You don’t have to be a New Yorker to appreciate Humans of New York. The amazing photo project highlighting the stories of found New Yorkers in photographs has amassed over a million Facebook followers in just three short years, many of them having never even been to the city. It’s a snapshot of life in NYC, but also — as the name suggests — a dose of humanity in general.
Brandon’s success is in his ability to tell a story. With a photograph and one intimate/touching/funny detail, he is able to connect these New Yorkers of such different lives to each other and to people across the globe.
I love having HONY in my newsfeed. It makes me laugh, touches my heart, and keeps me humble. It reminds me both that there are hardships for everyone and that there is beauty everywhere.
People think of New York and think of anonymity, and in some ways it’s true. In small towns you can’t go to the grocer without bumping into everyone, but in New York you might not know your next door neighbor. Maybe this is why so many New Yorkers make a point to get to know the people who are constants in their lives. There are the bell boys, there’s the guy I buy a hot dog from every Friday afternoon, and the truth is a New Yorker’s as likely or more to know his deli’s owner as the country types.
And then there are the legends.
This legend’s name was Johnnie Footman, and he was 94 years and one month old when he died last week. The oldest licensed yellow-cab driver in New York was called Spider. For decades he drove a yellow cab in New York, wearing a large spider pendant around his neck and a baseball hat with a label that said “Old Dude made of Achey Breaky Parts!” Read more about Mr. Footman here. Who, in your daily routine, have you made a point to know? Or, who have you met once that left a lasting impression?
Fran Lebowitz once said, “When you leave New York, you are astonished at how clean the rest of the world is. ” Many a tourist has the reverse reaction: when they leave anywhere else, they’re astonished at how dirty New York is.
What can I say? Our city has grit and I like it. Maybe that’s why a little health code violation isn’t enough to deter me from my favorite eats. Or maybe it’s because some chefs say the whole thing is garbage anyways.
These three restaurants are reasonably priced and delicious. They shouldn’t be passed over… even though they’ve gotten a liiiittle bit of bad press.
64 West 10th Street, 212-505-7777
First, this place is beautiful. Like any tapas spot it’s good for a group, but the upstairs alcove is candle lit with just enough room to play footsie. Before the big scare, this place got some hype and it can still be tough to get in sometimes. Make a reservation, because this one is worth it.
What to get:
For less than $40 you can grab all of the following: fried goat cheese with lavender-infused honey, roasted brussel sprouts with fuji apples topped with crème fraiche and pistachios (they give you like 15 of these suckers so there’s plenty to share), bacon-wrapped dates and olives (when it’s up to me, I order these sans-olives), and foie gras with cranberry reduction (some would swap in the lamb meatballs here, which are good, but… come on. Foie gras.) I’ve heard mixed reviews on the cocktails, but due to $$ I’d grab a bottle of wine for around $35.
345 E 12th St, (212) 358-7912
Welcome to Sarita’s Mac and Cheese, better known as S’MAC. This place is amazing. And it’s clean, actually – even the inspectors think so now. But it’s not sexy. You stand in line for your food before you sit down to gorge on a faceful of awesome. …Okay, who am I kidding. That’s totally sexy.
What to get:
Grab a “major munch” only if you want leftovers for lunch the next day. Otherwise the nosh is plenty. My bro goes for the buffalo chicken every time, but you can’t pull me away from the Parisienne: brie, roasted figs, roasted shiitake mushrooms & fresh rosemary. OMfingG. I have had bites of the others. I know the Alpine has gruyere and bacon and I know La Mancha oozes manchego with onions and they are both awesome BUT they are just not as good. The beers are all $6 or less. And I hate to tell you, but.. they deliver.
25 St. Marks Place, 212-254-6363
An unusual menu, odd decor, and loud Japanese music that sounds like it’s coming out of a bull horn make for quite the ambiance.
What to get:
They had me at $8 pitchers of Sapporo.
More small plates, with nothing over $7. Go big or go home: turkey testicles and bull penises are on the menu at $5.50 each. The balls are delicious, but the penis is bland. If you aren’t feeling adventurous (or they’re out of the ol’ twig n berries, which happens) there are a ton of other options including okonomiyaki (a pancake with pork, squid, egg and cabbage), yakitori (chicken on a stick – good, but this isn’t the best place to get it), and a really good fried mackerel.
In case you’re not sold, they send you away with FREE COTTON CANDY. Free candy. Free carnival candy, for adults and for kids. Yes yes yes yes yes.
We offer culinary tours catered to every taste (whether food, art, or history). Poke around our unique tours to get ideas or go straight to our custom tour form to get started with a tour totally unique to you.
This series, called ‘Monsters of New York’ by Sadi Tekin, will definitely brighten your day.
Contact us to enjoy a unique tour of NYC art: From Graffiti to Galleries.