- Posted May 29, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
The written word: Your personal essays
It’s More than the Pictures for Humans of New York
A little over a week ago, Brandon was on the promenade of the Upper East Side. My daughter came home from walking our dog and showed me a picture of a couple in a tender kiss and embrace at nightfall and she wondered how she could have missed Brandon. We live right around the corner. That promenade is “our” promenade, and Brandon had been so close to home.
I think by now most New Yorkers know of Brandon’s work. With the population of New York City being over 8.3 million people and the Humans of New York Facebook page having nearly 5.7 million people, I think it is probably safe to say a lot of those who have liked his page are good old New Yorkers. That said, I know what he has done has had global appeal and I am sure people from all over the world view his work each and every day.
However, if you find yourself living in this city, but under a rock or you live outside of New York City, check out the Humans of New York website, if not the Facebook page. As a native New Yorker, I can definitely attest to the fact that people who come from other places either love or hate this city. There is no in-between. Through the years, I have spoken to countless people here, in cities across the country or some place else in the world and when the subject of New York has come up – there is always an inevitable “I love New York” or “I hate New York”, but I have never heard someone be blasé about New York.
That attitude is so fitting for New York. New York is a take-no-prisoners city and everyone and everything in it can’t help but live and breathe the good and bad – sometimes all in one moment. New York is gray, it is light, it is darkness, it is gleaming and it is coarse all in a single existence. If Paris is a “movable feast” in the words of Earnest Hemingway, New York is the great story of humanity, the good and bad of it, the rich and poor of it, the all of it.
What Brandon has been telling since 2010 is that story. In every picture and the few brief words that accompany them, typically from the people who are being photographed, Brandon captures the essence of this city. And that substance lives in the lives of the people he photographs. New York is full of characters and for each and every one that resides in this incredible city; each one has a story – often very colorful and real.
There is nothing boring or vanilla about the people Brandon photographs, and who really do make up this city. What Brandon has managed to do is the same that F. Scott Fitzgerald did in his novel “The Great Gatsby”, Truman Capote did in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” and in Candace Bushnell’s “Sex and the City”. They have each captured the essence, the soul, the vibe of the city in the lives and stories of its inhabitants. The only difference is that Brandon is doing it with real New Yorkers and what stories they have to tell!
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Posted: May 27, 2014
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