Home of the Kentucky Derby, Churchill Downs’ iconic twin spires tower over Louisville, a castle looming down on the peeling shotgun houses huddled at its base. Ladies teeter by boarded-up bungalows on Prada stilettos, avoiding wide cracks in the sidewalks and hanging on to immense flower- and feather-filled hats. Meanwhile, a man named Clarence rockets down the road hollering at every passing car. Tiptoeing expertly along the yellow line, narrowly avoiding collision with speeding traffic, he flashes his gold teeth at drivers and points wildly to his right. It’s only Thursday, two days from the Kentucky Derby, and the Louisville parking hustle is already in full swing. As thousands of race fans pour into the city, many locals fill their garages, driveways and lawns with tourists’ cars, charging $10 to $60 per vehicle, depending on their proximity to the track. People living close to the track can make upwards of $300 per day. Those living a little farther out often end up with nothing, although many try their luck.
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Lili Holzer-Glier is a photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vogue and The New York Times. Her first book, Rockabye, documents the Rockaways post–Hurricane Sandy and was published in 2015 by Daylight Books.