Home Life The 10 Most Heartwarming Stories From 'Humans of New York'

The 10 Most Heartwarming Stories From ‘Humans of New York’

It started out as a tumblr blog by photographer Brandon Stanton in 2010, and is now not only a bestselling book, but has a social media following to rival the Kardashians. Humans of New York (also known as HONY) was initially created to catalogue the inhabitants of New York City, but Stanton soon found out that the stories behind the images were far more intriguing. As avid followers of HONY, here is our pick of the 10 most heartwarming tales out of the 6000 he’s captured so far. Warning: They’ll make you all teary eyed…

Image courtesy of Humans of New York
Image courtesy of Humans of New York

“My happiest memory was the first long road trip we took together. We drove to Nova Scotia. There were three of us—Ellen, me, and her son from a previous marriage. Our Volvo broke down and we had to wait three days for parts. It was pouring down rain the whole time, but we found a friendly fisherman who helped us forage for clams and lobster and seaweed. When we were lying in the tent at night, her son said to me: ‘I didn’t like you at first. But I like you now.’”

Image courtesy of Humans of New York
Image courtesy of Humans of New York

“I’m homosexual and I’m afraid about what my future will be and that people won’t like me.”

Image courtesy of Humans of New York
Image courtesy of Humans of New York

“I’ve been having nerve issues, and this past year it’s gotten so bad that it hurts too much for me to walk. It was completely unexpected. I’ve always been such an optimistic person, but now I’m fighting with depression. He’s doing everything he can to take my mind off of it. We’re not sure if I’m going to get better, but he’s planning a backpacking tour through Europe for when I do. And I told him that I didn’t think I could handle a visit to New York right now, but he told me that he’d push me around the whole city. And he has. And whenever I feel particularly down, he tells me that he’s not going anywhere, and how happy he is that he married me. Not long ago I had a particularly rough period, and when I was at one of my lowest moments, he asked if we could renew our vows.”

Image courtesy of Humans of New York
Image courtesy of Humans of New York

“Gohe is from Ethiopia and I’m from Bosnia. We were together for four years. We met as international students in Missouri, and we hoped that we’d both find jobs when we graduated, so that we could stay together in America. She found a job, but I didn’t. I sent 150 or 200 applications. I had 35 interviews. 4 or 5 of them went to the third round, but I think my visa status ruined my chances every time. I can’t ask her to come with me to Bosnia. There’s not enough opportunity for her. When it became clear that I would have to go back, she moved out of the apartment to make it easier for us. I went over to her new place yesterday to help her paint some frames. We thought it would be a fun project, but we couldn’t even look at each other or speak. I’m leaving for Bosnia in two days. If I could, I just want to tell her that I love her.”

Image courtesy of Humans of New York
Image courtesy of Humans of New York

“After I was born, I was the subject of a 45-minute dissertation at Columbia University. Almost all of my organs were born externally, and had to be sewn into my body. I don’t have a belly button– only a scar where my feeding tube used to be. My mother even tells me that she wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to stand, eat, or drink. But now I can rollerblade. I can do a handstand on my crutches. I’ve got a core group of friends, a girlfriend, a college degree, and I’m helping to manage a radio station at the age of 23.”

Image courtesy of Humans of New York
Image courtesy of Humans of New York

“I grew up with a lot of these kids’ parents. One of their fathers actually used to beat me up on the basketball court. So did his uncle. When I graduated from college, I could have left Brownsville. But I wanted to come back and be an agent of change. I wanted to help piece the neighborhood back together. So when Ms. Lopez told me she needed a basketball coach, I told her I’d do it for free. This is our second season. Our first season, we weren’t even in a league, so I had to call other schools and beg them to come play us. We didn’t even have jerseys. But we still went 8-1. Every one of these kids could make the NBA if they put in the time. And I’m here to offer that.”

Image courtesy of Humans of New York
Image courtesy of Humans of New York

“I’m trying to raise my daughter with the same values that I learned in Jamaica, but it can be hard to instill gratitude and appreciation when we are surrounded by such abundance. When I was growing up in Jamaica, every time I wanted something, my grandmother made me go through the same list of questions: ‘Why do you want it?’ ‘How much will it cost?’ ‘Is it going to make your life better?’ There wasn’t enough money for things we didn’t need, so we were always forced to ask those questions– even for simple things like a new pair of shoes. The necessity of that ritual really helped create a deep appreciation for the things we had.’”

Image courtesy of Humans of New York
Image courtesy of Humans of New York

“She taught me how to dance. We actually met at a graduation party. I was the only one not on the dance floor, and her friend bet her that she couldn’t get me to dance. I’d already said ‘no’ to ten girls, but she talked me into it. We were together 55 years. She died eight years ago, but I still dance every day.”

Image courtesy of Humans of New York
Image courtesy of Humans of New York

“Right after I lost vision in my eye, I was so bad at walking that I ran into a girl eating ice cream, and knocked her cone out of her hand. She screamed: ‘Are you blind!?!?’ I turned to her and said: ‘I am blind actually, I’m so sorry, I’ll buy you a new cone.’ And she said: ‘Oh my God! I’m so sorry! Don’t worry! It’s no problem at all! I’ll buy another one.’ So we walked into the ice cream store together, and the clerk said: ‘I heard the whole thing. Ice cream is free.’”

Image courtesy of Humans of New York
Image courtesy of Humans of New York

“It’s not as bad as people make it sound. Sure, you created a little monster that you have to take care of. But it’s a blast.”



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