand on a fixie-bike tomorrow!
We Americans love to eat, no doubt about it. But we don’t love to just eat regular old food, oh no!, we love to eat exotic food! We love to eat food that’s named after some place. Let’s see, FRENCH fries, English muffins, Canadian Bacon, Spanish rice, Danishes for cryin’ out loud. Within the states, we love California rolls, Florida orange juice, Chicago-style-hot-dogs, Kentucky Hot-Browns, and ……….. PHILLY CHEESESTEAKS!! BOOOOOMMM!!!!!! I mean how many restaurants have you been to that have some variety of “Philly Cheese”?
Well here in the city of Brotherly love it comes down to 2 places (arguably 3, sorry Jim) Geno’s and Pat’s. What makes this rivalry even more interesting is that there are located directly across from each other on a south philly x-intersection. Its as though they are staring each other down across the boxing ring from each other, with each patron being similar to a hard right-hook!
Well at $8.50 a piece, we went 10 rounds (ok maybe only 2) in this fight. Scott and I headed down to see who the champion was going to be for this Kentuckian.
The first stop was Pat’s King of Steaks, where he warns you not to eat a “Misteak.” When trying to decide what you want it basically comes down to a steak “wit’ or ‘wit-out’ onions that is. now you have multiple cheese options, but the standard is with the cheese whiz. I added a little spicy mustard to both of my sandwiches. Scott and I split sandwiches at each place, so we both ended up eating one full sandwich after visiting both locations.
The first thing I noticed about Pat’s sandwich when I bit into is the juice, I mean it was spilling out the other end. The meat was very juicy and the seeped into the bun, so it was a bit of a wet sandwich without being soggy. I don’t really know how to review food, so how about the meat was well, meaty and the onions, were oniony, and the mustard was mustardy, combining into a delightful carnivorous treat.
And then we headed over to Geno’s If Geno’s is like light light your living room, Geno’s is light up like Vegas! Lots of Neon, and you just just hear the souf’ filly’ accent seeping out of the place.
I ordered the same thing at Geno’s A Steak-whiz-wit. And added a little mustard. Scott split it down the middle and, chow-mmmm.
Geno’s was a dryer sandwich, not as much juice, but I felt like meat flavor was a bit stronger. Maybe I put on too much, but the mustard flavor was a little over-done as well.
And after the dust cleared, and the fighters went back to the locker room, and the cleats, were hung up, and the fat lady sang, and chapter was closed, last strike was called, and the buzzer sounded, and the…. ok that’s all I got. I think the first place I would go back to is………. PAT’S! the juice made the sandwich more interesting and the overall atmosphere felt more authentic.
Investigating Where We Live (IWWL) is a summer outreach program at the National Building Museum, designed for students aged 12-16 from the D.C. metropolitan area. Participants learn to use creative writing and photography as a means of understanding and describing D.C. neighborhoods. At the end of the program, participants will share what they have learned by creating a public exhibition. In 2010, students will focus on the neighborhoods of Petworth, Southwest Waterfront, and Trinidad.
Yeah, I'm a morning person. Or at least I'd like to be
Mornings are untarnished. It’s just pure potential. It’s almost like sitting in the locker room before a big game, what will the other side bring today? How will I handle it? The sun isn’t tired, it’s only getting going.
I was thinking yesterday about prejudice and how it happens. I mean at what age do we learn hate and prejudice? We even learn to hate ourselves sometimes. What’s with that?? When I was in Wilmington, indent swimming at a community pool in a predominately black neighborhood. I was 1 of maybe 2 white people at the pool. And you know what?? It didn’t matter. The were young enough that they hadn’t learned prejudice yet, or were strong enough to overcome it. Yeah I was the tall white guy at the pool buy a few of them even came over and kinda talked with me for a few moments. No big deal.
That’s why I like mornings, it’s like putting on your youth and not allowing the stresses of life or of the day-behind you to interfere with just taking a breath and being content in the moment.
Ok, So to begin with Philadelphia is awesome. Ok there it is, i’m done. Going home now.
SO today, I got around Philly pretty well. Before describing my day, let me describe how Philadelphia is laid out. It’s classic. As the planning nerd (yes, that IS in-fact a rain-garden, SWEET!!) I was trilled to find one of the informational boards that shows the history of the city for all the tourists to read. Or rather, the parents to read and the kids to make fun of them or whine about walking so much, or where’s the fro-yo store, blah blah blah. Well, I found said info board and it described how Philadelphia was settled, why it is flanked by two rivers, and what it’s called Philadelphia. Quite an informative board, no?
So first off, the city was settled by William Penn who was a surveyor from England and a committed Quaker. Being a Quaker, he had experienced much persecution over his religious beliefs and traditions. So in establishing his own town, he decried that it would be a town in which individuals could participate in their religious beliefs freely without fear of persecution and in an environment of “Brotherly Love” and acceptance. (the feminist movement didn’t happen for like 300 more years, so it wasn’t brother and sisterly love, but I digress).
At the time and through much of the history of the US and the world, quite honestly, water ways have been a major source of not only food and, well, water, but they have been historically major channels of commerce. So in choosing the site of Philly, Penn chose a place where the town would be flanked by river on both sides adding great value to the land and potential wealth to its inhabitants. Schuylkill (skool-kill) river to the west and the Delaware to the east.
And how Penn laid out the city, as you can see above is in a simple grid pattern, with a place for “publick activities” in the center, meaning governing buildings and such. And then I love the fact that he saw the necessity for a natural respite from town and created 4 parks or square in each quadrant of the city. Those squares are currently - in the southwest - Rittenhouse Square, in the southeast - Washington Square, in the Northwest - Logan circle, and in the northeast - Franklin Square with City hall smack dab in the middle. It creates a nearly perfect urban landscape.
The other thing I’m liking about the original city is how the river truly bind the density of the city. There is a term in urban planning cirlces called an urban growth boundary. The principal being that the city or county government basically draws a circle around the city and says that growth to the city must happen within this boundary until a certain density is met. Only then can developement and much growth happen outside of that. It’s to prevent sprawl and encourage infill around the urban core. Portland OR has a UGB, surprise, surprise.
The rivers do that naturally! Its awesome, the original city of Philadelphia is somewhat small compared to its surrounding areas, but its awesome! Short blocks, very walkable, easy to navigate on foot or wheels and has a great energy about the city without feeling overwhelming.
Well, my mind just about literally shut off, nothing to deep in this one. But So far Philly’s been great. I tackle the National Art Museum tomorrow (where Rocky does his victory dance thing) and a Cheese-steak or so. Is it PAT’S or GENO’S??? Verdict to come later.
Tomorrow never comes, and over there is only right here
I’m waking down Wilmingtons Riverfront walkway that traces the city’s length along the Delaware river and I come upon Joes Crab Shack. Yes, that Joes Crab shack, which just cranked up “Cotton Eyed Joe” behind me as I type this. Nonetheless, as I was walking up I saw painted on the side if their building “Free Crab Tomorrow”. And I though, of that’s cool, maybe I can get some free crab before I go to Philly. But then I realized it’s painted on the building, it’s permanent, free crab comes tomorrow, not today tomorrow. And then I realized that tomorrow never comes. There is only today. If some thing only happens tomorrow it never happens, it has to happen today, it’s just planning which today it’s going to happen.
I’ve also begun to realize on this trip that, similarly, there are no “over there’s”. There are only right here’s. I’ve been traveling to places that I’ve never been to before and have always just been “over there” places to me. but as I get to a new town, I’m right here. I’m not over there, the places and people aren’t some far off mystery of which only exist on the news or in my
Mind. No I’m right here in THEIR territory, I’m the one from “over there.”. This is only one of the many reasons I find so much value in traveling, it forces and empathetic mind. When we begin to realize that we are all people living life the best way we know how, perhaps with different circumstances or were born in different places, in what ever way “different places” means I don’t think it can do anything but humble you to your own experience. None of us are particularly “better” or “worse” than anyone else because we are “from” a certain place, because we are ALL right here, together.
Being around Family in Western Pennsylvania and NorthEast Ohio, and some areas of Kentucky, I’ve thought I had a good handle on the Amish. Like I pretty much get why they live the way they do and tend to reject the technological advances of the Western modern world. I get that.
But I’m confused now. On the Greyhound from Baltimore to Wilmington, a young Amish Couple got on right as we were about to board. They were probably young twenties, but unquestionably Amish. I thought, Huh, that’s interesting, I guess they can use modern transportation to get from one place to the other, but sure as hell (literally) not drive.
BUT THIS ONE TAKES THE CAKE!
So I’m sitting at a little coffee shop in Wilmington - Eeffoc’s (get it?????? think about it………… it’s Coffee spelled backwards, yeah that’s exciting here in Wilmington) I walk in and there’s an Amish guy, Jonah no-less, working the register and making coffee drinks!!! I was like WHAAAAAA??? That’s interesting, he seems somewhat dejected as I look over at him, almost as though he worried about getting caught or something. But he’s got the typical beard, blue shirt with suspenders, and black wool pants. I mean fully Amish (or Mennonite as my dad might correct me. I guess the Mennonites are more progressive). AAAANNNDDD! The dudes got a BlackBerry!!! Seriously, A BLACKBERRY!!! I want to go be like, “Dude, quit trying, just go buy yourself some Dockers, and get with the game, beacuse obviously you’re a part of it.”
So this post is going to be much like my stay in Baltimore, short and condensed.
Baltimore is a very mixed city. This is the first city of my trip that I’ve noticed the typical separations between the classes within the city. There are more pronounced pockets of lower income, often more crime ridden areas of town that people were very clear about me not going off on my own there at any moment of the day.
When I hit dimwit the nicer areas (inner harbor, Fells Point, Canton, Federal Hill) they were very nice. Obviously historic in their architecture and street layout. What I’m excited to see is the reownership of these places and they are becoming special and interesting places to live work and play.
People I met: Tom. I met Tom in the water taxi, yes water taxi (and it was free) Tom was a middle age, probably upper 30s or 40 something black man who was born and raised in Baltimore. We talked about his travels and mine, he was giving me advice in where I should and shouldn’t go in town. He was just an all around pleasant human being.
Megan, Megan was a bartender/server at BlueGrass, where I had lunch. Meghan lived locally in Federal Hil and loved the urban lifestyle and the feeling of the neighborhood. Meghan was about my age and had a beautiful smile and and very joyful personality. Kinda wish I was sticking around a little more, may have had to go back there for dessert later ;)
I’m now unbend Greyhound to Wilmington DE, this should be interesting.
Just got dropped off in Baltimore out in the suburbs by the White Marsh Mall. It is obvious that this area is not made for humans, it’s made for cars. Massive parking lots, relatively small buildings no less than 1/4 mile away from each other. If we measured importance by ho much surface area respective spaces took up it would seem as though we are a community of cars, not s community of people. I challenge you to just take brief moments of your day to look around you where you are. Is your community built on a human scale or on an automobile scale??
It makes little sense to me why we dedicate much to something that is essentially a consumer good, (a car is personal property, much like an iPod or toothbrush) but has come to shape our environment in ways that make it unfeasible to live like a human without the aid of a car. Which arguably prevents you from living like a human being, see: causes of obesity.
It is my dream that we as a people will change our own expectations of the world in which we live to be built on a human scale rather than on an automobile scale, because after all it is humans planning and building this stuff.
This was a great exhibit in the national Building Museum that took school children in to many different parts of their community an asked them to really engage an learn about the area through photography and written expression. What a great way to breakdown our preconceived notions about a place but to investigate into it for yourself. You will be surprised by how much empathy you will gain and how humbling of an experience it can be. I would LOVE to see this done throughout the country’s school systems public and private even in our faith communities!