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In the Ashes of American Dreams

Standing in clusters on urban street corners waiting for a pickup truck and a boss and a day’s work and a few dollars, or gathered at the edge of the Home Depot parking lot beneath the sun and their broad-brimmed hats, day laborers are the almost-invisible floating labor force at the bottom of the American economy. Salvadoran journalist Oscar Martinez traveled to Los Angeles last year to see for himself where they have ended up, his countrymen whose dreams have died waiting in line for a steady paycheck that never came.

The day laborers are celebrating a birthday here at the Centro Laboral in Pasadena, California.

In the San Francisco Library, a City’s Generosity and Its Meanness

Amid the vast wealth and ostentation of the internet boom, San Francisco also accommodates an enormous and growing population of homeless people. The city’s public library, writes Daikha Dridi, perfectly crystallizes the ambiguous attitude of this affluent place toward its least fortunate.

Like an ocean liner of glass and concrete, the San Francisco library indifferently shrugs off the deluge of rain that has splashed down on this city for the past few days.