Some guys collect baseball cards; other guys collect guns or cars. I’ve seen panties too. That’s not just some lame tv movie scene where the guy opens the bottom drawer to brag to his little brother… It’s real! But anyway, lately more than ever I’ve been noticing that lots of people like to keep specific things that represent them in various ways close to them. From there I started looking at myself and really, I’m not that big on stuff.

Of course I’d like to dress well, drive well, drink well, etc. but for me it’s more about the experience than the item. I pride myself on being able to navigate in any room. That’s what I strive for. To accomplish that means being able to find common ground, and most often that comes through sharing experiences.

I love to hear people’s experiences. I love to see how those experiences have shaped the final product, or the current product so to speak. That’s why when I stumbled on this website Humans of New York, I got a whole lot of nothing done the rest of the night, thanks Brandon!

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“In the 70’s, I used to work out at this Gold’s Gym in California, and one day this wrestling promoter comes in and says: ‘I need a black guy, a Chinese guy, and an Indian—- he said Indian, but he meant Native American.’ I happened to be working out with a black friend and a Chinese friend, so I said: ‘We can do it! I can be an Indian!’ So he agreed, and he moved us into this empty warehouse to live. Then he gave us $600 per week to do a bunch of coke and beat the shit out of each other before Roller Girls events.”

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‘I left Belize when I was 12 or 13, just as all my friends were getting swept up into gangs. The gangs would get kids to do the dirty work, because they knew the kids wouldn’t go to jail. I actually have an old photograph of the group of friends I used to hang out with— there were seven us. After I came to America, they were all killed in the exact order that they were standing in that photograph.”

Humans of New York is just as much about the experiences that make these people in the portraits who they are at that moment, as it is about the images themselves. Much love to you Brandon Stantonfor this awesome collection of life!

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