The Real Impacts Of HONY
Start writing a post
Entertainment

Humans Of new York Goes Way Beyond The Walls Of Central Perk

It's not just the Gatsbys and gangsters (and Gellers).

47
Humans Of new York Goes Way Beyond The Walls Of Central Perk
NBC

Gatsby confesses his love for Daisy at the Plaza Hotel, Holden Caulfield relives his childhood at the Museum of Natural History, and Phoebe marries Mike right outside of the famous Friends cafe.

Big Apple, Melting Pot, or whichever nickname you assign to the city that never sleeps - NYC flaunts the American dream. To an outsider, the city is the epitome of western glamour. Of course, Captain Obvious does not need to remind me how students, retailers, and accountants just like you and me relax in Central Park and that Times Square is not exclusively for the American elite.

My over-romanticized vision is also aware of the blatant poverty and crime that smack me in the face when I see a homeless mother nurse her child 10 feet away from an ongoing drug deal. But acknowledging these average Joes in addition to my unbearable guilt from knowing my luxury of not having to sell drugs for income - all chiseled away by western media glorifying New York City.

But that is not the effect of this one media movement. The saying a picture is worth a thousand words cannot hold more truth for the vulnerable stories revealed by Brandon Stanton's photo project. Growing up, I saw the city as an alluring yet daunting fantasy world beyond my reality as the average kid from the suburbs - or at least I used to, prior to following the memoirs of Humans of New York, or simply HONY.

City connoisseurs never hesitate to correct your understanding of each micro-detail from every momentous Big Apple moment in American fiction, but even the most devoted city-ers are apathetic towards the realities of Chelsea Market fruit sellers and Chinatown shop owners.

I, too, felt the same indifference before realizing that HONY's "ordinary" stories have an extraordinary impact - both in and out of NYC.

Because of HONY, I get sucked into reading about the little details: a devoted grandfather boasting about his granddaughter's dance recital and an NYU student struggling with finals after finally defeating immigration obstacles. I weep for the teenager being fat-shamed and for the businessman who said goodbye to his acting dream. Short and tall, young and old, brown and pink-haired - HONY pumps out diverse Big Apple portraits, packaged with perspectives that come straight from the heart.

With a simple tap, I add to the hundreds of thousands of likes on HONY's Instagram page, but what does this actually do for bringing "awareness" to these unheard voices?

@juliaj23 shares about her own grandson learning how to walk as @natlovescats comments suggest the businessman juggles work and an off-broadway theater group while @kenn_rye443 writes about his high school journey with bulimia. In reaction to HONY, social-media users open up to an audience of complete strangers.

The fact of the matter is that I cannot help or bring attention to each and every person featured on HONY, but the positive outcome of Stanton's project taught me that I CAN help maintain the flow of empathy pouring out of the internet. There is a one-in-a-million chance we will all meet face to face, but it is certain that we will help unify the most populated - and loneliest city - of America. Each of the pictures and comments exposes a backstory, unique only to the individual. Yet through the HONY community, no one is alone in finding support or someone to celebrate the victories in life with.

(Rachel Geller) NYC will always have a place in my heart but thank you, Brandon Stanton, for teaching me about its hidden gems above, below, and in-between the fiction, famous, and Friends television series.

Sincerely, an ordinary but inspired human of the University of Delaware.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

New England Summers Are The BEST Summers

Why you should spend your next summer in New England.

843
Marconi Beach

Three years ago, I chose to attend college in Philadelphia, approximately 360 miles away from my small town in New Hampshire. I have learned many valuable lessons away from home, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Pennsylvania. One thing that my experience has taught me, however, is that it is absolutely impossible to beat a New England summer.

Keep Reading...Show less
Entertainment

Fibonacci Sequence Examples: 7 Beautiful Instances In Nature

Nature is beautiful (and so is math). The last one will blow your mind.

236902
illustration of the fibonacci sequence
StableDiffusion

Yes, the math major is doing a math-related post. What are the odds? I'll have to calculate it later. Many people have probably learned about the Fibonacci sequence in their high school math classes. However, I thought I would just refresh everyone's memories and show how math can be beautiful and apply to physical things everywhere around us with stunning examples.

Keep Reading...Show less
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

92081
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments