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A n i n t r o d u c t i o n to Cu l tu r e , P h o to s , Fo o d a n d t h e h i d d e n g e m s o f N e w Yo r k C i ty

The new gentry is corporate oriented instead of social oriented. New York is a cultural mecca of the world, and they’re cracking down on venues for playing music too loud. On Ka'a Davis

It used to be hard work to call yourself an artist. You had to have a body of work. You had to learn to set up shows, fill a room, and work a crowd that didn’t know your name. Now everyone with a beat-box and two songs is calling themselves an artist. I almost don’t like to use the term anymore.

Malik Rashad



My name is Brandon and I began Humans of New York in the summer of 2010. HONY resulted from an idea that I had to construct a photographic census of New York City. I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants, so I set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. I worked for several months with this goal in mind. But somewhere along the way, HONY began to take on a much different character. I started collecting quotes

and short stories from the people I met, and began including these snippets alongside the photographs. Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog. With hundreds of thousands of followers on both Facebook and Tumblr, HONY now provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City.

New York City, one street portrait at a time



You can travel the world without leaving your neighbourhood. Where else can you stand on a street corner and hear 10 different languages spoken?

Homeless people are invisible. Homeless people are at every corner just passed out all the time.

Urinate anywhere you want, it’s cool. There is just a thin urine cloud that covers the whole city. If someone hands you a camera, you must take a photograph of them.

Eye contact on the subway is prohibited.

No bathing necessary. New York City is one big landfill so no need to shower.

Know your ethnicity and racial background, you will be questioned daily.

When the light turns green, honk your horn immediately.

YOU ’ R E A N EW YOR K ER , AC T L I K E ONE Unwritten codes of New York

If you see oncoming traffic approaching, cross the street anyway. You have places to go and people to see.

f ive b uil d i n g s that wo n ’t be f ull of to urists UNI TED NATI ONS The United Nations Headquarters is a distinctive complex in New York City that has served as the headquarters of the United Nations since its completion in 1950. Though it is in New York City, the land occupied by the United Nations Headquarters is considered international territory, and its borders are First Avenue west, East 42nd Street south, East 48th Street north and the East River east.

FO L K AR T MUS EUM This extremely small museum, located at 45W 53rd Street and designed by Tod William Billie Tsien Architects, is not well known even among many New Yorkers. But what this building lacks in size, it makes up in great design. Its melted copper façade represents much of the crude folk art exhibited inside.

T WA T E R M INAL TWA Flight Center was the original name for the Eero Saarinen designed Terminal 5 at Idlewild Airport, which was later renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport. The terminal has a futuristic design with the shape of a bird setting flight. The interior has wide glass windows that once opened onto parked TWA jets. Today, this terminal is closed to the public, but its unique design can be seen from the exterior and from the AirTrain (airport train). A good first sight to have once you arrive at JFK.

L INCOLN CENTRE The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts is a 16.3-acre complex of buildings located at Columbus Ave. by 63rd Street. It is the home for 12 arts organizations (music, film, dance, opera…), considered among the most prestigious in the world. Its open spaces –surrounded by a series of classical, conservative travertine buildings– are great for public activities and free concerts during the summer.

F UL L E R B UIL D ING The Fuller Building, better known as the Flatiron Building, was one of the tallest buildings in New York City upon its completion in 1902. The building sits on a triangular island block at 23rd Street, between Fifth Avenue and Broadway. The triangular block is what gives it its iconic flat and lean shape.

The Brooklyn Nomad

st reet trucks, the home of go od fo od By Andrew Hickey

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

Street Sweets

You think you know dessert? You ain’t see nuttin’ yet my friends. This is some serious ice cream that is made from the finest ingredients like fresh hormone free milk and cream, cane sugar and free of crap like corn syrup. Flavours you can gobble up on a hot New York City day include coffee, peppermint & chip, ginger, vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

Have a sweet tooth? Great then you will love this mobile bakery that offers up sweet and savory items such as brownies, cupcakes, muffins, croissants and quiche. Wash it all down with a freshly brewed cup of coffee or cool off with an iced tea. All ingredients use organic milk, raw sugar and fair-trade coffee beans. Take a peak inside and check out the beautiful (and spotless) kitchen on wheels.

Papa Perrone’s

The Jamaican Dutchy

Mamma mia this Italian food is mouth watering and belly filling. Although Papa Perrone’s has some outstanding items on the menu like freshly made meatballs, baked ziti and chicken parm heroes, they are best known for their insanely addictive rice balls. Can’t go wrong with the three cheese rice ball that comes with ricotta, Mozzarella and pecorino romano cheese.

This 2009 Vendy Award Finalists prepares breakfast items like banana oatmeal and corn meal, but it is the mouth scorching jerk chicken that keeps people coming back for more. Other must taste items include pumpkin soup, sweet & sour chicken and peppered steak.

Go Burger

Rickshaw Dumpling Truck

I must admit that yours truly fashions himself as a bit of a burger addict. So when I saw Go Burger in the distance one day while wandering the streets of New York City, I had to stop by and indulge. You can’t go wrong with the Classic with cheese, which is a 5oz. grilled certified black Angus beef burger topped with tomato, red onion, iceberg lettuce & pickles. Not worried about your waistline? Then get one of their killer milkshakes to go.

Quick to order, tasty and affordable, who doesn’t love a dumpling? Their menu includes such deliciousness as pork and Chinese chive with soy sesame dip and sides like miso soup (which makes me so happy when I order it).

Big Gay Ice Cream Truck

Asia Dog

Described by The Village Voice as “a cross between Mister Softee and Mario Batali”, this truck offers up some outstanding soft served ice cream with such memorable names as Salty Pimp (Vanilla Ice Cream, Dulce de Leche, Sea Salt with a Chocolate Dip), Bea Arthur (Dulce de Leche and Crushed Nilla Wafers) and my favorite the Belgian Slipwich (Vanilla Ice Cream, Chocolate Cartwheel Cookies and Nutella)

While I love me some Nathan’s Famous and Gray’s Papaya, there is just something downright awesome about this hot dog serving food truck that just rocks. They take your everyday “dawg” and spruce it up with some Asian toppings like kimchi and seaweed flakes, Japanese curry and homemade kimchi apples and Asian sesame slaw.

Stroll in the sky in NYC’s high line park, raised above the city built on old subway tracks Going Underground A huge hit with both kids and grown-ups, the New York City Transit Museum remains off the beaten track

Visit rooftop sculptures Even born-and-bred New Yorkers still get a little giddy at the sight of bird’s eye views of Manhattan

Go marketshopping Swap dreams of shopping on 5th Avenue for New York City’s artisan markets

Hit the beach, there’s more to New York than skyscrapers and suspension bridges

Find an open house, if you’re in New York City in October, you’ve got the chance to discover bits of the city that most locals, let alone visitors, never see.

sev en untold secrets o f N YC Places and activities to explore your average tourist doesn’t know about

Drink tea Think all New Yorkers fit the ‘quawfeedrinkin’ cliché? Well, true to NYC’s spirit of embracing the alternative, the city’s had a full set of tea rooms spring up in recent years

E X P E R I E N C e t h e c i t y t h at n e v e r s l e e p s

The Lipstick Building

Brooklyn Bridge Get in the pedestrian lane, ignore the dizzying din of cars below, and snap some unforgettable shots of Wall Street, the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island and the New York Harbor.


Walking northward on the west side of Third Avenue offers the clearest angle for catching a shot of this building’s unusual design—atypical elliptical lines and vibrant imperial red granite up against the horizontal bands of stainless steel.

Gracie Mansion Itself a photo op, this historic landmark and official home to New York City’s mayors provides excellent panoramas of the East River, the Triboro and Queensboro Bridges, and Randall’s and Roosevelt Islands.

Chrysler Building One of the reasons people board the Empire State Building’s NY Skyride or observation deck is to get a closer glimpse at this Art Deco achievement.

Coney Island From freaks to fireworks to fast rides, there’s no shortage of colourful characters and sights to snap at this amusement area.

N YC B AR HO PPER Top three best Happy Hour bars in New York City

Pianos This hipster joint located in the Lower East Side has $3 beers until eight, and $4 frozen margaritas which go over well with the ladies. It runs from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. You can also take in some live music for cheap too!

McKenna’s Pub Located on 14th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenue, this dive can give you some delicious greasy food and 2-1 drinks until 7 p.m. It’s a huge bar with games in the back room.

The 13th Step Back to East Village area, this is definitely a college crowd (you’ve been warned) but its deals are pretty top notch. Perfect for football and the entire bar is half price until 8 p.m. It’s on Second Avenue.

s o lo ng , mr. s o f t ee Few things inflame the passions of New Yorkers on a hot day quite like the subject of their favourite ice cream.

Few things inflame the passions of New Yorkers on a hot day quite like the subject of their favourite ice cream. Just ask the Platt girls. Daughter No. 1 (Jane, age 11) enjoys elegantly creamy European-style gelati served in long tapering cones. Daughter No. 2 (Penelope, age 8) eats vanilla soft-serve only, preferably encrusted in a thick layer of rainbow sprinkles, gummy bears, or both. Recently, we spent a contentious couple of weeks haggling over our favourite frozen treats. We slurped sundaes in old-fashioned ice-cream temples in Forest Hills, argued the merits of trendy artisanal toppings in the wilds of Brooklyn, and tasted countless varieties of fancy Manhattan gelati on hundreds of tiny plastic spoons. Here, the results of our labor, ranked in order of preference from one to sixteen. In the cases where the girls agreed to disagree, their weary, sugar-addled dad broke the tie. Winner: Éclair Cone, Dessert Club, ChikaLicious Daughter No. 1 praised the structure of this inventive soft-serve creation. Daughter No. 2 enjoyed the vanilla soft-serve and “sugary bottom part.” Either way, it’s the epitome of big-city, summertime-ice-cream chic. Runner Up Stracciatella Gelato L’Arte del Gelato The buttery cone is made in front of you, and the smooth, chocolate-laced gelato was the best we tasted. “I like it, Dad,” said Daughter No. 1. “It’s very delicate on the tongue.”

fo o d an d d r i n k o f t h e nat i v es

three Alternative vie ws o f the big apple

More than just a stroll down Times Square, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and a visit to the Empire State Building

230 Fifth Avenue

The Atlantic Avenue Tunnel

The Empire State Building and the Top of the Rock might offer some spectacular panoramic views of New York City, but do they offer a delicious brunch, a year-round heated outdoor bar, and a rooftop garden? Well, if your looking to check out Manhattan from the view of a bird (with an adult beverage or two in hand), 230 Fifth is a “must visit” for any visitor. With rave reviews from the likes of the New York Times and NBC New York as the best rooftop view in all of Manhattan, this is by far one of the coolest places to get away from it all down below and get sauced in the process over brunch

Did you know that the world’s oldest subway tunnel is not accessible via a train? Instead, you will have to meet up with a group at a corner in Brooklyn for a tour that starts off with a climb down a manhole. The once monthly 90-minute trek through the 166-year-old half-mile long abandoned tunnel is narrated by guide Bob Diamond. You will learn a lot along the way from Diamond about the history and one-time importance of the station that was supposed to link New York and Boston.

Staten Island Ferry Many Big Apple insiders still consider the Staten Island Ferry as one of the best and affordable ways (it’s free!) to get an awesome view of Manhattan’s skyline. The Staten Island Ferry might be used mostly as a means of transportation each weekday morning and evening for thousands of Staten Island residents working in Manhattan, but it is also an enjoyable ride for visitors to the area by way of the Upper New York bay.

TH E BI G APPL E INSI D ERS Hidden gems not many know about in the culturally diverse, fast paced city of New York.

Williamsburg is known as “hipster heaven,” and it is by far my favourite place in Brooklyn. It is divided into two sides (North and South), and the area has undergone a massive transformation in the past 15 years. It’s hard to imagine that it was once a largely industrial landscape spotted with modest housing for the immigrants who worked in its factories.

Stone Street is the heart of the Financial District. This centuries-old pathway recalls the magic and ambience of nineteenth century New York, and is home to an international mix of restaurants and bars.

Brooklyn is only a hop and a skip away from Manhattan, and the borough has so much to offer. The Brooklyn Flea Market offers a great mix of art, clothing, and not to mention food vendors on a different level!

Hudson River Park is a waterside park on the Hudson River that runs through the Manhattan neighbourhoods of Lower Manhattan, Battery Park City, Tribeca, Greenwich Village, Gansevoort Market/ Meatpacking District, Chelsea, Midtwown West and Hell’s Kitchen.

East Village speakeasy PDT, Also known as “The Best Bar In The World,” PDT (Please Don’t Tell) is infamous for its attempts at secrecy If you can fight the urge to get off the 6 train at the last stop (Brooklyn Bridge), you’ll be treated to the abandoned but beautifully preserved old City Hall subway station, as the train loops around to go back uptown. The station was first closed in 1945, and plans have been raised on a few occasions to turn the station into part of a transit museum. For now, the station remains out of reach unless by guided tour, as one of the many abandoned stops that can be partially explored.

Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Manhattan. The UCB is like a cheap hipster’s wet dream: it gives you the opportunity to see upcoming comedy acts before they hit the big time, and at great prices. There are live shows every night, from stand-up to improv.

Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien, The little known hole-in-the-wall (of one of New York’s most elegant hotels), Burger Joint is a no-frills spot with some of the best burgers and fries in town. Despite its Midtown location, the Joint has surprisingly low prices, an unparalleled time-worn vibe and high scores from almost every reviewer in town.

Research booklet  

Research booklet

Research booklet  

Research booklet