Neighborhood Photo Project - Most Recent
Emily Riser | Greenwood, Miss.
This photo shows my daughter skipping home from a recent afternoon piano lesson as a friendly neighborhood dog looks on. It is small-town life at its best: children still play and roam outside here, and there's a sense of safety and security that comes from knowing all of your neighbors (and their dogs).
I live in a small town in the Mississippi Delta, where cotton is still king and the primary source of income is through agriculture. The Delta is one of the most economically poor but culturally rich areas in the U.S. One thing that is often said of the Mississippi Delta is that we are somewhat insulated from the peaks and valleys of the economy--we pretty much stay at a steady low! But it's a great place to live and raise children: very friendly and family-oriented. At the same time, this area retains deep scars from its violent racial past. While people tend to get along well on a personal level, there still seems to be a good deal of distrust between blacks and whites, and the high poverty rate contributes to this divide.
Bob Hartley | Herndon, Va.
This is the view from the older daughter's bedroom window (last spring; by the time this is published, the cherry blossoms will be out.). Spring is the renewal of hope; it the possibility that the coming elections will cleanse us of the political, hedonistic, and social rot that has infested our discourse in the winter of this political season.... It could be sunrise in America.
Patrick Price | Atlanta, Ga.
I live in a neighborhood that is slowly gentrifying. It wasn't a neighborhood that gentrified back during the housing boom on a large scale, but slowly, smartly is being invested in with new homes to replace old homes. Some as old as the 1920s. There are not many foreclosures since I live in a nicer area of Atlanta, inside the perimeter. Many more affluent people are moving back into the city to avoid the traffic and this is a much like area, close to transit, the night life, restaurants.
Donald Dyer | Falmouth, Mass.
The photo is representative of Cape Cod. Working class neighborhood of single family homes. The Massachusetts economy is recovering at a faster rate than the national average. Here on Cape Cod we have a tourism economy. Last year was much improved over recent years.
April Leigh | New Orleans, La
I live in Central City, New Orleans. It was hit with flooding during Katrina and is speckled with empty lots and abandoned houses, but it mostly beautiful and interesting with that old shotgun house charm. This house is behind mine and is covered front the back in vines. Surprisingly, a man does live in there. I think it accurately represents New Orleans in the way nature takes over wherever it can. You can't escape the swamp nor the life that thrives in it.
Erin Kirkland | Anchorage, Alaska
Alaskans will manage, despite daily challenges, to embrace life and take conditions with a sense of adventure. Or humor. Or both.
Economically, Alaskans have been sheltered somewhat from the issues facing the Lower 48. However, one problem we face daily is the price of gasoline. At over $4/gallon, it is a struggle for many families of our nearby housing development to pay for gas and groceries with the same paycheck. For us, it means strategizing on who gets what car dependent upon the sort of travel required for that day. I am a travel writer covering stories in the nation's largest state, and driving for some distance is often required. Added to the transportation issue is our record snowfall; almost 200 inches. It is a daily struggle to maintain both our driveways and our vehicles, and we can't wait for spring to arrive, honestly.
Mary Knight | Fairbanks, Alaska
This is why we live where we do: Being outside the city may be less convenient in some ways ... but the Aurora light up the night and trail access for cross country skiing, snow machining and dog sledding out your back door is hard to beat.
I live in a rural community outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. Our neighborhood is a mix of nicer new homes, small log cabins without running water, small farms and old-style Alaskan homestead-type properties. Our neighborhood (and the city) is doing well in this economy, but everyone is talking about the recent announcement that nearby Eielson Air Force Base will be downsized to a small guard base, and what that will do to the local economy and home values all around the Fairbanks area.
George Cahlik | Baltimore, Md.
This is a picture of a small statue in the heart of Mt. Vernon. It sits opposite of another statue symbolizing War. Before moving to Baltimore after graduating from graduate school, I almost felt as though I was at war with everything, but mostly I was just disappointed with myself and frustrated with my personal outlook. I had previously lived in Washington, D.C. and I found the social, cultural, political, and economic environment maddening. I found some solace, safety, and resolve in my surroundings -- a bit ironic for a city that is infamously known for its poverty and crime. This is not to understate the problems that plague the city, it's just to say that personally, I found peace in it -- to me, it is a symbol of hope.
Richard Makepeace | West Chester, Ohio
I live in a beautiful wooded area and deer in my wooded back yard is not an uncommon sight. But out my front window, well that was worth a picture. West Chester, Ohio seems to be doing just fine on the surface. (West Chester is home of John Boehner) My neighborhood, typical two story homes that sell north of $200K, appears untouched by the economy. But all is not as it appears. To my left are two retired families but one was forced into early retirement by the economy and now have a daughter, in her thirties, living back home because she lost her job. On my right is a home for sale where the family just walked away a few months ago. Their deserted swimming pool will be a fine breeding ground for mosquitoes this spring. Everything looks great up and down my street but we haven't totally excaped the realities of the recession.
Christine MacLean | Holland, Mich.
First of all, it's not my photo. It's Mary Hilldore's, but she's another member of our 'hood and she gave me permission to use it. I choose it because it shows a mix of ages having fun together. It shows our sense of community. I live in Holland, Michigan's Historic District, which is adjacent to downtown. Greater Holland is socially and politically conservative; it's still legal to discriminate against people who are gay, if you can believe it. But right in our little 'hood, there's a greater mix of liberal and conservative views. We chose this neighborhood for that reason and because we could walk to downtown and to school and (most of us) even work to work. When the school board announced in 2004 they were closing our neighborhood school, a group of families banded together and fought it hard. We lost, but we bonded during that time, forming a community that functions as an extended family. We look out for each others' kids, share resources, organize meals when someone has had surgery, cover for each other and offer frequent words of encouragement and reassurance.