with its fast-paced rhythm, it’s almost impossible to feel truly alone in the most populous city in the u.s. it took awhile, but i no longer have shame in eating lunch by myself, hopping from one subway car to another, or whipping out my map in the middle of soho. sure, the noise might keep you up all night or wake you at the break of dawn, but it also provides some solid entertainment when you feel “alone”.
my all-time favorite form of entertainment in new york comes from people watching, and sometimes making up stories about the interesting people i see here. it’s definitely a when-harry-met-sally way to pass time and makes you realize how “usual” it is to be unusual in nyc. i did this with one of my friends at lunch one day and she mentioned the facebook page called “humans of new york”. started in 2010 by brandon stanton, whose inspiration as a photographer led him to an incredible interest in the people who roam the streets of new york city. his story is an interesting one and worth reading; he essentially started from nothing and built his own career in a city that made his dreams attainable. humans of new york (hony) posts daily photos of bizarre or notable people (and sometimes animals) with either a description of the photo or a conversation stanton had with the person in the photo.
on my days filled with extensive people watching, i will sometimes find the people i saw photographed on hony’s website. my friend who lives here even mentioned that she has some friends who have been tagged in hony’s photos on facebook (his facebook page has almost 800,000 likes now). hony not only ties the loose ends of my made-up stories, but it also makes a city of over 8 million seem, well, smaller.
take a look and see if you recognize anyone. or if you ever miss the humans of new york, check out hony and do some new york people watching no matter where you are.