Village Voice, October 2017
At 10:45 a.m. last Wednesday morning, thirty minutes into history class on the fifth floor of Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx, eighteen-year-old Abel Cedeno plunged a three-inch switchblade into the chest of fifteen-year-old Matthew McCree. Another student, Ariane Laboy, sixteen, stepped into the fray and was also critically injured. Forty minutes later at St. Barnabas Hospital, McCree was pronounced dead.
Narratively.com, June 2017
Meet Gaston Grant, one of the very few black owner-trainers in horseracing—and almost certainly the only one who also works full-time at UPS.
Chalkbeat.com, April 2017
It was an unusually chaotic morning for principal Carl Manalo. The A train, the only subway line that travels to this remote part of Far Rockaway Beach, was delayed nearly an hour that February morning, and seven teachers out of 20 called in absent due to a snowstorm the previous day.
When a bomb went off in a dumpster on Sept. 17 at 8:30 pm in Chelsea, police, firefighters, and ambulances rushed to the scene.
Among the first responders was the Detectives Endowment Association canteen truck, which arrived by 4 a.m. with coffee and hot breakfast sandwiches for the servicemen and women who spent the night securing the area. The DEA, the largest detective union in New York, funds the truck, which provides food without cost to officers on the scene. In charge of provisions is Ron Doda, a retired detective Sergeant in Queens whose family business, Gold Shield Catering, stocks and operates the canteen.
There's something special about this bowling team that meets every week in Queens- and it's not just the scoreboard. They are all legally blind. Meet the Metropolitan Blind Bowlers as they prepare for the American Blind Bowling Association National Championship.
Her students call it “the square world”— a family with two parents who work from nine to five, a home, kids in school, and regular meals.
“It’s everything they think that normal is,” says Magaly Melendez, the education manager of Girls Education and Mentoring Services (GEMS), a New York City organization that serves girls ages 12 to 24 who are victims of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking. But for Melendez’s students, and thousands more of the city’s homeless and marginalized youth, the square world can feel out of reach
On October 1st, the line outside the Richard Rogers Theater on 46th Street, home of the hit Broadway show, “Hamilton,” wasn’t for people hoping to score tickets to the sold-out musical; it was to register to vote.
This was the second night of “Hamilton’s” ‘Ham4Vote’ registration event, a partnership with the local Hispanic Federation community action group, where members of the “Hamilton” cast volunteered to register voters between matinee and evening performances. Theater staff erected tables inside the side doorway as a sea of 1,300 buzzing audience members clutching cast recordings and rolled up playbills eased onto the street, and a tough-looking security guard called out, “No re-entry.”
In professional polo, summer marks another season of play, another trailer loaded full of horses, and for many, yet another thousand mile road trip to meet up with lifelong friends and new teammates. For the polo community, the rituals of summer include high-stakes tournaments, friendly competition, surprising horses, new challenges, and— for lucky players— a job offer for the autumn.
The largest summer polo community in America centers around the competitive 16-goal polo in Santa Barbara, California. For some Team USPA players, 2016 marked their first season playing on the West Coast. For others, it is a summer routine like any other.
Adolfo Cambiaso said, “Without good horses, you are nothing. In polo, it's seventy percent horse, thirty percent rider.” For Team USPA players, this emphasis on horses and horsemanship is the same. Players maintain and train their own strings, and many work to breed, make, and train horses for others. By providing trainings, yearlong support, and connections to the best trainers in the world, Team USPA helps teach its players the skills to make a good horse into great horse.
Polo is a sport of inheritance. Not inheritance of the financial sort, as the sport’s reputation in popular culture might suggest, but the transfer of traditions and skills from player to player, trainer to rider, veteran club manager to freshman player and parent to child, one generation to the next. It is an inheritance of knowledge, of experience, and most importantly, of passion.
This summer marked the first year of Team USPA’s new Executive Training Program. The program gives a polo club access to a professional Team USPA player in exchange for a part-time summer internship in a typical business environment. The goal is to retain polo players who have come up through the Team USPA program and want to explore careers outside polo, and empower them to become the polo sponsors of tomorrow.
The program was born of trial and error. It took a lot of hard thinking before Jesse Weaver left professional polo to pursue a career in real estate. But the transition from full-time polo to a full-time job while staying involved in the sport wasn’t smooth. He says, “I would wake up at three am and go take sets, then get to work by eight and work as hard as I could until three pm and then go back to the club and play games. No one should try that.”