His name is Brandon Stanton and he began Humans of New York in the summer of 2010. HONY resulted from an idea that he 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, which over the past two years has gained a large daily following. With nearly one million collective followers on Facebook and Tumblr, HONY now provides a worldwide audience with glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City.”
“What was the saddest moment of your life?”
“When Lady Gaga cancelled her Born This Way tour.”
“I’m an actor, a plus-sized model, and a boxer. But for the next four hours I’m a hostess. Because I need $100.”
“Quinceañera (lit. meaning ‘one who is fifteen’), is the celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday in parts of Latin America and elsewhere in communities of people from Latin America. This birthday is celebrated differently from any other birthday, as it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood.”
“Yesterday, I was walking through Washington Square Park when I noticed a small boy and his mother selling cowboy supplies. “We’re saving up for a horse,” they told me. The boy’s name was Rumi. After speaking with Rumi’s mother, I learned that Rumi has loved horses his entire life. He has horse themed shirts, toys, and backpacks. All those things are great. But Rumi’s biggest dream is to own a horse. “You can get one for $1000!” he told me. After a full afternoon of selling cowboy supplies, he’d raised $1. He seemed a little downtrodden by the afternoon’s results, but committed to his ultimate goal.
That night, I jumped on the phone with a couple of horse experts– not Rumi’s parents– who have special expertise regarding kids who want horses. These horse experts– not Rumi’s parents– told me that having a horse is super expensive. It’s just about impossible for normal parents, especially ones who live in a small NYC apartment, and who aren’t wealthy, to provide a horse for their child. Sometimes this can be quite heartbreaking.
So I thought of a plan. Let’s send Rumi on a Wild West Adventure! With the size of the HONY audience, it’d be quite a simple thing to do. I spent all last night making phone calls, and threw in $300 to get us started. Please consider tossing a few coins in the [cowboy] hat: http://bit.ly/133HNB1”
“We met at a college convention in 1941.”
“We’ve been married 22 years. He’s a very good man. He feeds me, he bathes me, he pushes me around everywhere.”
“How’d you meet?”
“I tripped when I was coming out of the grocery store, and dropped my bags. He picked them up.”
“Are you married or dating?”
“We’re married. And we’re on a date.”
“I used to be a preschool teacher, but I got fired.”
“Well, I decided that I wanted to have a socially conscious class. So we learned about apartheid in South Africa. Then we learned about homelessness. Then we made mother’s day cards for Trayvon Martin’s mom. And I think the principal decided that it was too much for three and four year olds, because she told me I wasn’t a ‘good fit.’ But honestly, I was just shining too bright for them. And now she’s going to see me on Humans of New York, and she’ll be sorry!”