The Roundup // 20 Favorite Humans of New York Posts
This Tuesday we have a different kind of Roundup. Humans of New York is probably one of the best things to happen to the internet and humanity in my opinion. Brandon Stanton brings strangers into our homes everyday to make us think, smile, and most likely cry. It's pretty much impossible to pick out my favorite HONY posts because every one touches me in a little way. This list was supposed to be 10 but I couldn't do it so now it's 20. I could have kept going.
"I’m trying to be more patient. I want everything to happen right now, when I know I should be going slow and paying my dues."
"In what area are you most impatient?"
"I know I should say ‘career,’ but honestly, I really want to fall in love."
"How do you pay your dues in love?"
"You’ve got to meet a lot of people. You can’t just go around saying: ‘Hey! You’re nice, and attractive. So I love you!’"
"He’s wonderful in bed."
"I had a child when I was sixteen. I got kicked out of high school because of all the absences. My family and community pretty much wrote me off. But right away I got a job at a sporting goods store. Soon I was able to get a job as a receptionist at a tax company, and they gave me enough responsibilities that I learned how to do taxes. Eventually I learned enough to become an associate. Then I got offered a job at a smaller company, and even though it was a pay cut, they offered me responsibility over all the books— accounts payable, accounts receivable, everything. It was less money but I wanted that experience so I took the risk. And I’m so glad I did, because six months later, the controller of that company left and I was given that position. They told me they couldn’t officially call me the controller because I didn’t have a college degree. So I finished my degree 5 months ago— just to make it official! So after having a child at sixteen, I made it all the way to controller of a company, without even having a college degree. Can you believe that? Honestly, I’ve been waiting to tell that story so long that I told it to a customer service representative on the phone last week. She was nice about it and pretended to care."
"We’re gay refugees from Iran."
"We dated in high school, but just recently got back together."
"What happened in high school?"
"I sort of disappeared on him. I had to leave school suddenly because I was pregnant."
"But he wasn’t the father?"
"So where’s the dad now?”
"I’m not going to be the kind of mom who makes her daughter’s dad out to be a monster, but I eventually decided that it wasn’t my job to force anybody to be a father."
"Tell me one thing that you weren’t taught that you’re going to teach your daughter."
"That just because you love someone, doesn’t mean they can make you happy. And you should never compromise with your happiness."
"So what did you compromise?"
"I compromised everything about myself to try to keep my family together."
"I don’t want to be turned into a caricature. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be combative, but one thousand straight people have asked for my photo this week. It’s been a long week, girlfriend."
"I didn’t get married until I was 50. I think it finally happened because I stopped thinking it was possible."
"How do you mean?"
"Before I gave up, I was putting so much pressure on myself that I’d immediately be considering and measuring every man I’d meet. It’s not natural to begin a relationship with such a long term view. When I met my husband, I wasn’t looking past that afternoon.
"When I was little, he’d always let me stand on his feet when we walked in the ocean, because I was so afraid of jellyfish.
Wendell is hands down the greatest homeless fashion designer who ever lived. He makes almost all his clothes from things he finds. I hadn’t seen him in awhile, so I was quite thrilled to walk up on him Tuesday, doing this to a Gandhi statue.
"I just got married and have three new stepchildren."
"So what’s been your greatest accomplishment as a stepmother so far?"
"They don’t hate me."
"I’m glad I had a daughter. Ever since my grandmother died, I’ve needed the female energy in my life. It’s good energy. I mean, when things go wrong, another man can tell you that everything is going to be OK. But not like a woman can.
"All I want is a girlfriend, a place to work, and a glass of wine at night."
"I can beat him up."
"My swim coach outed me to my entire team in college."
“It was freshman year. I hadn’t come out to my dad yet. I’d come out to my mom, but it didn’t go well. Then one day my swim coach came up to me at a meet, and said: ‘There’s something I want you to tell me before the meet is over. And I think you know what it is.’ So I told him. And he said: ‘I don’t want things to get weird in the locker room, so let’s keep this between us.’ Then I went home, took a nap, and when I woke up, I had an email from another person on the team. He told me the coach had called a team meeting and told everyone.”
“I called the coach, and he immediately started yelling at me. He was saying things, like ‘It’s my team. Don’t tell me how to run my team.’ He was really intense. He was like The Coach in New England swimming at the time. I kept trying to get off the phone, but he kept screaming at me. Then when I finally got off the phone, he showed up on my doorstep. He made me tell him who told me about the meeting. Then he made me get in the car with him, drove me to my teammate’s house, and started yelling at both of us. He started accusing us of being lovers.”
“I know. I quit swimming after that year, and never swam again.”
"I’m having some trouble with my friends."
“I think we’re just reaching the age when everyone realizes that everyone talks behind each other’s backs.”
Normally I have to approach people for quotes. But this kid walked right up to me, held his certificate in the air, and screamed: “I played at Carnegie Hall!”
"He sings to each of his kids individually when it’s time for them to go to bed."
I asked her for a piece of advice, and she reached into her mom’s purse and pulled out a whiteboard. “She has laryngitis,” her mom explained. “No talking for a week.”
I am one of the officers in this picture. My friend found it in your book and pointed it out to me. The victim under the sheet was a woman in her late fifties. She was Miss Austria in her early 20’s and a contestant in the Miss World pageant. At the time of her death she was destitute and alone, but still carried her passport with a photo of her at the peak of her beauty. She was stunning. On October 22nd of last year, wandering the halls of the building she had chosen for her last act, she had looked for an open window at the record company that produces Maroon Five. Asked to leave, she found one a floor above in a hallway, took sleeping pills, sat on the ledge in the sunlight for about ten minutes, then leaned forward. Anyway, thanks for the photo. It is one of those souvenirs of one’s life that come to be valuable because it has unexpectedly captured a moment of you doing your life’s work, genuine and unrehearsed.