Trash Attraction

IMG_6100We saw lots of interesting things on the streets of New Orleans, but this was one of the most compelling and evocative sights — a trash can, decorated to resemble a human face, with the words “If ever I cease to love” on it.  When I tossed my trash away through the wide mouth, I wondered what the heck was the significance of those words.

There is, in fact, an explanation:  “If ever I cease to love” is the name of a classic Mardi Gras song.  According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune blog, the song has been the anthem of the Rex’s Boeuf Gras parade ever since the Rex organization first marched in 1872.  I think that explains the trash can’s crown and the bright coloring.

If you’re interested in hearing this Mardi Gras classic, a YouTube performance is below.

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Section 8 In Pittsburgh

Richard’s internship at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has ended, but his last story for the paper wasn’t published until after he had left.  It’s a really good and interesting piece about Section 8 housing vouchers and their limitations.  The story obviously struck a nerve with many people, because it provoked a lot of social media reaction, including 46 comments.

Richard is a talented writer in my humble opinion, but the neat thing about this story is that it combined traditional journalism — finding and interviewing people on all sides of the story, learning about the subject matter, collecting quotes, and then writing the piece itself — with some investigative journalism techniques, including obtaining and analyzing data from the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh and then using the data to demonstrate how Section 8 recipients are concentrated in high-poverty neighborhoods and seldom used in wealthier neighborhoods.  The map at the bottom of the story is the product of those efforts and really drives the point home.

Our family journalist has now moved on to the Chicago Tribune, where he will be working on the business desk and becoming reacquainted with the Windy City.