I found this man on 7th Avenue in Park Slope. He was leaning heavily on his cane, looking down, wearing a grimaced face. I felt bad for him, so I smiled and waved when I walked past. His face changed completely. He lit up, smiled wide, and gave me a cheery greeting. There was nothing forced about it. He seemed like a man who went through life looking for the smallest excuses to be happy.
“I always ask couples what their favorite things about each other are…” “Well we aren’t a couple. We’re just friends. I’m helping him walk.” “Oh, um…..” “But we can still answer. I love his honesty.” “And she’s my favorite person to have next to me.”
I asked his favorite thing about his dad, and he scrunched up his face and looked at the sky. He really seemed to be considering his options. Finally, he said: “When he throws me in the air.” (via HoNY)
Humans of New York Gac Filipaj is a refugee from the former Yugoslavia. For the past twelve years, he has worked as a janitor for Columbia University. His job, includes emptying the trash and cleaning the toilets. During this time, he worked until 11pm every night during the week. After this he would start studying. This weekend, Gac graduated from Columbia University with a Classics degree. Rarely have so many qualities I admire been wrapped up in a single person.
At the end of a street in Brooklyn, I randomly discovered a castle. By the door there was a rope, with a sign that said "Pull." So I did. This man came out, and explained his mathematical theory of the universe.
This man sent me an email after I took his photo: “I suffer from documented clinical Post Traumatic Stress. I have been a victim of mistaken identity and was shot as a teen. I won the case, but left emotionally scarred. It makes me nervous to be outside at times.