rachel clift

EP 05 – ENTRY 02: CRAWFISH BOIL. YUM.

Article: EP 05 – ENTRY 02: CRAWFISH BOIL. YUM.

Crawfish Boils are a Louisiana staple. But thanks to a nasty fever I got from too much Mardi Gras and not enough rest, I missed out on the Cajun festivities at Byron’s house that night. Dan Gilbert, our Associate Producer in New York, came down to help me out just in time for the delicious…

EP 05 – ENTRY 04: KEEPING THE FAITH

Article: EP 05 – ENTRY 04: KEEPING THE FAITH

Casey isn’t the only one feeling down. Despite their stoic appearance, the rest of the group has been pretty low on fuel. Byron’s never-ending “Punch List” (the final To-Do’s) is written on a wooden slab that leans against an unfinished living room wall. Every time they cross off a task, two more appear. The students…

EP 05 – ENTRY 03: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

Article: EP 05 – ENTRY 03: SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

About a month ago, a reporter from a well-respected magazine, ARCHITECTURAL RECORD, visited the build site to write a story about URBANbuild 08. The students were thrilled for the attention, and excited to share their project with the larger architecture and design community. The magazine story itself was glowing, but imagine how disheartened the students…

EP 05 – ENTRY 01: ROTARY DOWNS IN THE HOUSE

Article: EP 05 – ENTRY 01: ROTARY DOWNS IN THE HOUSE

Last night we filmed a live show at a popular music venue in the French Quarter called One-Eyed Jacks [www.oneeyedjacks.net]. The Headliners: Rotary Downs [www.rotarydowns.com], a popular New Orleans rock band whose newest release, Sing Like The Sun, has received national attention. Not only was the band incredibly friendly, but a few days before we…

EP 04 – ENTRY 04: A SHOT IN THE DARK

Article: EP 04 – ENTRY 04: A SHOT IN THE DARK

Yesterday someone was shot and killed directly across the street from the build site. Nobody from URBANbuild was there – it was a Sunday and we all had the day off. According to news reports that followed, it was one of the deadliest weekends New Orleans has seen in a long time. The URBANbuild team…

EP 04 – ENTRY 05: THE GODS OF TV

Article: EP 04 – ENTRY 05: THE GODS OF TV

While the students have remained loyal to their labor of love despite the violence, a prospective homebuyer who fell head over heels for the second URBANbuild house now has misgivings. Discrepancies are emerging between those who can afford the URBANbuild homes, those who can appreciate their architectural design, and those who are willing to live…

EP 04 – ENTRY 01: NEVERENDING STORY

Article: EP 04 – ENTRY 01: NEVERENDING STORY

Guess what, folks? It’s still Mardi Gras. And I hate to ask, but when’s the party over? This little girl is exhausted, and so are we. Yesterday Rob went to the King Arthur parade and got hit in the head with a string of purple beads that actually drew blood. People have been stumbling down…

EP 04 – ENTRY 02: THE SOUND AND THE FURY

Article: EP 04 – ENTRY 02: THE SOUND AND THE FURY

Endymion Parade in Mid-Town. Families set up camp all day waiting for this one. A surprise visit from our New York friend. Happy revelers. Mardi Gras ends. Rachel Clift Producer

EP 04 – ENTRY 03: A DIFFERENT KIND OF KREWE

Article: EP 04 – ENTRY 03: A DIFFERENT KIND OF KREWE

There’s nothing like waking up at four in the morning for work. I’m only being halfway sarcastic. We filmed Kim’s varsity rowing crew practicing on the canal this morning, and got to watch the sun rise slowly over the city. We waited until the crew was about to glide underneath our bridge; then Michael captured…

EP 03 – ENTRY 07: WOOF!

Article: EP 03 – ENTRY 07: WOOF!

Remember Coz, our adorable Crew Mascot? He came all the way from New York to keep us company during what is sometimes a difficult five-week stretch away from our friends and family. At the end of a long day, nothing beats coming home to an unconditionally loving pup! So when it came time for Barkus,…

EP 03 – ENTRY 02: A CAR NAMED AFTER DESIRE, A STREET NAMED AFTER BOURBON

Article: EP 03 – ENTRY 02: A CAR NAMED AFTER DESIRE, A STREET NAMED AFTER BOURBON

I have an exciting announcement to make: The Streetcars are back! Temporarily shut down after the storm, now we hear them every night, that sweet sound of old wood rollin’ down the tracks outside our apartment building on Carondelet St – just three short blocks from Bourbon. Taken from my cell, that’s me on the…

EP 03 – ENTRY 01: GET YOUR BUILD ON

Article: EP 03 – ENTRY 01: GET YOUR BUILD ON

Happy New Year! 2008 brings your dedicated Crew back to the streets of “NOLA” for ARCHITECTURE SCHOOL, Spring Semester: THE BUILD! I don’t know about y’all, but we’re ready to put on some serious hard hats. While purple-clad, victorious, and hungover LSU (Louisiana State University) football fans stumbled home Monday morning after a winning championship…

EP 03 – ENTRY 03: LET THEM EAT CAKE

Article: EP 03 – ENTRY 03: LET THEM EAT CAKE

Here ye, here ye, Mardi Gras Season has officially begun! (I know, Fat Tuesday is three weeks away but that’s just how they roll in New Orleans. So many parades, so little time.) To ring in the party, the locals annually cut the ribbon with a King Cake. It’s a longstanding tradition, and its history…

EP 03 – ENTRY 04: DIG ME A HOLE

Article: EP 03 – ENTRY 04: DIG ME A HOLE

Well, for all the excitement of the first few days, it turns out one of the most taxing parts of construction happens early on in a build: Digging the foundation. No one has a single nice thing to say about it. Digging a trench deep enough to support the concrete and reinforcement bars that will…

EP 03 – ENTRY 06: WHERE IS THE LAV?

Article: EP 03 – ENTRY 06: WHERE IS THE LAV?

It’s not ALL fun and games around here, in case you were beginning to wonder. Today was tough. Carter measured the stringers for the front steps incorrectly and had to redo everything. Byron was not a happy camper. Meanwhile, two of our wireless mikes stopped working so we spent several hours figuring out how and…

EP 02 – ENTRY 01: CALIFORNIA DREAMING

Article: EP 02 – ENTRY 01: CALIFORNIA DREAMING

Today we met someone who loves that empty blue 07 URBANbuild house on Dryades and Sixth. In fact, she can see it from her living room window. Her name is Tess Lassai, and she lives just a few doors down. A longtime resident of this neighborhood, Tess says the house reminds her of Santa Barbara.…

EP 02 – ENTRY 02: RECHARGE, REBIRTH

Article: EP 02 – ENTRY 02: RECHARGE, REBIRTH

The Final Review is on the horizon. Yikes. For a little stress-management and a break from production, the crew had a night out on the town. We ate dinner at the ever popular Juan’s Flying Burrito [www.juansflyingburrito.com], where fiery hot Betty Page-esque waitresses served up Cajun-style burritos, spicy grilled shrimp salads, and margueritas to get…

EP 02 – ENTRY 03: STAND AND DELIVER

Article: EP 02 – ENTRY 03: STAND AND DELIVER

Today was it, folks. The Final Review. After weeks of preparation and angst, the students got about 15 minutes to present their URBANbuild designs to a panel of professionals, not to mention their fidgety, nervous classmates. The anticipation in the final hour before the Review was palpable: I’ll be honest: A few people got ripped…

EP 01 – ENTRY 02: A MODEL INSTITUTION

Article: EP 01 – ENTRY 02: A MODEL INSTITUTION

This isn’t Richardson Hall. THIS is Richardson Hall. Or more specifically, Studio 301, where Carter, Adriana, and their classmates are hard at work, making models like the one you see above. With its high ceilings and large, sunny windows, Tulane’s Studio 301 is full of natural light, making it the perfect environment for filming. What…

EP 01 – ENTRY 05: CAMELLIA'S BACK!

Article: EP 01 – ENTRY 05: CAMELLIA'S BACK!

Not everything that Katrina hit became a total loss. Not even close. Here’s one of many examples – Camellia Grill’s triumphant return! Beloved diner and local institution, famous for its cheerful, friendly service and the best damn chili cheese fries this side of Texas, Camellia Grill [www.atneworleans.com] was shut down immediately after the storm. It…

EP 01 – ENTRY 01: MEET THE CREW

Article: EP 01 – ENTRY 01: MEET THE CREW

Greetings from New Orleans, y’all! Here we are, clockwise: That’s Dan in the glasses, Associate Producer, technical guru, and all-around nice guy. Rob is up above – he’s our Cinematographer extraordinaire, and he’ll become our Senior Editor when we start Post Production. (Which seems ages away right now.) I’m in the white shirt, your handy…