Deadly Crossing: Death toll rises among those desperate for the American dream. NBCNews.com, October 9, 2012.
Immigrant detainees land in limbo in Alabama jail. NBCNews.com/NBC Nightly News, August 21, 2012.
Crackdown on painkiller abuse fuels new wave of heroin addiction. MSNBC.com. June 7, 2012.
Tumi @ Oppikoppi for the Mail & Guardian.
Albert Frost and Vusi Mahlasela @ Oppikoppi for the Mail & Guardian.
ICON 2010 photo slideshow for the Mail & Guardian.
Best Moments of the 2010 FIFA World Cup photo slideshow for the Mail & Guardian.
Dear Obama: We need ARVs. Audio slideshow of protest at the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg for the Mail & Guardian
Umuzi Photo Club. Audio slideshow of township youth photography for the Mail & Guardian.
From Ayoba to Sober. Reaction video of SA's loss in the 2010 FIFA World Cup for the Mail & Guardian.
A last tour of Jamaica's historical Mary Immaculate Hospital
Photographed and produced by HANNAH RAPPLEYE
QUEENS COURIER CONTRIBUTOR
A Day at the Races
This is part of a long-term project with journalist Joe Walker.
Recently I spent a day at the Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park. It's like the blue-collar version of the Belmont track; a throwback to a bygone era when down and out New Yorkers from across the boroughs used to flock to the track to try their luck.
The track, where Cigar kicked off his infamous sixteen-race winning streak, can hold up to 80,000 people. Nowadays, even on a Saturday, only a few thousand are there, screaming and clenching their fists as they watch their horses round the turf.
Many speculate as to why people don't go to the track anymore. It could be due to the rise of big casinos and off-track betting centers, or maybe it's just the fact that Americans don't do anything communally anymore. Our leisure time, and the time we devote to indulging our once-public sins, like gambling, are now spent behind closed doors or on the internet.
The state is looking to give Aqueduct a boost by putting VLTs, or video lottery terminals, in the track, thus turning it into a much-hyped "racino." But for years the plan has sat, stalled in the Senate, as developers flit in and out of the bidding process.
Yet, as the future of American horse racing-an industry that employs thousands of groomers, trainers, jockeys, cooks, servers, breeders, janitors and drivers-looks dim, the action at the Aqueduct still sputters along. As long as people need cash, as long as they need a distraction from their daily lives, they will be there, waiting for the next great horse and their next bring break.