Spotlight: Humans of New York

The man’s an architect, the woman’s a painter, and I’m going to go ahead and assume the baby’s a model.

She’ll grow into it.

“My story? Well…I style hair, I”m a go-go dancer, I used to be a lady, things like that.”

“I’m straight, but I work in a gay bar so I’m not allowed to wear a shirt.”

“I’m 99 years old. Everything from my neck down is shit. But everything from my neck up is as good as anyone else. How lucky is that?”

I told him I wanted to take his photograph because he looked like a composer. In reality, it’s because I saw him slip a homeless man a $20 bill five minutes earlier.

He makes an awesome portrait. But you know what I remember most about him? When I tapped him on the shoulder, and said, “Excuse me,” he answered: “Yes, sir?”

“Everyone’s gonna love you.”
“Everyone already loves us. We’re the two most adorable ladies on the Upper East Side.”

Me: “Are you married?”
Man: “No, we’re lovers.”
[laughter]
Woman: “He wasn’t joking.”

“We’re learning about angles.”

Brandon Stanton, the brains behind Humans of New York, photographs the moments that are seldom acknowledged–the candid shot of a sweet goodbye, the couple sleeping entwined on a park bench, or the grandfather helping his grandson with his homework. One thing is certain: HONY subjects have an indescribable spark. It may be in the way that they care for a friend, or interact with a stranger, or in the way that they laugh, or argue, or maybe just in the way they walk down the street. No matter the tip-off, something in each of Stanton’s subjects says, “I’ve got a really great story to tell, you need only stop and listen.” In the middle of a crowded city, strangers tend to make the lonely lonelier, and Humans of New York makes every stranger on the street feel like a friend that you just haven’t met yet.

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