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114,000 N.Y.C. Students Are Homeless. Meet 2 of Them.

Weather: Cloudy with a high in the mid-40s and a slight chance of rain. Expect a mostly sunny and brisk weekend.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Sunday (Immaculate Conception).

Darnell, 8, lives in a homeless shelter in Queens and commutes 15 miles a day to school.

Sandivel, who goes by Sandy, is 10 and shares a bedroom in Brooklyn with her mother and four brothers.

They are just two of the 114,000 students in New York City who are homeless.

Here is a day in their life, as reported by my colleague Eliza Shapiro.

[114,000 students in New York City are homeless. These two let us into their lives.]

Sandy gets up before 6 a.m. She shares a bed with her mother, Maria, and youngest brother, Jonni. Three other brothers sleep on a mattress on the ground. The family shares the bathroom and the kitchen of a two-bedroom apartment with another family.

Sandy commutes for one hour, from her home in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, to Public School 188, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Darnell wakes before 6:30 a.m. He got only a few hours of sleep in the shelter. Now he has a 90-minute subway ride to his school in East Harlem. Darnell is in the fourth grade and has already shuffled through four schools.

Sandy’s notebooks are meticulous, and she keeps a log of the books she has read. Still, her school’s principal, Suany Ramos, worries about her. Half the students at the school are homeless, and yet there is only one social worker.

At Darnell’s school, he gets into a scuffle with a classmate. He has a learning disability and struggles to read. Darnell comes to life in computer class, where he shows off his agility at math. He whispers “Bam!” whenever he gets an answer right.

He spends the rest of the afternoon teetering on the edge of another scuffle and fidgeting in his chair.

After school, Sandy and her siblings commute home. For them, the crosstown bus is a mobile library. The children meet their mother at Union Square during the evening rush hour. She passes around a king-size Kit Kat bar and a bottle of Gatorade for all of them to share.

They take the N train over the Manhattan Bridge. At home, Sandy hopes to watch “Cake Boss” or “Tom and Jerry.”

At 6 p.m., Darnell and his brother, Thomas, suit up for football practice. He worships his coach and listens intently for instructions before starting drills. His mother, Sherine, is a “football mom,” helping stretch the boys’ jerseys over their hulking shoulder pads and walking the players to a field a few blocks away.

After practice, Darnell and Thomas are exhausted and hungry. Sherine hopes to feed them some defrosted chicken by 10 p.m. They will be up before sunrise the next day to do it all over again.

Want more news? Check out our full coverage.

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

A developer plans to build “the most sustainable block in Downtown Brooklyn.” [Curbed New York]

Parents in Park Slope said a teacher destroyed their children’s belief in Santa Claus. [News 12]

A mobster and a union boss tried to shake down the iconic restaurant Il Mulino in Greenwich Village, according to the F.B.I. [New York Post]


Buy traditional and contemporary works by Native American artists at the Indian Market and Social at La MaMa in Manhattan. Noon-8 p.m. [Free]

Mary Cain, an activist and professional runner, and Sarah Cahill, chief executive of Mind and Movement Partners, discuss the importance of play in sport at Outdoor Voices in Manhattan’s Flatiron district. 6:30 p.m. [Free with R.S.V.P.]


Feast at the Edible Island Market at the Staten Island Museum. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. [Free]

Watch the movie “Tokyo!” — a compilation of shorts by the directors Michel Gondry, Leos Carax and Bong Joon-ho — at the Japan Society in Manhattan. 2 p.m. [$14]


Christmas in the Garden includes performances, crafts and a tree lighting at the Queens Botanical Garden. Noon-5 p.m. [Free]

— Melissa Guerrero

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.

Aaron Randle writes:

A New York City staple is getting tossed from the curb.

As early as spring, you’ll notice sleeker, lighter litter baskets replacing the more than 23,000 wire trash cans in the city.

The refresh is a result of the BetterBin competition, in which 200 groups submitted designs aimed at improving the quality of life for New Yorkers and the city Department of Sanitation workers who empty the receptacles.

Three finalists received $40,000 each from the city to build their trash cans, which for 90 days in the summer were placed in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. The bins were tested by pedestrians, sanitation workers and judges.

The winning container was created by the Brooklyn-based design company Group Project. It has three components: a lid divided by a bar; a metal stand; and a wastebasket. The team also created a version for recyclables.

The bar across the lid helps to prevent the dumping of oversize and household materials. The lightweight basket is easily removed from the durable metal stand.

Brit Kleinman, a Group Project designer, said the bin would help sanitation workers most. “Our design is all about lightening their load,” she said.

New York’s old wire cans weigh 32 pounds each and can reach about 80 pounds when full, Ms. Kleinman said. An empty Group Project basket weighs 12 pounds.

“We’re saving these guys up to 4,500 pounds per shift,” she said.

Kathryn Garcia, the sanitation commissioner, said the department would appreciate lighter lifts. “You wouldn’t think a few pounds here and there would matter very much,” Ms. Garcia said, adding that workers who pick up several hundred bins on a shift would “feel the difference.”

She said the department was testing the baskets before mass producing them.

“They did well during the summer,” she said. “I’d like to see how they hold up during the winter.”

It’s Friday — T.G.I.F.

Dear Diary:

My 5-year old goddaughter, Lily, was playing with her scooter near the Museum of Natural History.

It was cold out and she was wearing a down coat that covered her in padding from her neck to her ankles. She also had a helmet on. I was fairly confident that she couldn’t possibly get hurt.

Of course, she fell and started to cry. Thinking that her tears were more from being startled than hurt, I hugged and reassured her and offered to call her father.

In the time it took to take out my phone, I noticed a purple welt forming across her nose, the only uncovered part of her body.

We rushed over to a hot dog cart on the corner. In what must have been a panicked tone, I asked the vendor for some ice.

A woman standing next to us turned around, looked at Lily and then looked at me.

“I think she’ll be O.K.,” she said in a tone that was reassuring but also made me feel as though I should perhaps calm down.

The woman was Tina Fey.

— Susannah Maurer

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