“Even though I’ve been homeless since August 1st, last night was the first night I had to sleep on the ground. I’m not as hopeful and cheery as I usually am. I’ve taken a blow to my self esteem and dignity. I got evicted out of my house. My house was 2,000 square feet and I pretty much ran a homeless shelter there. I took in anybody that looked like they didn’t have a place to stay.”
“I adopted my daughter when she was 5 years old. She was born in New York. She speaks English. She’s handicapped. I love the mama of her. She is my wife. She comes from Honduras. She doesn’t speak English. My daughter, she understands because she translates English to Spanish for my wife.”
"We’ve been married for 38 years. She is 79 years old on September 18th. September is for special people."
"In my 7th grade year when I first moved back down here I kept getting in fights ‘cause these girls were picking on me. But now I’m cool with one of the girls I had a fight with. I’m kind of the godmother of her child. That’s the craziest thing about New Orleans people… we might fight but the next couple of days or months we’re cool."
"I came here from the Philippines in 1979 with two big suitcases. It was kind of scary because I didn’t know anybody… I came to work at the Methodist hospital. Two years later I met my husband and we started dating. Three years later we got married. We’re going to be married 30 years in October.”
“What’s your advice for a good long marriage?”
“Just relax. Give and take. When he’s mad, I don’t say anything. I don’t argue. Because he’s not going to hear me! So I just wait for my moment…”
"They come home sometimes saying words that I didn’t know until I got into the real world. Like, take her. She did something that she wasn’t supposed to do - nothing major - and I told her that I was going to leave her in the house by herself. She breaks down crying. I said ‘what are you crying for?’ And she’s like ‘You’re being facetious!’ I’m like ‘Huh? Excuse me?’ And then he looks at me and says ‘Dad…facetious… it means you’re fooling around.’"
"My friend got murdered in 2010 on St. Roch Avenue. I think the wake of that was the saddest I’ve ever been, because of the loss of a friend and because what should be societal help and support systems were very corrupt and very nonchalant.”
“Usually we talk about place in the world: how do you fit in? Because Bywater’s really interesting. His neighbor has lived in Bywater his whole life and has seen it transition quite a bit. We talk about what it means for our presence to be here and how it changes the environment and how – do you resist change or do you not resist that change? You’re part of it because you’re in it, and at the same time you may not be agreeing with the change. But you are part of it so it’s impossible to separate yourself from that.”
“I’d rather die than not be distinguished. That’s what my whole being is about. Some people stereotype, ‘cause I got dreadlocks, I got gold teeth and tattoos and things like that - automatically I’m ‘suspect’. But once you really sit down and talk to me, you’ll see that I’m way away from that. I’m scared of guns, I don’t do half of the stuff you would take me for! I just liked the gold teeth since I was small. Tattoos, they all tell a story. My hair, this is my strength.”
“I’m a very yes m’am people pleaser type person and this is a big bad eight-year marine. So he’s made me stand up for myself and say ‘uh uh you’re not going to walk on me!’ And he used to be really grrr and badass all the time - and everybody tells me how much he’s calmed down since we’ve been together. He’s learned how to - what he calls ‘mooshaw’ - calm down.”
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"What’s the best part of being a doctor?"
“Sometimes you can eat dinner at the doctor’s lounge!”
“One of the happiest moments in my life was before we won the NFC Championship, there was an article that came out and it said Louisiana was the happiest state in the nation. And then we won the NFC championship. Just to see the happiness of the city - and we didn’t even win the Superbowl yet - it was amazing. It allowed me as a local to appreciate not only the culture, but just the symbolic nature of people embracing the art of sport and ethnic diversity - to embrace that all at once and take that in as a local, it was a lot. It went beyond the cliche mindset tourists have when they come here. It was bigger than that. It was very genuine.”
"I was the first one back in this neighborhood after Katrina. You know, I received three letters today saying they’re buying houses. Three letters. Today! I won’t sell them my property."
“You gotta get used to hearing ‘no’ and people ignoring you. But every day you’re going to talk to someone that’s interested in what you’re doing and you sort of just live for that. Sometimes someone says ‘I can barely pay for the parking meter but this is what I have in my pocket.’ We’re actually both lawyers. We’re both trying to figure out what our next steps are, and for me, I hadn’t done anything truly socially conscious in a long time.”
“We met at another friend’s funeral actually.”
“He was murdered at a bar on the West Bank.”
“Did that inform how you felt about crime in the city?”
“Not really. I have a very jaded outlook towards humanity in general just from being in the military. People are going to do stupid things no matter what you try to do. You can’t really enforce or force them to do anything. It’s all human nature and all free will.”
“I grew up in Ireland and London as well. Now I work in New York as an architect.”
“What made you want to be an architect?”
“I really don’t know… this was what I picked out of the hat and I love doing what I do.”
“What do you mean by ‘picked out of the hat’?”
“Yeah, 12 years old! Literally picked it… out of a hat. And I just kind of kept it and enhanced it! You had to really know what you wanted by the age of 15 or 16 so you could know what colleges to apply for!”