Photo Essay: Humans of Hyde Park

An introduction to eight of Hyde Park’s residents through their own words, inspired by “Humans of New York” by Brandon Stanton.

Credit: Jenna Moor

“What I’ve come to realize right now is that the reason we’re here on this planet is to love each other. That’s the one lesson I’ve come to learn. I’ve learned this from pursuing things outside of myself. People go out to have a good time, but happiness is an inside job. It starts within, it’s not without. That’s from a recent book that I came across called A Course in Miracles. I practice Buddhism, and while I was chanting, my inner voice said, ‘Go get A Course in Miracles.’ I had that book, but I had to go find it because I’ve got it among a thousand—I couldn’t remember where it was. I started reading it over the last couple weeks, and that’s the book that changed my perspective. I’m a work in progress. I’m not done. Learning is going to be continuous until my eyes don’t open up anymore. We have to understand that the ego is what creates the fear. And there’s two opposite polarized things: there’s fear and there’s love. And what’s missing is the love part. We have to realize that love is the only answer. We have to learn how to love each other. I’m just learning how to love, actually. I’ve been in so much pain and hate and anger because of my childhood, and I never learned how to love. So now I’m learning how to love.”


Credit: Anju Lukose-Scott

“I’m a teacher. I teach at Phillips High School, so most of the day, I’m there. When I’m not working, I play basketball with this organization called Swish. Also, I’m at home, just like, chilling. I’ve taken some classes at the Hyde Park Art Center, so I do that sometimes. And my friends are…very weird. They all have their individual interests and quirks, and it makes the hangouts really fun, because everyone brings something different to the group.”


Credit: Cristina Rodriguez

“I’m meeting up with my sister-in-law today, and she’s going to show me around the area. I actually just got hired as an electrician for the University. As an electrician, you always have to go job to job, but this is going to be a more consistent drive, and now I’ll have a set area where I will be working. The money’s good. And it’s a challenge. You learn something new every day. It’s not boring per se—you’re at new job sites, you’re working on new projects every day.”


Credit: Anju Lukose-Scott

“My favorite place is a town called Dahab. It’s on the coast of Egypt. It’s under the water. The contrast with what’s above and below the water is so dramatic. It’s the most arid, absolutely red, dry, and unbelievably hot place. There’s nothing growing above the water, but below it’s this riot of color, and blue, and fish, and life. It’s just amazing, and it’s so beautiful. It’s beautiful above and below, but the contrast amazes me. I’ve been there once, but haven’t made it back. It’s the most amazing place. Most beautiful place, I would say.”


Credit: Cristina Rodriguez

“I have an apparel business where I speak to dads, iAmDad365. All men are dads is my concept, and it takes a village to raise a child. So I feel the need to be responsible for the leadership of the youths, you know, helping to guide them. I went to federal prison at 21. I learned to read and write while in prison, and I had a dad. This business came about after the death of a nine-year-old kid by the name of Tyshawn Lee; he was murdered and it was alleged that his dad did something wrong. I went to the funeral and from that situation as well as from the birth of my daughter, I felt the need to be responsible in my community. My job here is to protect the students mainly, first and foremost, because you guys are the future you know, the bright minds of the world. You guys are going to make the changes. And a lot of times students don’t be knowing their way around and I say, ‘Hey, make sure you don’t go over this way. Make sure you don’t go over that way.’ Anytime I see trouble, I make sure that the students are doing okay.”


Credit: Léa Sainz-Gootenberg

right: “I’d like to believe in people’s goodness and kindness.”

left: “I love New York City, I love the energy of New York. I lived in Peter Cooper Village, on the East Side, on 23rd Street. And I used to run marathons in New York, I’ve done the New York City Marathon. I also used to have a house in Brooklyn, and I had a faculty position at Brooklyn College. I was a professor then, of education psychology, and I was vice chancellor of the university.”


Credit: Cristina Rodriguez

“We met through the kids. Her daughter and my eldest were at school together. And they had to go outside. And we were all waiting. The two of them somehow migrated together and they ended up at a trough digging up worms. They were in like second or third grade. That was the funniest thing. And we’ve been friends ever since.”