“I grew up in a neighborhood with a lot of cops and firefighters, but I decided to be a stock broker instead. It went well at first and I began to make a lot of money. I thought I was going to be rich. But then I made some bad investment decisions and lost it all as quickly as I’d made it. Then September 11th happened. I was working on Wall Street, right near the towers, but I wasn’t the one running into the buildings. I was in an office trying to make some more money for my CEO. And it just really brought into focus that I wasn’t doing anything in my life to help people. So I decided to join the fire department.”
His story is featured at Brandon Stanton‘s website, not included in Stanton’s classic work, Humans of New York (2013), but is representative of the “voices” that, together, help us to gain a deeper understanding and a greater appreciation of what it means to be a thinking, caring human being. Humans of New York is one of the best books I have read in several years. He and his camera have roamed the five boroughs of New York and dozens of his encounters are in the book. His latest book, Little Humans of New York, was also published by St. Martin’s Press (2014).
To check out my review of Humans of New York, please click here.
“My name is Brandon and I began Humans of New York in the summer of 2010. I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of New York 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. With over seven million followers on social media, HONY now provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City. It has also become a #1 NYT bestselling book. It’s been quite a ride so far. Feel free to follow along.”