Sunday, April 10, 2016

Book Review - Humans of New York

For 29 years, I lived in New York. I was never overwhelmed by NY, but rather I always found it intriguing and interesting. I arrived at the age of 12, and shortly after that, I was taking public transportation to go to elementary school. Riding the bus started a life long love affair with people watching and people listening (if that is a thing). There were so many dialects, juxtaposed with people from all walks of life. As I grew, all modes of public transportation became the vehicle for which I learned the city and this knowledge translated into love.

I don't know how I started reading Humans of New York on Facebook, but I do know once I started I was hooked. In its simplest form, it's a chronicling of humanity. It displays the complexity of the human spirit, and even in flawed humans, we see bits of ourselves. Because I was so enamored by the HONY FB page I requested this book  - Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton, for Christmas.

This book does not disappoint though it has a slightly different format than the FB page. There are images of people from every facet of life, every race, each gender, every age and stage, frozen at a point in time. Sometimes there are unexpected captions and stories associated with each photo and sometimes the portrait tells a story. Ultimately Humans of New York is about people and their city. Though I've lived a couple of places, I can truthfully say there is no place like New York and the portraits in this book do a superb job of capturing the essence of the city.

If you'd like an all-encompassing view of NY through the eyes of the people that live or pass through there, this book is a great place to start.


  1. I am always so inspired by those HONY posts. I seem them on FB every now and then. I just love that it's real people telling their real and honest stories-not some real housewife of whatever. I have a natural curiosity about people. I think that's why I like blogs and blogging.

  2. Hi Nylse, thanks for your comment on my blog today! This post caught my attention because I love HONY too and I also asked for and got the book for Christmas! But that is where our commonalities end regarding big cities and NY. I grew up in California and have never been to NY though I would love to visit. Being from small towns though, I am sure I would stick out like a sore thumb and become very overwhelmed! I think that is why I love what Brandon does for us. He lets me see the beautiful variety of life in NY and allows me to see that we are really not all that different from one another deep down.


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