I've been reading the Tumblr blog, Humans of New York, for almost three years now. For those of you who may have never heard of HONY, it is a uniquely authentic blog by creator and portrait photographer, Brandon Stanton.
Brandon graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in History. He traded bonds in Chicago for three years, before losing his job and moving to New York. In November of 2010, he started the photography blog Humans of New York, in hopes of creating a catalog of New York City's inhabitants, including photographs of 10,000 New Yorkers and plotting their locations on a map. Brandon worked for several months with this goal in mind and during this process, HONY began to take on a much different character. Brandon began collecting quotes and short stories from the people he met, and incorporated these snippets alongside the photographs. Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog. With over eight million followers on social media, HONY now provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City.
In addition, Humans of New York has launched a number of highly successful charity efforts, due to Brandon's desire to help others through his own success.
Earlier this week, I was especially touched by this particular photograph and caption...
(and I'm not ashamed to say that I cried when I read this, I was so moved)
“I actually went to the shelter to get another dog, but he’d already been adopted. So I decided to do a lap around the facility before I left, and I saw Engelbert. He had about ten pages of physical problems. His back legs didn’t work. His old owners kept him outside, so his ears were completely frostbitten. And he only had three teeth. So I thought if I didn’t get him, nobody else would.”
I'm sharing this post today for two reasons.
One, is that I think we sometimes become tainted by what we constantly hear and see in the news about how the world is in such chaos and all the negative things that human beings are capable of, oblivious to the human beings who bring such kindness, compassion, and goodness into this world.
And two, is that New York City and its inhabitants are often blanketed as being rude, uncaring and self-absorbed. But as you can see, that is not true.
In fact, some of the softest hearts I have ever encountered are from within that city.
The humans of New York...
Have a beautiful weekend everyone!
*all photos shown are from Humans of New York