If you’ve never heard of Humans Of New York, please allow us the immense pleasure of introducing you to one of the best Instagram accounts ever created. What started as a photo project dedicated to capturing the lives of New York’s residents, has grown into a international blog with a social media following of over 20 million people.
These are just a few of our favorite postings and they’re sure to leave you with all of the feels.
1. This real-life fairy godmother who’s fostered 13 babies.
“I could only foster one at a time because I had five children of my own. But one time a mother dropped three children off on my doorstep. She had just given them chocolate ice cream. I’ll never forget how the ice cream was dripping off their faces. Most of the time I’d only have the children for a few months. And once they were adopted, I’d never contact them again. But I often wonder what happened to them. Maybe we’ll meet again in heaven.”
2. This man’s eye-opening story about his childhood and its effect on his life now.
“This is the most stable I’ve ever been. I have a permanent address. I have someone who legitimately loves me. But my anxiety has never been worse. I’ve been having panic attacks recently. I think I’ve never had to deal with the trauma because things were always coming at me. And now I’m not sure how to handle the quiet.”
3. This person’s powerful message about starting over.
“I think a new city will be good for me. I’ll start out alone. I’ll be forced to reflect. I’ll have a sense of unexpectedness. I want to feel like a tourist in my own life again.”
4. This woman’s inspirational message about short hair and femininity.
“I’m trying to prove to myself that I can have short hair and still be feminine. It can be hard when I step out on the street and all the other women have long hair. I think a lot of people see short hair, and form an idea that I hate men, or that I only think about business. But I still feel feminine inside. I guess I want to prove that feeling has nothing to do with the type of attention I’m getting.”
5. This mom’s scary experience with her daughter’s sickness
“Carolina was so brave the entire time. She made us so proud. She wasn’t afraid of the doctors. She stuck out her arm when it was time for treatment. She was even brave during the surgery. But those were the longest four hours of Mommy’s life.”
6. This woman’s most memorable Christmas
“Then the night before Christmas, somebody broke into our house. They slit the screen on one of the windows and stole everything. I woke up to my mom screaming. All our presents were gone. But that ended up being the best Christmas we ever had. Because a few hours later, six guys from the union showed up, and they were carrying bags and bags of presents.”
7. This 8-year-old who’s going to change the world.
“I want to be President of Venezuela to change things and make better the world. Did you know that sometimes in Venezuela people shoot each other on purpose? I will change that. Also there will be rules against pushing people or thinking bad thoughts about people. I will make a rule so that there will not be too much cutting or killing of trees.”
8. This woman’s heart-breaking story about dealing with her emotions.
“I don’t communicate my feelings. My entire family was like that. We’ve always sort of just swept things under the rug. I think that’s what makes me a good ER nurse. But it also makes me pretty bad at relationships. I met Gavin while traveling in Europe last year. Gavin was the opposite of me. He was warm and happy and touchy. But I pulled back the moment we got too close. Because I don’t like the feeling of being dependent on someone. Gavin was killed in a car crash at the end of January. He was alone in England and I didn’t even find out until days after it happened. I’ve tried to handle it like I always do. I try not to think about it or talk about it. But it’s not working so well this time.”
9. This couple’s adorable love story.
“We met in college. He walked me home from school every day for five years. We would talk about everything: how many kids we wanted, how we wanted to raise them, our roles in the home, where we wanted to live, and even where we wanted to go on vacation. We’ve been married for fifteen years but we still walk home together from work every night.”
10. This special bond between a little girl and her mom.
“I don’t even know where we’re going to live. But she’s always trying to cheer me up. One time she drew a rainbow, and put it in the mailbox, and told me I had mail. When she saw me crying on Mother’s Day, she said: ‘I got you, Mommy. You’re the best Mommy ever and I’m always going to hold you down.’”
11. This cute couple’s first meeting.
“We met on a hike 25 years ago. He made the first move. He asked if he could help me up a hill.”
12. This little girl who wants to share her happiness with the world.
“I want to YouTube about my life. I’ll call my channel Happy Is Always The Answer. It will be a popular channel because I’m the only crazy kid in my house. I do a lot of hyper things that people will love like running and swimming and going on adventures.”
13. This girl’s loving memories of her grandmother.
“We took this picture on the day my mom graduated from community college. It was in the middle of June. It was so hot. But Gram comes outside in a pink evening gown, mink fur, and evening gloves. We told her it was too hot but she said: ‘My baby’s graduating!’ She loved this photo. She put it in a frame and hung it above her pink bed. In her pink room.”
14. This teen’s motivation to follow his dreams.
“Basketball makes me come to the park every day and work hard. Now I just need to find the thing that makes me work hard on everything else. I think my main motivation is going to be my mom. Her dream is to have a house where we all live on different floors. I’m not sure about that idea. But I do want to get her a house.”
15. This man’s love for his four-legged companion.
“We’re on the slow plan to get over her terrible beginnings. She has a lot of PTSD. She was born in a kill shelter so she spent the first four months of her life in a cage. It’s so great to see her enjoy the outdoors. The happiness may only stick for a few moments at a time, but it’s so great to see.”
16. This elderly man’s favorite memories from the war.
“I had a ton of fun during the Korean War. There were 10-15 gay soldiers on the base. As long as we weren’t seen doing anything, they could’t discharge us. So we all rented a hotel room once a month, plastered the wall with Playbills from A Streetcar Named Desire, and had lots of sex.”
17. This new dad who’s learning something every day.
“I’m learning the cries right now. Different cries mean different things. There’s the bird cry, which sounds like a squawk and means ‘I’m hungry.’ There’s the whimper, which means ‘Pay attention to me or I’ll let loose.’ Then there’s the sleepy cry. You don’t want to hear that one. Nothing stops sleepy cry but The Boob.”