My Favorite Humans of New York

By

23rd May, 2013

Appropriately, his name was Dandy Wellington.

There’s an exciting photographer on the internet, kinda like a street style photographer except Brandon Stanton is more interested in what your soul is saying than your outfit. You might have noticed his photographs, complete with charming captions, around the net because he’s been faithfully photographing New Yorkers everyday for the past three years. This morning I finally went through his entire Tumblr (does anyone else out there understand the satisfaction of reaching the end of a Tumblr?) and picked out a few (dozens) of my favorites. So here they are, Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York (a.k.a HONY), with all their sass, spirit and soul…

“I said you could take my picture. Now you’re asking me questions and this is turning into a big deal.”

 

This woman wins the award for the most profound one-liner in HONY history:

“May I take your photo? You look beautiful.”
“OK, just make sure you can see the bag.”
“Oh, I didn’t realize you were advertising something.”
“Isn’t everything beautiful advertising something?”

 

“You ever try a Vitamin B shot? That’ll get you high!”

 

“You look kinda like Ernest Hemingway.”
“And we’re both from Key West.”
“You’re from Key West?”
“Well, I used to smuggle coke out of there.”

 

“Do you need the cane?”
“I need it when I’m wearing these shoes.”

 

“After this I go to work at a pizza shop. My wife and I were college professors in Bangladesh. I taught accounting. But one dollar in America becomes eighty dollars when we send it back home.”

 

One of them pointed at a passing rollerblader and said: “Why don’t you photograph him instead?” Another one answered for me:
“Because he’s not a Hasid with a chihuahua.”

 

As she was walking away, she turned around and said: “Remember, cowgirls are everywhere.”

 

Fashion in a very unfashionable part of town. [Had to ask for her photo in the presence of six male friends. Not the easiest thing to do.]

 

“I like your hat.”

“Take my fucking photo.”

 

If the photo’s a bit out of focus, it’s because a cop was honking behind me.

 

“If everyone in the room believes the same thing, I get worried.”

 

“What’s your favorite thing about your daughter?”

“She sasses.”

“I don’t sass!”

“She sasses.”

 

“I’m trying to get to California.”

 

“Want to hear a crazy story? I went to an exhibit at the International Center of Photography, and ended up seeing a picture of myself on the wall!”

 

“Is that your Rolls Royce?”
“No but I can pretend like I’m getting in.”

 

Somebody didn’t want Mom’s help.

 

“Put me on the internet! Even on The Google!”

 

“We’re trying to get a TV show.”

 

“I want to play in the NFL.”

“What’s your second choice?”

“Archaeologist.”

 

Following my general rule to investigate anyone who looks like they belong in a Hobbit movie, I came upon this man. After I took his photo, he handed me a card. It said:

Jean-Louis Bourgeois
Professor of Limerick Infliction at Gotham University
A student-free university encouraging S.L.O.T.H.

Slow
Luscious
Opportunities
Toward
Happiness

The whole experience further justified my instinct to investigate anyone who looks like they belong in a Hobbit movie.

 

“What’s the best day you’ve ever spent together?”
“Probably that day on the Ponts des Arts.”
“What’d you do?”
“Just held hands.”

 

The New York Couple

 

“If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?”
“Stay single.”

 

This guy works at Outpost coffee shop in Clinton Hill. Every time I walk by he is doing some combination of:
1) Smiling
2) Hugging Someone
3) Looking Awesome

Last night, I finally had my camera with me when I saw him.

 

 

“I came from a small town where I knew a lot of people. And now I’m here in this huge city. And don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the privacy, but sometimes I wish I had more of a presence.”

 

He was blasting John Denver, maximum volume.

 

The world is full of people standing in perfect places.

 

Kinda sad that I’m 20 years older than this kid, and he looks better walking home from school than I’ve ever looked in my life.

 

BREAKING NEWS: Hyper-masculine, perfectly-groomed mystery man complements epic mustache with new puppy.

 

“They go through 30 lbs of food per week.”

 

“Is that you?” “Kinda.”

 

Photographed this man a few months ago. Saw him again on the subway last night. I generally try not to photograph anyone twice, but, well—look at him.

 

The painter heard me laughing and, without looking down, said “Boogie’s looking at you sideways, isn’t he?”

 

“Do you mind if I take your photo?
“…”
“I run a website called…”
“Don’t give me that shit line. Just take the picture.”

 

Follow HONY on Facebook

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