Dasani's Story - The New York Times

Nine years ago, my colleague Andrea Elliott set out to relate a series of stories about what it was like to be a homeless child in New Y...


Nine years ago, my colleague Andrea Elliott set out to relate a series of stories about what it was like to be a homeless child in New York City. As part of her reporting, she quickly met a girl in Brooklyn named Dasani – “a brave 11-year-old girl with big dreams and no home,” as Andrea described it.

The five-part series The Times published in 2013 made Dasani a public figure. Readers donated money to help him. Bill de Blasio, the new mayor who has pledged to reduce income inequality, said: “We cannot let down the children of this town like Dasani. At the inauguration in 2014 of de Blasio and other senior officials, Dasani held the bible of Letitia James, the new public lawyer, who called Dasani “my new best friend”.

This morning, The Times Magazine published a new story of Andrea following Dasani since the spotlight left her. This makes reading captivating and sometimes difficult.

Much of it takes place at Milton Hershey School, a tuition-free school in Pennsylvania that the chocolate mogul founded in 1909 to educate poor children. Part of the school’s guiding philosophy is that its students must largely separate from their families to escape poverty, and Dasani struggles with this miserable dilemma. She alternates between excelling and struggling in school, while her mother and siblings in New York City face new setbacks.

“I felt like I had done something wrong,” Dasani said of leaving home. At night, she gets bored sleeping in the same bed as her little sister, Lee-Lee.

The story ends today – on a worse note than I had hoped for reading it and a better note than I feared. It doesn’t offer orderly political solutions, but it is as relevant today as Andrea’s series was in 2013. Once again, New York is on the verge of having a new mayor, and the person likely to occupy the position made a wish to tackle the persistent problem of homelessness in one of the richest cities in the world.

You can read the story – and see the photos of Ruth Fremson – here.

  • The share of Hispanic adults in the United States who have received a vaccine has jumped in recent months to 73 percent – and now exceeds the share of white adults vaccinated (71 percent), according to a Kaiser Family Foundation Survey.

  • The share of black Americans vaccinated has also increased significantly, reaching 70%.

  • President Biden got a Pfizer recall to the camera. “I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I’m over 65,” he said.

  • They are a small minority, but some healthcare workers would rather be fired than vaccinated.

The music for the first installment of the Final Fantasy series in 1987 was limited to a handful of electronic sounds. But technology evolved, and by the late 1990s games featured live orchestral recordings. Nobuo Uematsu, who composed the scores for the first nine installments of Final Fantasy, was inspired by influences as diverse as Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Celtic music and classical music.

The soundtracks of the Final Fantasy series are extremely popular: since 2007, there have been more than 200 official concerts in 20 countries. During the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics this summer, some athletes marched to songs from Final Fantasy. On YouTube, fans post covers, tutorials and their own compositions.

“There are melodies that I composed almost 30 years ago that I almost forgot,” said Junya Nakano, who worked with Uematsu on the score for the 10th installment of Final Fantasy. “But the fans still play them.” – Sanam Yar, a morning writer

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