This is probably the coolest projects! On the coolness level, Brandon Stanton’s, “Humans of New York” project is right up there with JR’s (JR-Artist) “Inside Out”, and of course MY personal, Portrait for a Dollar project. I gotta get back to work with that.
Brandon is a 28 year old photographer in New York and began this project back in 2010, and his project has grown tremendous since then. With his Facebook at over 6 million followers, were talking superhero like awesome.
I know there is a lot of great street photographers out there, The Sartorialist, who focuses on street fashion, Erik Kim and lots more, but my favorite part about these portraits are the captions from his subjects. It just makes them more interesting and turns his subjects into to people. People that I can relate and identify with. I haven’t seen anyone else doing that.. yet!
– He knows how to treat the woman right.
– When I’m doing good, everyone wants to be around me. When I’m doing bad, I’m by myself.
– My daughter lives in Pennsylvania. She’s working at a nursing home and studying to be an accountant. She’s my pride and joy.
– Does she know you’re homeless?
– No, she’s got enough to worry about. I just tell her that I’m retired.
– All the women in Pakistan are very covered up. I came to America for the first time on September 4th, so it was still very warm outside. I stepped into the terminal at JFK, took a look around, and said: ‘Oh. My. God.’
– Why are you wearing a pilot’s outfit?
– I wear it every day.
– Do you want to be a pilot when you grow up?
– No, I want to be a teacher.
– Why aren’t you wearing a teacher’s outfit?
– I don’t have one.
– One time I was in Saks Fifth Avenue, and I got in an elevator. There was a woman already in there. She had selected the seventh floor, but when I got in with her, she changed it to the second floor.
– How’d that make you feel?
– Like I didn’t belong.
– Where are you from?
– Russia. If you see a doctor smoking, he’s from Russia.
His owner told me that according to a Native American myth, dogs with different colored eyes can see both heaven and earth.
– I’m trying to get out of my brokeness.
– Why are you broke?
– I was born broke. Nobody ever gave me anything. Nobody ever bought me anything. But I made it hard on myself too. I left school. I left home. I threw all my stuff in the street and left.
– Why’d you do that?
– My feelings were hurt. Nobody ever cared about me. Nobody ever said: ‘Charlie, what’s wrong?’ They said, ‘Shut up, Charlie. We’ve got our own problems.’
– What do you want to be when you grow up?
– I don’t want to grow up.
– We met 55 years ago on a teen tour, and have been best friends ever since.
– What’s her best quality?
– She’s loyal.
– What’s the toughest thing she’s ever helped you through?
– I don’t know if I should say this, but I’m going to. Fourteen years ago, I got lung cancer. Then seven or eight years ago, I got breast cancer. And now the lung cancer’s back. I must have set a record or something, because it was fourteen years ago, but now it’s back, and it’s metastasized, and the prognosis is not good.
– She’s doing good. The chemo is working.
– She’s right, I’m doing ok, and I’ll make it longer than expected, but the prognosis is not good. And I’m gonna cry now, but I’ve got to say— and I know it’s a cliche— but she’s been there every step of the way. Every appointment, every surgery, every time I’ve done chemo, she’s been there. And I couldn’t have come this far without her.
– We go to the same church.
– Everything is up in the air right now. My dog just died. My car just got hit. And I might get evicted. All I’ve got is my health.
– I didn’t sleep much last night. I’ve been feeling a little blue.
– Why’s that?
– Oh, you know. The holidays. Memories, memories…
– My son got killed when he was eighteen.
– What happened?
– He got shot, of course. That’s all they do.
– I’m waiting for her bus to come. You know those things you took for granted when you were a kid? Like going on field trips and riding the bus? All those simple things make me nervous as a parent. I’m not off my guard until she’s in my arms. If she’s five minutes late, I start to get nervous.
– I always tell my daughters to work with their head, so they don’t have to work with their back.
– Which did you do?
– What does it look like to you?
– Facebook is telling me that everyone has a house, a kid, and a dog. So I’m just trying to calm the fuck down.
– I worked at a factory until I was 40. Then one day I asked my boss for more vacation, and he said ‘no.’ So I went home and told my husband: ‘That man is getting on my nerves! I’m going to college tomorrow!’ I was the oldest person there, but I made it through and got a good job with The City. Then a few months ago, somebody walked up to my desk, and said: ‘Why are you still working? You’re 75 years old!’ So I walked over to my boss, and said ‘I’m retiring tomorrow!’
These two were acting like complete teenagers. When I walked up, she was nuzzling her head against his shoulder. She giggled the entire time I talked with them, while he kept a big goofy grin on his face. And whenever I asked about their relationship, she clutched his arm, looked at him just like this, giggled, then said: “We’re not telling!”
– I’m trying to keep the love going in my family.
– How do you keep love going?
– Love is a fragile thing. It will dissolve, so you have to recreate it everyday. Everyday you have to give your woman a new reason to love you.
– We’ve been married 31 years.
– How’d you meet?
– I saw her on a bus, put my watch in my pocket, sat down next to her, and asked her for the time.
– They say it’s gonna snow tomorrow. Well I just got a bottle of whiskey. So let it fucking snow.
– I was 35 when I met her. I was starting to think that there wasn’t anybody out there for me.
– If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?
– I’m a retired professor. Every time I’ve spoken to a large group of people, hardly anyone was listening.
– For the longest time, I was so focused on being deaf in my left ear, that I almost forgot my other ear was perfectly fine.
– What’s your greatest struggle right now?
– Struggle? What does that mean?
– Ah! Being a good grandmother.
– What’s the toughest part about being a good grandmother?
– Oh, I don’t know if I can answer in English. Let me see.. Be Present. Listen. Be Loveful. Did I say that right? Loveful?
– I left my third wife by putting a note on her pillow saying: ‘Gone to the store to get cigarettes. Be back in 5 minutes.’ That was twelve years ago and I haven’t been back yet. I don’t even smoke.
– My mother raised eighteen children on a farm in western Ireland. I’m having trouble raising two.
– I just want to spend a few more years with my grandson.
– Is there anything you want to teach him?
– I leave that to his parents. I just want to be there.
– If you could change one thing about adults, what would it be?
– A lot of them are grumpy.
– What’s your favorite thing about being a grandmother?
– What’s the most she’s ever made you laugh?
– She just loves using her big words. Everything to her is ‘beeaaauuutttiiiful’ or ‘woooonnnddddeeerrful’ or ‘faaaannntttaaasstic.’
– I’m not too emotional of a guy. People say I have a good heart, but they’re wrong. I have principles. The heart is a fickle thing. There’s no way I can love everybody. So I’m not even going to try. But I can respect everyone whether I love them or not. And that I try to do.
– Do you mind if I take your photograph? I run a popular website called…
– I don’t give a damn!
– I decided to leave my life eight months ago. Since then, I’ve been to Finland with a Latin American ballroom dancing team, toured Sweden with a Greek, met some Canadians in Amsterdam to watch the Olympics, and I’m about to head to Iraq to teach social media to soldiers in war zones.
– Do you remember the saddest moment of your life?
– When I realized that I hadn’t killed myself, and I was still alive.
– You look like something from The Matrix.
– That’s what my wife said.
-She can turn any ordinary moment into an adventure.
– Can you give an example of that?
– When Hurricane Sandy destroyed the bottom floor of our house, she decorated the rubble in Christmas lights.
– She cheated on me.
– Did you know the guy?
– I introduced them. I invested in the guy’s business. He lost my life savings, then he took my wife.
– I’m an artist.
– Any advice for someone who wants to be an artist?
– You either need to be extremely talented or have rich parents.
– I’m the original John Lennon! I was born 18 months earlier.
– She made me take ballet.
– If you have a beard, it takes longer for people to notice that you don’t have any teeth.
– Having cancer hasn’t been nearly as bad as worrying about getting it.
– She’s a little diamond.
– What’s your greatest struggle right now?
– Growing old.
– What’s the hardest part about growing old?
– The Parkinson’s.
– My idol is the hulk.
– What’s your greatest struggle right now?
– Trying not to take on everyone else’s shit so I can relax for a second.
– What was the happiest moment of your life?
– Any time I wake up and nothing hurts.