Living Life - in Bohemia, Louisiana

The road to


is seemingly sparse.

Located about 50 miles Southeast of New Orleans in Plaquemines Parish, Bohemia lies on the East Bank of the Mississippi River, a short ferry ride from Point ala Hache. (If the ferry was running, that is..) Getting to Bohemia took some effort. First I got stuck in traffic waiting for a train in the Bywater.

 I thought I had the angle for this trip all planned out.

I thought I could make some connection about how the artist community in New Orleans keeps migrating further downriver – first it was the French Quarter, then the Marigny, currently the Bywater holds that distinction. I thought it only a matter of time before the artists make it down to Bohemia itself. Hahaha. I even brought Betty the Bullhorn along, the ultimate representative of La Vie Boheme, to further illustrate my point.

Betty Lives the Bohemian Life  2002

 But as usual, the journey to Bohemia turned out to be much larger than that. I discovered my roots on the way. While my Isleno ancestry, Spanish descendants from the Canary Islands, comes from a settlement called Valenzuela (now Belle Alliance) near Donaldsonville, I thought I'd say hello to my peeps at this Isleno dwelling in St. Bernard Parish.  

Canary Islanders Home

 Then it was off to Bohemia


 It was a simple, yet difficult route – down Hwy 46 to Hwy 39, through Braithewaite and other areas in Plaquemines Parish that were affected by Hurricane Isaac last summer. I didn’t photograph the miles of destruction I saw, but sights like this were not uncommon:

Houses on Levee

I drove past Phoenix.

And then continued on Hwy 39.

Hwy 39

Finally, I reached Bohemia.

Bohemia, 2013

Bohemia is a small, unincorporated town of Plaquemines Parish. It was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The 25 or so homes here show their determination, resilience and spirit.  For me, Bohemia was a testament of commitment to living our truth, no matter the circumstances.

Concrete Stairs                            *                   Bethlehem Lane

There are quite a few Katrina-related articles available online about Bohemia. I had read that the only thing remaining of the brick Civil-War era Baptist chuch, Bethlehem Judea African Church, was its sign. Yet when I reached Bethlehem Lane, there was a new structure in its place.

Betty the Bullhorn, along for the ride as a Champion of Living Your Life – no matter how “unconventional” it may seem, was very much moved by the church and, wearing her peace sign outfit,  wanted to lend her support.

On Bethlehem Lane, in Bohemia, Louisiana – Betty the Bullhorn shouts out for peace and calm - sometimes much needed when the path isn't always a straight one.

Betty Shouts Out for Peace

And you never know where the road will lead you. 

Bohemian Levee

Til next time..

all content (c) Natasha Sanchez

Betty the Bullhorn: All You Need To Shout Is Love

Betty the Bullhorn has long focused her platform on Free Speech as a means to individual self-worth, self-respect, and ultimately, to social change. However in a society that seems to place a higher value on fear rather than truth, Betty the Bullhorn has decided to channel her Inner Sherlock Holmes and get to the root (truth) of society's problems, and that root 

Betty & Love on Magazine   2012

Love is even the basis for Free Speech. Before we have the desire to Shout Out for the causes we care about, 

Betty loves Desire  2012

there's love - its the very opposite of what fuels our society's problems, fear.

Betty & a Heart   2012

Betty's investigations determined that this deterrent to fear -  love – well, its everywhere, just not widely acknowledged.  It lurks about in the most unexpected of places…

Betty - Lookin' for Love in all the Right Places   2012

Betty's Cools her Burning Heart    2012

Yet plenty of people are shoutin' out about it! 

Betty on Freret St       2012

Betty - Love is the Answer    2012

A fear-driven economy and a fear-fueled violent society is not acceptable to a bullhorn like Betty.  So, Betty has deduced that if you want to live in a safe, peaceful, and loving environment, then perhaps we could all channel our Inner Mahatma Gandhi, and "Be the Change You Want To See in the World".   Stop the Fear and Share the Love.  Betty will do her part to help spread the World, I mean, Word...

Betty - Love One Another   2012

Share the Love and Shout It Out!! 

- Betty the Bullhorn

(photgraphed & managed by Natasha Sanchez

Stay Tuned for a new World Tour blog post  COMING SOON!!!

Betty the Bullhorn's World Tour Detour

When the World Tour was in its early "planning for no plan" phase, it was understood that my guitar & ukulele, Miss Delta Blue and Miss Purple Lele, respectively, would come along for the ride, and, of course, Betty the Bullhorn.  I envisioned the instruments for the occasional open mic - it sure would have been great to play Hamburg! - and Betty, well, she just likes to travel.

Betty buried in the Sand   2008

I quickly learned, on my first tour to Delhi, Poverty Point, and Transylvania, that the Louisiana world tour was more about photographing, contemplating and philosophizing, and less about trying to find an open mic in Athens. (Athens, Louisiana, not Athens, Georgia, as it would make a lot more sense to play there...that's the next leg...)  

I also decided that Betty the Bullhorn would NOT be coming along for the rest of the Louisiana World Tour.  Betty, if you are unfamiliar with her, is a bullhorn that I adopted in the late '90s.  She had been working as a Movie Set Megaphone, but was tired of shouting "ACTION" and "CUT", and looking for something more meaningful in her life.  After living the bohemian life for a while, she realized her true talent was shouting out - helping others have their voices heard.  So she began modeling.

Betty on the Levee   2006

True to her word, Betty is just about the most honest bullhorn you will ever meet, and the work she does is valuable.  That being said, she is still a rabblerousin' rebellious bullhorn who likes to cross the line  now and then...
Betty on Tour    2011

Knowing that I wouldn't want to spend my time in Copenhagen or Poland bailing Betty out of Bullhorn Jail for trespassing and other misdemeanors, Betty decided she had too much free time on her horn.  Rather than pontificating in (the) Vatican, she decided to stay home for the remainder of the tour, and contemplate her next modeling job.  

Betty in the Clover Patch    2012

As she pondered in the clover patch, Betty knew her next photo series would continue on the tradition of shoutin' out for causes and beliefs that help promote social change.  Free Speech is of course always at the top of her list... but then then a new idea came to her.

It was as clear as a England Dan/John Ford Coley song....

Love is the Answer    2012
Love is indeed the answer!  Betty, having been in a committed relationship with Mike the Microphone since 2003, knows a thing or two about love, and she's determined to shout out for it as a solution for many problems.  After all, more often than not, fear is at the root of a problem, and more often than not, love is the answer to the problem.

Betty & her boyfriend, Mike    2003

So it appears that Betty's World Tour experience took a bit of a detour, but she found a whole new world (of love!)  in the process.

 And now she can't get that England Dan song out of her horn, so she for her series title, she put a Betty twist on another song.   (see below)   Stay Tuned for more pictures from her new series! 

Up Next:
Betty the Bullhorn:  All You Need to Shout is Love