With a background in journalism, Andrea has reported on various human interest stories for
the Metro section and LENS photojournalism blog of The New York Times.

 

A STRUGGLE FROM DAWN TO DUSK

The garment industry is one of the largest industrial sectors in Bangladesh. It accounts for a good portion of the country’s exports and employs more than three million workers. Most of them are women.

“Workers toil from dawn to dusk on minimum wage,” said Taslima Akhter, a Bangladeshi photographer who has spent more than four years capturing the workers’ movement for “The Life and Struggle of Garment Workers.”

Ms. Akhter, 37, was compelled to bring to light some of the industry’s darker aspects, like dangerous working conditions and low salaries. As an activist, a photographer and a resident of Bangladesh, she sees the ongoing project as both a personal agenda and a civic duty.

FAR FROM HOME AND FIGHTING A RARE DISEASE

Numbers tell a stark story of Thonn McMillan’s battle for survival against a rare disease that has wreaked havoc on his body.

He is 17 years old and weighs 85 pounds. Two 15-gauge needles are inserted into a skin graft in his fragile left arm when he undergoes dialysis. He takes 28 pills and limits his drinking water to 12 ounces every day to ensure the dialysis proceeds without complications. He spends three days a week for nearly four hours at a time receiving treatment because of a disease that has a grand and barely pronounceable name, Wegener’s granulomatosis, and causes inflammation of the arteries and veins, making it hard for blood to flow to the body’s organs.

DESPITE OBSTACLES, WORKING AND STUDYING HARD

Raphia Smith has a lot on her plate. She looks fashionable, with cropped, bleached-blond hair and a tank top that reads “Sexy” in glittery italics. She likes photography and listens to hip-hop and reggae, but Ms. Smith, 21, does not have the freedom to go out and do the things a young woman her age typically might.

Until recently, she was earning minimum wage as a part-time receptionist, which is hardly enough to support a family — though that is what she has been determined to do. But she has difficulty learning; her developmental disabilities have stifled her progress in school and professional life.

After Losing Longtime Roommate and Home, a Man Finds His Dream Job

Every time a new roommate walked into Iking Little’s apartment in the Bronx, he thought he had found someone to help him hold on to the only home he had known for more than a decade.

He had scoured Craigslist for suitable candidates. But one by one, each roommate failed. Some stayed for one night or a few days; some skipped out without paying him any rent. His ordeal lasted for more than two years.

“I don’t even know how I went on for that long — it was a miracle,” Mr. Little, 35, said. He is legally blind and has cataracts, with only partial sight in his right eye and almost none in his left.

Hot off the Press

“A photograph of a roomful of servers wouldn’t really be interesting,” Mike Osborne said. Printing presses, on the other hand — now there is something to marvel at.

Mr. Osborne, 32, began his “Press Pictures” project in 2005, hoping to visibly document the ceaseless flow of information and imagery worldwide, and also to explore the connections between digital publishing and its mechanical forerunner. He visited pressrooms in this country, Taiwan and Germany, including those of The Austin-American Statesman, The San Antonio Express-News and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.

FIGHTING HIDDEN ILLNESS WHOSE DRAINING EFFECTS ARE NOTICED EVERY DAY

On the surface, Salvatore Costanzo’s home life seems fairly normal.

His spacious two-level apartment in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, is cozy and warm, shining spotlessly from floor to ceiling on a rainy fall morning. Mr. Costanzo sits in an armchair with his wife, Maria, and 11-year-old daughter, Barbara, at his side. Two well-fed cats lounge nearby. The scene is picture perfect, but the presence of a silent disease is an elephant in the room. Mr. Costanzo, 36, has multiple sclerosis.

The Bedbugs Are Gone, but So Is All She Owned

Patricia Valadez’s past life of glamour can be found in a tattered black leather portfolio, filled with head shots and other photographs from her days as a performer.

Last summer, Ms. Valadez endured a bedbug infestation in her apartment, which compelled her to throw away all her furniture, clothing and most other belongings. The portfolio survived the purge because she had already given it away to her daughter.

Ms. Valadez has chronic depression. For several years before the bedbugs arrived, she had been spending much of her time at home, going out only to buy food or to visit her daughter and granddaughter. “I’m a recluse,” she said. “Well, not anymore, not after this.”

Ex-opera performer still singing, and volunteering

Inside Rayford Dudley’s sunny 45th-floor apartment in the Manhattan Plaza, the view is breathtaking. Mr. Dudley, a retired opera singer, is one of the original residents of the place, a 1970s-era Mitchell-Lama complex on 43rd Street and Ninth Avenue.

In June 1977, The New York Times reported that Mr. Dudley “brought the house down” with a performance of “Bless This House” during the Plaza’s opening festivities for a crowd of nearly 200 new residents as well as Mayor Abraham D. Beame.

A Brooklyn Restaurant, in Heath Ledger’s Memory

After the actor Heath Ledger died, the fate of a restaurant and bar he had planned to open in Brooklyn was thrown into question. Then in July, his family announced that it would release money from his estate to complete the business.

On Sept. 17, the restaurant-bar, Five Leaves, opened at 18 Bedford Avenue, near the Greenpoint-Williamsburg boundary. In an interview, Mr. Ledger’s business partner, Jud Mongell, and Scott Campbell, a tattoo artist who was also a friend of the actor’s, traced the evolution of their friendship with Mr. Ledger, who they say relished his friendships with ordinary people.