nick otto

Freelance Photographer
Location: San Francisco, California
Nationality: American
Biography: A freelance photographer Nick Otto specializes in editorial, corporate and documentary photography. Represented by Zuma Press —he is available for assignments.  An active member of the National Press Photographers Association... read on
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A troubled city, my troubled neighborhood
nick otto
Feb 29, 2020
Location: san francisco
I had something of a surreal experience a couple of weeks ago: I shot a story on West Coast drug overdoses for the Washington Post. I've been doing stories on the issue here for the San Francisco Chronicle a lot over the last year and a half. I live in something of the epicenter of San Francisco's most notorious and troubled neighborhood as far as drugs and homelessness are concerned, the Tenderloin. 
Anyway, The surreal part happened when the entire assignment was shot within 5 square blocks of my apartment ultimately ending up in alley behind my apartment and literally below my living room window, the photo from which ended up on A1 this past weekend, Saturday. (See story in link below)

With my window cracked I can hear laughter, fear, mistrust and friendship drift up from the Alley below. But one of the more common cries is for NARCAN. "Anybody got NARCAN?"
I've learned to gage the desperation in these calls to determine whether I should dial 911. So, much like other daily motions I go through, making coffee, brushing my teeth, I now train one ear to the window listening for echoes of "NARCAN" rattling down Willow Street and hoping they don't make it up to my apartment.

Drug overdose deaths rise in the West while they drop in the East
Progress in cutting fatalities has stalled as opioids and stimulants reach new markets.

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