If you have never once heard of HONY, seen one of the pictures or read a few of the words, then you cannot possibly imagine how powerful Brandon’s universe is.
My mother discovered this page on Facebook a few months ago, on which she found simple snapshots of New Yorkers going about their everyday activities, but systematically published with a quote or a snippet of conversation alongside them. Words that came from those people’s mouths and minds, sometimes even their deepest, darkest, most personal secrets, but which somehow managed to touch the complete strangers reading them to their very core.
The concept is simple: a picture, a few words. That is all. Or so it may seem. In fact, these daily posts have a tremendous impact on all who follow HONY, on their perception of life, on how they feel. Philisophical, religious, sad, happy, or mundane. The content does not necessarily matter, what is important is the link between the person and the musings they share. The message conveyed, be it verbal or not.
These posts bring something extra to every reader’s day; one cannot help but be moved by the stories told, the innocent portraits taken.
Humans Of New York is something special. Not overrated, not trying to be something it is not. You fall in love with Brandon’s work and it is a love that does not fade.
“We go to four appointments every week, but I don’t mind. She’s my blood.”
“My personal tragedy, you mean. You sure you want to hear it?”
“I was sexually abused by a member of my family between the ages of eight and twelve. But honestly, I don’t even like to talk about it anymore, because I’ve finally gotten to the point where it no longer defines me. For a long time I saw myself as a victim, but I’ve moved past that. I’m in a place now where I realize that my life is mine to create and enjoy, and that my future will be the result of the decisions I make.”
“Any advice for guys out there who might be struggling?”
“Just be yourself. Don’t say “What’s cookin’ good lookin'”, or dumb stuff like that. Just say hello.”
“I’m trying to keep him away from all the negativity so that he has a fighting chance. There are so many cracks to fall through. But I already got his older brother to college.”
“What’s something that you wish you’d thought about more before you did it?”
“Lie to my dad. I lost something the other day, and he asked where it was, and I started making up a story. He knew I was lying right away, but I was scared so I just kept adding to the story. The worst part is that I ended up finding it the next day. So I got in trouble for nothing.”
I said: “And what makes you happy?”
He said nothing, but patted his son on the back.”
“When a wave comes, go deep.”
“I think I’m going to need an explanation for that one.”
“There’s three things you can do when life sends a wave at you. You can run from it, but then it’s going to catch up and knock you down. You can also fall back on your ego and try to stand your ground, but then it’s still going to clobber you. Or you can use it as an opportunity to go deep, and transform yourself to match the circumstances. And that’s how you get through the wave.”