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Every Person in New York

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Jason Polan is on a mission to draw every person in New York, from cab drivers to celebrities. He draws people eating at Taco Bell, admiring paintings at the Museum of Modern Art, and sleeping on the subway. With a foreword by Kristen Wiig, Every Person in New York, Volume 1 collects thousands of Polan's energetic drawings in one chunky book. As full as a phone book and as ...more
Paperback, 408 pages
Published August 18th 2015 by Chronicle Books
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  159 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Elizabeth A
Dec 15, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, art
This large book is a compilation of the black and white drawings from the author's sketchbooks. Per the title, he sketches people he sees, but stops sketching them when they move or are out of sight. That makes for dynamic loose lines, and I appreciated that some people were mere squiggles - as if they had just whizzed past him. NYC has lots of famous people, and he sketches many of them - though almost none recognizable if not for his annotations. I liked browsing through this collection - it w ...more
Jul 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have enjoyed this book so much. I try to develop a backstory for each person in the book.
I try to picture Polan drawing each one. I literally laughed out loud with some of the captions. I think all ages and all people will love this book.
Cayla Gao
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Main takeaways:
- Surprised he recognized and saw so many celebrities in a pretty short span of time, including multiple sightings of the same celebs
- A lot of people cutting their nails on subways ew
- He went to Taco Bell, MOMA, and Housing Works Bookstore a lot
- Many endearing, strange "only in nyc" moments sprinkled throughout the book

Also so sad that he passed, can tell that he was a curious, kind, hard-working person.
Felix Gomez
Mar 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
This book was so earnest it made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
Oct 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not so much a narrative but more a look into Polan's work and evolution over time. That said, I'm biased because I really like Jason Polan's work.
Also, his drawings of Reggie Watts made me laugh.
Dec 11, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
In how few (drawing) lines can you tell a story? With what short squiggles can you capture a person? Neat project.
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I've read similar concept books before, where someone draws a comic strip of each day of their life or just chronicles a sketch book of New York, but this one rose above and never lost momentum for me despite existing without an arc. At times, it brought me to tears with its simple reflection of the beauty and chaos that is everyday life in New York. And then the extra layer of celebrity sighting--especially minor celebrities--add more fun on top. How many times can a person cross paths with Mir ...more
Kristen Kelleher
Honestly I cannot say I enjoyed this book too much. When I first learned of it I thought it sounded super interesting and was excited to read it. It turned out for me to be super boring. Many of the drawings are literally just lines, you cannot even tell it's supposed to be a person. There were very few sketches that actually looked somewhat realistic to me. Most of the "celebrity sightings" are just squiggles, honestly I don't even believe it was them due to almost none of them looking like a p ...more
Mar 26, 2021 rated it liked it
I didn't realize how many artists/musicians/celebrities live in New York City. I also enjoyed seeing what New Yorkers do on a day to day basis. Apparently, clippling your nails in the subway is a thing..who knew?

I can't to visit New York and see New Yorkers for myself.
Mar 31, 2021 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book made me miss both New York City and Jason Polan’s drawings so much.
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
A fun sketchbook of the familiar New Yorkers in action. It's a large volume that covers many neighborhoods in the city. ...more
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Realistic vs Iconic representation: NYC in a nutshell
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Nakakatuwa at nakakaaliw! Sinubaybayan ko ang blog ni Jason Polan noon. Nakakalungkot na maaga siyang namatay. Base sa mga nabasa ko, parang napakabait niyang tao.
Diane Madlon-Kay
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was ok
2 stars
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful to look at the line drawings of this New Yorker. His descriptions of the people have some real humor. It is too bad that he died at the age 37 from cancer in January 2020.
Marina Santos
Jul 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best, most reverent books that I have ever read. Polan gave a huge gift to New York City and the world with his inimitable illustrations. My mom and I love the way that he draws movement and groups of people. Some of my favourite people that he drew were Yayoi Kusama, Patti Smith (twice!), Joan Didion, etc. EVERYBODY is in there. Also, I love so many of the NY randos he drew, like a guy in Taco Bell with a nacho on his forehead. He really captured the iconicity and eccentricity of New ...more
An Nhien
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Full YouTube review here:

Sometimes the best stories are not told with words. In his quixotic quest to capture every person in New York, literally, Jason Polan created a unique book that captures New York and its people like no others. A mindful read. Highly recommended.
Jan 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: new-york-reads
It's hard to not appreciate someone who frequents Taco Bell and Barnes & Noble as often as I do. However, the prevalence of those spots in this book makes me wish it was a little more centric on NY originals (and thus makes me realize my own habits should be, as well). Still, Polan seems damn lucky to have nabbed a book for these doodles. (Kudos to him for thinking of it first)

My favorite parts are when he includes people in-character for their Broadway shows, without necessarily citing the show
Josefa Ruz⁷
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2015
Bought this @ MoMA while I was in New York in September! I just thought it would be a good book to buy so that it could motivate me to draw everywhere I can. Loved all the captions or little comments as well! It was rather fun trying to develop somewhat of a story behind the drawings. Very cool and quirky book, really recommend it.
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