New Orleans has one of the most vibrant and unique street economies–with everything from musicians, dancers, performance artists, poets and painters to the more hidden economies revolving around sex, drugs, and other hustles. Radio producer Sarah Holtz and journalist Kelley Crawford submerge themselves into those worlds with a recorder and unending curiosity to create the series Street Economy. With no real agenda, each episode encapsulates a moment of what it’s like to make a living on the streets of New Orleans.
Episode 2: In this second episode (you can find the first episode here) of the radio series Street Economy, Fernando Lima is doing what he does almost every day–he’s playing his original piano music out on the streets of the French Quarter. That is, before a man working for the city runs over his gear and a confrontation ensues. That’s when Fernando starts talking about how difficult the territorial situation really is when you’re trying to earn your living in a landscape that no one really owns.
You can follow the “Street Economy” series on NolaVie as well as on Sarah and Kelley’s PRX site.