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Man, 75, walks streets to tell the stories of NYC’s senior residents

Posted at 2:41 PM, Mar 06, 2019

The 20-degree wind chill isn’t stopping Herb Bardavid from walking the streets. He's hoping for his next meaningful interaction.

With a camera in his hand, Bardavid is hoping to meet a stranger and tell their stories. But it’s not just any stranger. Bardavid interviews New York’s seniors, people over the age of 70, because he believes they all have something to say and a story to tell.

“I look at people walking in the street and I want to photograph them and be able to tell their story,” he says.

With their permissions, Bardavid puts their stories, along with the photos he takes, on his blog called "Getting Old and Getting Out in New York City."

“The elderly in New York tend to be invisible,” he explains. “People look past them.

“And I think it’s important to recognize the elderly and their individuality and their importance and their need to be part of society.”

Bardavid himself is 75 years old. Despite the calm voice of the semi-retired therapist, people don't always stop when he approaches.

“I would say 60 percent of the people I stop are willing to talk to me,” Bardavid says.

Or they'll stop and chat, but they don’t want their photo taken, he says.

On this cold day, Bardavid is getting even less interviews.

"I think we hit the 40 percent today," he says.

But just as his walk was nearing an end, he got one more individual to tell their story.

“My feeling is everyone's got a story,” Bardavid says.