If you read my Monthly Favourites, then you may recall this from December. It was a Christmas present I was dying to get my hands on, and have wanted for about a year now- and it was worth the wait.
Humans of New York is a blog, and an IG account, and there’s also another book- all about the inhabitants of NYC. If you haven’t heard of it before now, then you’ve been living under a rock. Brandon Stanton, the mastermind-photographer behind it all, walks the streets of the city, taking pictures and asking people’s stories. In the previous book (simply, Humans of New York), these stories were often confined to just one line. On the blog though, there can be paragraphs and paragraphs. So it wasn’t surprising when this book emerged.
New York already had a magical feel to it for me before HONY, but now I need to visit it all the more. Stanton’s photographs and the stories behind them are in equal parts beautiful and heart-breaking. They come from all over New York City, from all ages, races, genders, and backgrounds…and it’s astonishing how the book makes you realise each individual who walks this earth has a life as intricate as your own. The arrangement of the photographs in this edition also gives you some interesting juxtapositions to mull over; as a poetry student layout and order is extremely important to me, and so I appreciated the effort that had gone into this.
I’ll put it this way: no one does work like this as Stanton can. I recently saw a book by another photographer in Waterstones, with a similar vision but who had set the collection in London. It didn’t have the same magic on first glance. Maybe I’ll return to it, but the HONY collections have completely stolen my heart.