Chances are, you’re familiar with Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton’s public art project that reveals the inner lives of the Big Apple’s everyday strangers by pairing evocative photographic portraits with personal quotes. But Millennials are a strain of humanity all their own, and now, there’s a parody project to shed light (and laughter) on the young generation’s particular gripes and stereotypical fixations.
Millennials of New York mimics its inspiration’s deeply emotional exposés by playfully mocking the melodramas of city dwellers in their twenties and thirties. The witty satire is impressively accurate—to a cringe-inducing extent, at times—in its imaginings of the demographic’s petty plights, neuroses, and hypocrisies.
In October, the series will be published as a book by Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Press, putting mass Millennial angst down on paper for posterity. In the meantime, you can meet a handful of the temperamental Gen Y subjects below.
Above: “This is my favorite shirt. I love Buddhism.”
“If I had a reality TV show about my life, it would probably be called ‘Keeping Up With The Accomplishments of People I Know On Facebook.'”
“My therapist told me it was important to start being nicer to myself. I realized she was right. Now I make sure to like all my Instagram posts the second they hit 11.”
“I decided to work in finance because ever since I was a little kid I’ve wanted to be really vague whenever someone asks me what I do.”
“I feel like it’s been forever since the last time I went to Fashion Week. What’s my personal style? Well, you can basically describe my current look as: ‘It’s 1898 and I, a humble hemp farmer, am set to marry the daughter of a rich industrialist. She may be prettier than Annie Oakley and sweeter than a slice of watermelon on a warm summer’s day, but I just can’t bring myself to love her. So I decide to just drop it all and go work on the railroad—where a hard days work is met with a day’s honest wage, and the men drink black coffee, tell stories around the fire each night, and sleep under a canopy of a million flickering stars.’ But if that description is too long I guess you can just write ‘Amish chic.’”
“I buy passes for music festivals and post them on Instagram before reselling them so people think I have a social life. I’ve actually never been to one. I had someone ask me why I never post pictures of the actual festival and I said, ‘I leave my camera at home because reality shouldn’t be viewed through a lens.’”
“There is no such thing as white privilege. Look, I’ve had more than a few run-ins with the police, and they’re not very nice to me either. I mean just last weekend I drunkenly grabbed a cop’s gun, and even though I was obviously joking, he called me ‘incredibly irresponsible,’ and was, like, super stern and passive aggressive the entire time he was giving me a ride home.”
“I love living in New York, but it can be pretty stressful. There are just so many things you have worry about, like ‘Will today will be the day a Lovecraftian monster from the darkest corner of my nightmares rises from its slumber below the East River and makes mankind pay for its countless sins by laying waste to its most iconic metropolis?’ and ‘Is the L running?’ It’s really tough dealing with that kind of uncertainty.”
“My favorite movie genre is: ‘Films Where Liam Neeson Moves Surprisingly Well For His Age.'”
“The Internet has had a profound effect on our way of life, and our laws should keep pace with the rapid changes in culture and technology. For example, you should be allowed to press charges against anyone who tries to hold your phone when you go to show them something on it. Like, I’m just trying to share this picture of Joe Biden eating ice cream, not explain why I have 183 toilet selfies saved to my camera roll.”
“If I win the Powerball, I’m going to finally put a dent in my student loans.”
“My doctor said I need to stop smoking if I want to lower my risk of cancer. I told him he might want to go back to med school. I’m a Sagittarius. Everyone knows we’re not compatible.”
“As a liberal, I’m naturally really excited that gay marriage was made legal last month. But the decision did make me feel a little weird; I’m always very confused when America does something that’s actually good. It’s like a mosquito landing on my shoulder and saying ‘Listen buddy, I think it’s time I gave back’ and handing me a Starbucks gift card.”
“I don’t do drugs. I don’t need to. Why risk getting addicted when life is full of so many simple pleasures — a freshly baked baguette, a decadent dessert, a warm cup of coffee. God, I love coffee. I’ve been drinking it every day for over a decade now. I used to be able to get by on a small cup from Starbucks, but as I’ve started to drink more now I need the strongest brew that I can get my hands on. I’ve learned that if you want the highest quality stuff you’ve got to source your beans directly from South American countries like Colombia, Bolivia and Peru. Sure, there are some months I spend so much money on coffee that I can barely afford lunch. And yeah, sometimes when I don’t have my coffee, I can get a little irritable and, you know, I occasionally lash out at my loved ones. They keep telling me I should try to cut back, but I can’t handle the splitting headaches I get whenever my buzz wears off. Maybe they just need to learn to mind their fucking business.”
“The Trump campaign has a lot in common with the tattoo of Tila Tequila I got in college – at first it was supposed to be ironic, but everyone stopped finding it funny after a couple of weeks, and now there is nothing I can do to get rid of it.”
“I don’t care what anybody says– ‘Hamilton’ is the best musical I’ve never seen.”
“We got married two weeks ago. It was an absolutely beautiful ceremony. I wouldn’t have done anything differently. Some people said it was tacky to make the priest hold the selfie stick when we kissed, but they can tell that to the 271 likes the picture got on Facebook. Now we’re on our honeymoon. It’s so beautiful. I’ve been spending most of my time staring longingly at our Instagram notifications while holding his hand and thinking about how many likes we’ll get for making a baby.”
“People are so desperate to find ways to hack Tinder, but the secret to success isn’t just listing ‘Serial’ as an interest or posing with a more attractive friend in the hope people might think you’re the hot one. It’s about one thing and one thing only: Parkour. Seriously. Girls can’t resist its allure. Just today I got a really steamy message that said ‘~~~ HEY THERE SEXY Would u LiKe to wiN a FREE pair of AUTHENTIC Naruto® Fingerless Gloves ALL COLORS AVAILABLE just enter to win & type code SPAMBOT69 for exclusive discounts on other hot PARKOUR products XOXOXO~~~.’ I’m telling you, girls just can’t get enough of modern Tarzans in the urban jungle.”
“It’s literally impossible to take advantage of the city when everything is as expensive as it is. Isn’t DeBlasio supposed to be doing something about these ridiculous rent prices? It feels like by the time I’m done paying for other basic necessities—groceries, electric, Internet, MetroCard, Sunday brunches, margarita machine maintenance, feather headdress-making lessons, Saturday brunches, an officially licensed SoulCycle machine for my apartment so I don’t have to worry about classes filling up—there’s really nothing left for me to have any fun with. I don’t want to ask my parents to up my allowance but I don’t know if I have a choice anymore.”
“I write articles for the internet.”
What was the last thing you wrote?
“Oh, it was an article called ’10 Beautiful Pictures of Disney Princesses Busy Photoshopping Disney Princesses for Disney Princess Listicles.'”
All images via Millennials of New York.