Friday, January 24, 2014

Confessions Of A People Watcher

People watching might be one of my very favorite pastimes.  I have loved it ever since I was a little girl!  I could sit on a bench in a mall or a park for hours and just watch people go by.  It always amazes me to see the variety of people that are in this world and wonder where they came from and what they do and what their life is like.  You can't sit there very long without thinking about how creative God is.  Everyone is so unique and different in all shapes and sizes and colors!  Maybe that's one reason that I love New York City so much.   It is probably the mecca of people watching!  

Lots of times when Steve and I go out to dinner at a restaurant, I get so distracted from our conversation because I am so interested in watching all the people around us.  And I love hearing people's stories.  I really do.  If I am with you and you are telling me about your life, I promise I am totally interested.

You know how sometimes you are friends with someone who always wants to talk about themselves and they never ask you about your life?  That is not me.  Of course, I like to share about my life, too, and I want to be with someone who is going to be interested in what I have to say.  But I really enjoy listening just as much as I do talking!

I guess the fact that I love people's stories so much is why biographies have always been my favorite books. When I was in elementary school, I would read through a whole series of biographies at a time.  My mother bought me a set of biographies about the presidents that I loved and still have!   I also read all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books about her life.  And there was a really great series of biography books in the library at my school that had stories about people like Clara Barton and Louisa May Alcott and other famous Americans.   I read them all and can even remember the exact shelf where they were located!

I still love biographies!   I like to read about historical figures, political leaders, celebrities, every day people, and really anyone!  I can't even begin to count how many books like these I have read in my life.

Getting to know people and learn their stories is one of the things I really love about teaching, too.  Just think about it...when you are a teacher, you not only get 25 new students each year, but you also meet their families.  And you get to know those families very well, very quickly.  That is such a blessing to me.  I love getting to know all those sweet children and their parents.

I don't have a board yet on Pinterest for the people of the world, but I need to get one!  I am always drawn to those interesting faces.  A person's eyes and the lines on their face can tell such a story.

So...knowing how much I love people watching, you can imagine how fascinated I was when I recently found a website called Humans of New York.  Have you ever heard of it?  It is so interesting!

Here is what the founder said about it...

"My name is Brandon and I began Humans of New York in the summer of 2010. HONY resulted from an idea that I had to construct a photographic census of New York City. I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants, so I set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. I worked for several months with this goal in mind. But somewhere along the way, HONY began to take on a much different character. I started collecting quotes and short stories from the people I met, and began including these snippets alongside the photographs. Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog, which over the past two years has gained a large daily following. With nearly one million collective followers on Facebook and Tumblr, HONY now provides a worldwide audience with glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City.

Yep...that is right up my alley!  It is now one of my favorite websites to browse.  If you are a people watcher like me, you should take a minute to look at it.  I bet you will enjoy it, too!


  1. Oh my word, just went to the site and I am hooked too!! Thank you for sharing Betsy! I too am a *human interest* person. It's one of the things I love about sports teams playing….the stories behind the players!!

  2. That website is so amazing--I'm ALL in. :)

  3. My daughter (20) loves that sight and introduced me to it. She also received the book Humans of NY for Christmas. Have a great weekend :-)

  4. So happy you are blogging all "regular-like" again! We are not too terribly far apart in age, but you are a little ahead of me in parenting (I am just starting the college years -eeeek!). I always look forward to your posts and your perspective! They help me along on my parenting journey. :). Blessings! Jennifer

  5. My word, I am fascinated! Can't stop reading it - thanks for sharing :)


Thank you so much for leaving me a comment! I love reading them all! :)