Humans of New York

"We met 55 years ago on a teen tour, and have been best friends ever since." "What's her best quality?" "She's loyal." "What's the toughest thing she's ever helped you through?" "I don't know if I should say this, but I'm going to. Fourteen years ago, I got lung cancer. Then seven or eight years ago, I got breast cancer. And now the lung cancer's back. I must have set a record or something, because it was fourteen years ago, but now it's back, and it's metastasized, and the prognosis is not good." "She's doing good. The chemo is working." "She's right, I'm doing ok, and I'll make it longer than expected, but the prognosis is not good. And I'm gonna cry now, but I've got to say-- and I know it's a cliche-- but she's been there every step of the way. Every appointment, every surgery, every time I've done chemo, she's been there. And I couldn't have come this far without her."

“We met 55 years ago on a teen tour, and have been best friends ever since.” “What’s her best quality?” “She’s loyal.” “What’s the toughest thing she’s ever helped you through?” “I don’t know if I should say this, but I’m going to. Fourteen years ago, I got lung cancer. Then seven or eight years ago, I got breast cancer. And now the lung cancer’s back. I must have set a record or something, because it was fourteen years ago, but now it’s back, and it’s metastasized, and the prognosis is not good.” “She’s doing good. The chemo is working.” “She’s right, I’m doing ok, and I’ll make it longer than expected, but the prognosis is not good. And I’m gonna cry now, but I’ve got to say– and I know it’s a cliche– but she’s been there every step of the way. Every appointment, every surgery, every time I’ve done chemo, she’s been there. And I couldn’t have come this far without her.”

After a few weeks in my native New York, I can confirm that humans who live in the gorgeous and gritty city are truly fascinating. People-watching is the best way to get a feel for what NYC is all about – and it’s better than any tourist attraction. You’ll experience the raw energy that defines New York with interesting people from all walks of life that make the city a beautiful melting pot of colors, cultures, languages, beliefs.

If you can’t make it to New York anytime soon, you can join in on the daily updates from HONY – Humans of New York, a collection of powerful images and stories of New Yorkers, on your Facebook or Tumblr feed. The project was created in November 2010 by photographer Brandon Stanton, who decided to move to New York after losing his job as a bond trader, and has grown tremendously with over one million likes on Facebook.

Brandon’s talent is evident, as he is able to convey strong emotion – either sharing the subject’s joy or pain – with a stunning portrait and a few words. He explains how his project evolved:

HONY resulted from an idea that I had to construct a photographic census of New York City. I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants, so I set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. I worked for several months with this goal in mind. But somewhere along the way, HONY began to take on a much different character. I started collecting quotes and short stories from the people I met, and began including these snippets alongside the photographs. Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog. With hundreds of thousands of followers on both Facebook and Tumblr, HONY now provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City.
This is how Brandon captures the Big Apple. How would you portray your city?
"I proposed to my fiancee before I even met her in person." "How'd that happen?" "Well, she lives in Australia. We met on Instagram. Then for the next three months we talked on the phone every night. Then I proposed on Skype." "So have you met her in person yet?" "Oh yeah, she's actually been in New York for the past three months. She just went back to Australia to get her stuff. We even have our own apartment. And a dog."

“I proposed to my fiancee before I even met her in person.” “How’d that happen?” “Well, she lives in Australia. We met on Instagram. Then for the next three months we talked on the phone every night. Then I proposed on Skype.” “So have you met her in person yet?” “Oh yeah, she’s actually been in New York for the past three months. She just went back to Australia to get her stuff. We even have our own apartment. And a dog.”

"I've got my own nail polish. It's mine!"

“I’ve got my own nail polish. It’s mine!”

I asked if he remembered the moment he was proudest of his daughter. He started musing in a thick Jamaican accent: "Just seeing her born. That moment when my seed was brought forth on to this earth. It was magic." Then the girl, who up to this point had been quiet, screamed: "Preach!"

I asked if he remembered the moment he was proudest of his daughter. He started musing in a thick Jamaican accent: “Just seeing her born. That moment when my seed was brought forth on to this earth. It was magic.” Then the girl, who up to this point had been quiet, screamed: “Preach!”

"I'm in corporate law." "How is being a lawyer different than you thought it would be when you first chose to be a lawyer?" "I guess I thought that I'd have more of an effect on the lives of individuals. There's nobody whose life is really deeply affected by the outcomes of the trials I'm working on." "What about the people who work for the companies you represent?" "Not really. Even the big cases usually only represent a tiny sliver of a company's profits. The only time I feel like I really made a difference in someone's life is when I take a pro bono case." "Which pro bono case do you feel made the biggest difference?" "I helped a carpenter in Poughkeepsie get his house back after he was evicted over taxes. That felt pretty good."

“I’m in corporate law.” “How is being a lawyer different than you thought it would be when you first chose to be a lawyer?” “I guess I thought that I’d have more of an effect on the lives of individuals. There’s nobody whose life is really deeply affected by the outcomes of the trials I’m working on.” “What about the people who work for the companies you represent?” “Not really. Even the big cases usually only represent a tiny sliver of a company’s profits. The only time I feel like I really made a difference in someone’s life is when I take a pro bono case.” “Which pro bono case do you feel made the biggest difference?” “I helped a carpenter in Poughkeepsie get his house back after he was evicted over taxes. That felt pretty good.”

"I try to spew my thoughts for ten minutes everyday."

“I try to spew my thoughts for ten minutes everyday.”

(photo credit: HONY)

Eidos Tweet: Every city has a story to tell.

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