Poverty is a sensitive subject in the United States. There are many people dealing with problems that most can’t imagine. Simple luxuries such as a place to live, food to eat and transportation are taken for granted by many Americans. Studies and research have been done to better understand why poverty continues to be a grinding issue in the United States. However, numbers do not convey the emotion that goes with struggling to have life’s necessities. Doug Levitt set out on an interesting journey. He decided to get a look at property from up close. Doug rode the Greyhound bus for seven years and observed the occupants of this environment. Riding the bus was an interesting choice because it is common knowledge that people in America do not do so unless they have to. Those with the means will take more comfortable methods of travel to get where they need to be. The Greyhound bus is a collection of individuals that have a common problem. They span from all walks of life and represent every ethnic group. Doug Levitt was able to translate his experience into art. He has built a presentation of songs, photos and video that capture the experience he had over those years.
Doug Levitt was raised in Washington DC. He studied at the University of Cornell and eventually received an offer to take courses abroad. Doug traveled to Europe and studied at the London School of Economics. His time in Europe influenced his career decisions. Levitt decided that he wanted to take up music. He moved back to the United States and settled in Nashville Tennessee. He then proceeded to make the evolution into a singer-songwriter.
The Greyhound Diaries are a result of the moments that Doug Levitt were able to capture while traveling over 70,000 miles on the bus across the country. The work is daring and provides insight into the simple struggles of those living with less. Items such as the internet are limited to those who can’t afford service. It is a luxury that is taken for granted by most. However, someone living below the poverty line has to ration their wants and needs in every fashion.