Brandon Stanton has quickly become a household name. It's all thanks to his viral Facebook page "Humans of New York" which chronicles intimate moments from strangers in Manhattan -- and even overseas. The small snippets give Facebook fans a glimpse into people's most heartbreaking and heartwarming stories, while bringing together millions of people around the world.
Stanton's inspiration all started back in 2010 when the photographer decided to single-handedly create a visual diary of New Yorkers. In just a few short years, Brand Stanton has become a modern day renaissance man, now adding author to his impressive list of credentials.
His latest work showcases the in-depth and intriguing interviews he's had with strangers. Paired with stunning photographs and rich design, these longer-length stories will "delve deeper and surprises with greater candor."
His newest must-read book is available to purchase now! Based on the reception of Stanton's last hardcover, we think this one will easily top the Bestseller list and sell out -- so fair warning, you'll want to get your hands on a copy now. And while you're waiting for the book to ship to your doorstep, you can get yourself excited by scroll though the gallery below to see HONY's most heartwarming moments.
Time to grab a tissue (or four).
To see the best moments from Humans of New York this year, scroll ahead!
The Best HONY moments of 2015
These Humans of New York moments will restore your faith in humanity
“Luis is different. He’s got two moms. He’s an old soul. We live in the projects, and he doesn’t know who Michael Jordan is, or anything about rap music. He dresses himself in the morning. He chooses a button down and slacks, and sits in the kitchen with his legs crossed and reads the newspaper. But he’s still got the heart of a child. Yesterday he had $5 to buy himself a Halloween costume, and he saw a boy he knew while he was walking to the store, and he chose to buy him a costume instead. I always tell him: ‘You’re different, Luis. And that’s OK.’ When he wants to play, I walk him all the way down to Central Park, because I don’t really want him to change.”
"I want to design Lego sets. I already have two ideas: 'Attack On The Bat Cave' and 'Attack Of The Supervillians.'"
“Before my bone marrow transplant, I had to have my immune system completely wiped out with chemotherapy. I went into the hospital thinking that I was going to do a lot of reading and watch old movies and catch up on work. One thing that I didn’t fully anticipate was the isolation that I’d feel. I knew I’d be physically isolated. The doctors and nurses wore masks so all I could see were their eyes. And nobody touched me unless they were administering medicine. But the pain and weakness brought me to a place where I felt completely alone. I got so weak that I couldn’t even formulate a thought. I dropped to 115 lbs. The pain got so bad that I felt like I’d swallowed a blowtorch. At one point I actually gave up. I made everyone leave my room, even my partner, and I started slipping away. I hallucinated my mother’s voice calling my name. I heard it very distinctly. But when I opened my eyes-- it was my nurse Jenny that was calling me. At the point of my greatest isolation, it was almost as if my mother used Jenny’s voice to call me back.”
“I wish I could have done more for her. Her life has been nothing but struggle. She hasn’t known many happy moments. She never had a chance to taste childhood. When we were getting on the plastic boat, I heard her say something that broke my heart. She saw her mother being crushed by the crowd, and she screamed: 'Please don't kill my mother! Kill me instead!'" (Lesvos, Greece)
“After one month, I arrived in Austria. The first day I was there, I walked into a bakery and met a man named Fritz Hummel. He told me that forty years ago he had visited Syria and he’d been treated well. So he gave me clothes, food, everything. He became like a father to me. He took me to the Rotary Club and introduced me to the entire group. He told them my story and asked: ‘How can we help him?’ I found a church, and they gave me a place to live. Right away I committed myself to learning the language. I practiced German for 17 hours a day. I read children's stories all day long. I watched television. I tried to meet as many Austrians as possible. After seven months, it was time to meet with a judge to determine my status. I could speak so well at this point, that I asked the judge if we could conduct the interview in German. He couldn't believe it. He was so impressed that I’d already learned German, that he interviewed me for only ten minutes. Then he pointed at my Syrian ID card and said: ‘Muhammad, you will never need this again. You are now an Austrian!’” (Kos, Greece) (6/6)
“I was a maître d’ at a restaurant for thirteen years. But one week I got a really bad case of pneumonia that put me in the hospital. While I was lying in that hospital bed, I was thinking about how I really didn’t want to go back to work. Then that motivational speaker came on TV. You know-- the one that has all those teeth in his mouth. And he said: ‘Think back to what made you happy when you were young! That’s what you should be doing!’ Well I grew up in the country, and I always had a lot of dogs, so I thought that nothing would make me happier than to be a dog walker. But I knew I needed to distinguish myself. So I decided to make a uniform. I smoked a joint and came up with this outfit. I wanted people to look at me and think: ‘If this man is walking our dog, and there’s some sort of major disaster, he’s going to survive. He’s going to fish for those dogs. He’s going to build a bunker and shelter those dogs until it’s safe to bring them home.’ After I finished the design, I got four of my friends to wear the uniform, and we borrowed all the neighbors’ dogs, and we walked them down 5th avenue while handing out business cards. I got five customers that first day.”
“Two days ago at school we learned how to play a game called chest. You have horses and pawns and bishops and castles, and you’re supposed to steal other peoples’ places by squirting your pawn diagonal and eating their pieces. If anyone else wants to learn chest, I’ll teach them.”
"I got married a few months ago. I mean, she's my everything and all. But I'm just trying to get used to having someone else's opinion around all the time. She doesn't like my beard so she's making me shave it. Today. At 6:40 PM."
"I accidentally threw away a receipt."
"Choosing what I want to do with my life is like trying to watch a YouTube video. When I'm halfway through the video, I glance over at the sidebar and see they're recommending something else that seems more interesting."
“Today’s his tenth birthday. He’s a very emotional young man. He likes to solve other people’s problems. One time when he was five years old, he came with me to the store and we bought two pounds of fresh apricots. I let him carry the bag home. He walked a little bit behind me the entire way. After awhile, I asked him to hand me an apricot. ‘I can’t,’ he said. ‘I’ve given them all away.’ I knew then that I was raising a humanitarian.” (Tabriz, Iran)
"I'm supposed to watch them while Mom takes a nap. If they're too close to each other, they fight. If they're too far away from each other, they cry." (Anzali, Iran)
"He tried to take a social studies test for me once. But we got caught because he wrote his own name." (Chalus, Iran)
Today in microfashion... (Lahore, Pakistan)
“We first met at a café in the West Village, and I was completely taken by her. But the next day I had to leave for a six-week trip to Afghanistan. Soon after I arrived, I bought her a traditional Afghan locket that holds a small prayer. Instead of a prayer, I wrote a little poem, and stuffed it inside. It said: ‘Mountains and months away, and I’m still haunted by one afternoon in New York.’”
“Her mother had breast cancer so she had a mammogram every six months. All of them came back clear. Then one morning a nodule just popped to the surface. We thought our dog had maybe jumped on her and caused a bruise. The doctor didn’t think a malignant tumor could grow that fast, but he did a biopsy anyway. He said he saw a ‘strange shadow.’ It turned out to be metaplastic cancer-- meaning that the cells continually change and it’s almost impossible to treat. The survival rate was something like .05 percent. When I started to read the literature about it, I was crushed. I’m naturally a very cynical and pessimistic person. But I wanted to give her hope, so I did all the research I could. And I ended up giving myself hope as well.”
"I'm going to a birthday party."
"I'm homosexual and I'm afraid about what my future will be and that people won't like me."
“She keeps my spirit from getting heavy because she's always bringing out the little girl out in me. She’s always getting me to skip, or jump, or do jumping jacks, or laugh at silly jokes.”
“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.”
"For two years, I wouldn't get home until after 1 AM. Now I can be a dad again."