Neighborhood Photo Project
Neighborhood Photo Project
Matt Schley | Tokyo, Japan
This restaurant in Takadanobaba, Tokyo, is the site of what was, until last year, Ben's Cafe, a coffee shop, restaurant and former hang-out for Tokyo's expat community. Ben's, reportedly one the first "gaijin" (foreigner)-owned cafes in Tokyo, shut down last year after almost 15 years in business. The cafe, like many businesses here catering to expats, was hit hard by the mass exodus of foreigners after last year's earthquake, tsunami and nuclear scare. Though it's been a year since the triple disaster, tourism and other foreigner-centric industries are still down compared to past years. For me, the closing of Ben's Cafe is one of the most visible examples of 3/11's effect on the "gaijin economy."
Joneen Nielsen | West Bradenton, Fla.
This is my home. My grandmother bought it new in 1954. I mortgaged to pay for Mom's medical expenses, then unable to sell once I got in over my head. Was one week away from foreclosure sale, and managed to pull back house from the brink. Since last November I have a new mortgage, note that is higher than I would like, but monthly payments are reasonable. I show this house, because I among of the few success stories.
Joanna Zaremba | Colorado Springs, Colorado
The main reason we moved to Colorado was because of the mountains. Before we moved to Colorado Springs, we didn't realize how close the mountains are to the city. This photo is from Bear Creek Regional Park at sunset last fall. I walk my dog in this park almost every day, whether it's raining or snowing. For me, the abundance of wilderness and open space in our area is one of the best things about living here.
Although we have considerable park space nearby, the biggest problem concerning our parks is the lack of funding to support park maintenance and staffing. Friends and groups have stepped up to raise money and to care for parks where traditionally the city would pay for staff and programming.
Julia Dietz | Baltimore, Md.
This photo shows a vantage point towards Baltimore's harbor. From behind, is a busy thoroughfare that connects neighborhoods along the harbor. Looking towards the harbor, there is a promenade that also connects neighborhoods with a more scenic route. The port and Fort McHenry are across the water. This photo displays one of Baltimore City's strengths - its connection on a local as well as a global level.
Shel Horowitz | Hadley, Mass.
This picture starts on the left with a small piece of my house - a 1743 antique farmhouse that is the oldest house in the neighborhood and the third-oldest in the whole town. It has a nice view of the main buildings of the farm we live on (my neighbors raise 400 cows), and also includes our wonderful Mount Holyoke, which anchors the neighborhood, the town, and the whole central Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts. In our neighborhood, the community is quite close-knit, even though the houses are spread apart. Former residents even come back (sometimes across large distances) for the annual holiday party.
Jayme Bates | Cedar Rapids, Iowa
The house in the foreground was damaged by the June 13, 2008 Cedar River Flood crest in Cedar Rapids. It is one of the last remaining houses waiting to be demolished. I choose this picture because it shows the sadness of the remaining flood houses, the loneliness of the open lots where the adjoining houses used to be, and in the background the houses that were rebuilt by my neighbors who returned.
Bart Bird | San Antonio, Texas
This is the last day of Winter, and the bluebonnets are in full bloom in front of my house. When I die, this will be one of the images I hope flashes in front of my eyes.
I live in Highland Park, San Antonio, Texas. My parents purchased this house in 1963 for $12,000. Their monthly note payment was about $100. This is the house I grew up in until I was an exchange student to Belgium thanks to my pop's local Rotary club connection. When I returned a year later, my parents had divorced, and I found a place of my own. I attended university, and then joined the Air Force in 1986.
I never asked my pop how he came to be the first college graduate in his entire bloodline, as far as I know. I've never asked my mom what her family did to provide Colorado summers with horses for the girls, give fast cars for the boys to crash and sleep in the finest house in town. I live here now. And I live here again. And I need to say hello, and ask questions. And show respect.
Robert Pleau | Mountain View, Calif.
The houses in the picture were built around 1971. They are modest and show that the area is affluent enough to be well maintained. The new housses going up are generally twice the size of the '70's houses. They will consume more energy rather than less. We think of Silicon Valley as an innovative place, but all the designs being built reflect a boom boom mentality with absolutely no consideration for solving the environmental and energy consumption imbalances we know exist.
Judy Krassowski | Derry, N.H.
This is typical - we are a family in transition and this is our living room. Almost four years after having to sell our home, we continue to live in and out of boxes as my sons move in and back from college.
This photo best represents our building, where there are a number of families who had to sell or have lost their homes and whose high-school or college aged children can't afford places on their own yet. The families in our building meet when some visiting stranger knocks into a fire alarm, bringing us all out into the night - we're always surprised at how many of us there are, and how many grown children are living with their parents.
Alex Marquez | Foster City, Calif.
Suburbia at it's best. Close enough to San Francisco. It has a different feeling to be around water. It's relaxing and inspiring.