Humans Of New York
The work of photographer Brandon Stanton www.humansofnewyork.com
Humans of New York: "My dad gave me up to the boy's home when I was four. He told me that he was taking me fishing. He got the poles, the bait, everything. I was excited. He said he knew about a new spot. We pulled up to this huge building. He told me to wait in the car while he ran inside and got permission from his friend. Then he came back with two men. 'I'm sorry' he said, 'but you have to stay here'. I kept screaming:'I'll be good! I 'll be good! I'll be good!' And he kept saying:'It ain't
Humans of New York: "I was in the home for 13 years. It was a very abusive environment for everyone there. There were four staff members in particular that were especially bad. One of their favorite forms of punishment was the "full burn". First they'd make you take your clothes off and lay on the carpet. One of them would sit on your back, and the other one would pull you all the way down the hall. The worst was The Ice Man. If I saw him today, he'd be dead. He was like one of these guys you se
Humans of New York: "I'd always been an overachiever. I graduated at the top of my class in high school. I got straight A's. I got accepted into 14 of the 17 colleges that I applied to. But when I got to Harvard, everyone around me was just as smart or smarter. My grades fell, and suddenly I was no longer exceeding expectations. All that external validation that I 'd become accustomed to suddenly stopped. And I crumbled. I felt lost. I learned that I hadn't formed an identity beyond making peopl
Humans of New York : "I've been going through chemo for six months now. Sometimes I'll come home from the hospital and I won't even want to look in the mirror. I feel disfigured. I'll have drains attached to me that he has to help measure and adjust. We've been together for a long time. When something like this happens, you find out what you've been working for all those years.
Humans of New York: "This is the first time I’ve ever been in love. My mother put me in an orphanage when I was one year old. I went from bonding with her every day to lying in a room with a hundred other cribs. It’s been seventy-three years since then, and I’m finally allowing myself to be dependent on the love of another person.”
Humans of New York: "I volunteered to be a background actor for a friend’s film last night. We were supposed to be celebrating an engagement on a rooftop. There was a guy on set who was making drinks, and so you know, I was willing to make a sacrifice for art, so I had four pina coladas, two vodka cranberries, a few beers, and this one drink that was just rum and crushed up watermelons. I had a couple of those. Then afterwards we went to a comedy club because the tickets were free. All you had to do was buy a couple drinks. This probably makes me sound like an alcoholic but don’t worry I was hydrating. And you should have seen my friend. She was way more drunk than me. We didn’t end up getting home until 2:30 AM. I did have a voice in my head reminding me I have to wake up for work in the morning. I’m just really good at shushing that voice.”
Humans of New York: "I used to be obsessed with cooking. It was all I thought about. I did cooking shows on the BBC. I wrote 27 cookbooks. I wrote a whole cookbook just about garlic. Then one night, I was editing the proofs for my 27th cookbook, when I picked up a marker and drew a mermaid on a piece of scrap paper. I looked at that mermaid, she looked at me, and I never thought about cooking again. Ever since that moment, I’ve thought about nothing but art. (continued)
Humans of New York: "I’m trying to raise my daughter with the same values that I learned in Jamaica, but it can be hard to instill gratitude and appreciation when we are surrounded by such abundance. When I was growing up in Jamaica, every time I wanted something, my grandmother made me go through the same list of questions: ‘Why do you want it?’ ‘How much will it cost?’ ‘Is it going to make your life better?’ There wasn’t enough money for things we didn’t need, so we were always forced to ask t
“What was the happiest moment of your life?”“When my daughter was born.”“Where is she now?”“She was raped and murdered, along with my wife.”“Oh God. Were you there at the time?”“Nope. I was at work. I was a paramedic.”“Were you the one that found them?”“Yep.”“Did they catch the guy?”“They did. But I had a nervous breakdown and got committed. After that, I wasn’t allowed to be a paramedic anymore"
Humans of New York: "Gram died right before Mother’s Day last year. She grew up in Georgia and spent most of her childhood working in the cotton fields. She dropped out of school after seventh grade. She moved North with her family and started working in a button factory. My mom was her only child. They both almost died during childbirth. Gram raised Mom all by herself, and after we were born, she helped raise us too. My friends called her Diva Miss Eva. She’d roll down the window of her Oldsmobile to tell people to pull up their pants. And she loved pink. We took this picture on the day my mom graduated from community college. It was in the middle of June. It was so hot. But Gram comes outside in a pink evening gown, mink fur, and evening gloves. We told her it was too hot but she said: ‘My baby’s graduating!’ She loved this photo. She put it in a frame and hung it above her pink bed. In her pink room.”