Mr. Hirsch says that the narratives he is gathering are valuable because people are talking openly about experiences that most people know little about. 'A lot of these people are from the underbelly of New York,' Mr. Hirsch said. 'Most of us don’t know them and don’t know what their lives are like. We almost never hear their stories.'Enjoy a few selections:
- "My name is Roberto Diaz. I went for a job interview and I got the job and then a week later they fired me talking about that I was arrested for Grand Larceny on January 3rd., 2002 and January 17th. 2002 in Manhattan. I've never been arrested in Manhattan. When I came down here I came down to figure out what's going, they're telling me this person has a couple of aliases. Now I have to go to One Police Plaza to get fingerprinted to prove this is not me." --Roberto Diaz.
- "They saying, they, they, whatever they charging 'em with, all the counts they charging them with and the conspiracies which are manslaughter, murder, putting hits out, drug trafficking, drug distributing, things like that. That's my case also. Conspiracy hold everything together. Conspiracy to murder, conspiracy to drug trafficking articles, 78's, they doing all type of things now... And there was um some weed smokinng in the car and all that so that gives them other grounds so why stop the car whatever. It was all bullshit though. You know." --Juan Miranda
- "What books? Umm I don't even remember. Actually, weird thing it wasn't me that stole the books, I was there with my wife. She had taken a few Xanax you know Xanax bars, like two milligrams Xanax they look like bars. I was up cruising the sci-fi section on the fourth floor and came down to the third floor and saw my wife laying on the ground passed out with a grocery bag full of books and I woke her up and said "Stephanie what are doing? Come on let's get out of here." and she's like, "No come on I gotta take these books." Before I woke her up I poured all of the books out of the bag and put them back on the shelf even though it was the wrong shelf I just stuffed them there. As she was walking with me and I was trying to get her out of the store she kept grabbing books off the shelf and was throwing in the bag over and over again. And I kept saying, "Stephanie stop this is ridiculous, everyone can see you, this is so stupid." But she was so high on Xanax she kept doing it, oh this ridiculous and you know I couldn't grab the books out of the bag fast enough. And then by the time we got to the escalator two undercover cops or security guards there had grabbed both of us and said, "Come with me." So we both got charged with stealing the books." --Ian Jernigan
- "I was in at Macys as with my sister she was boosting, stealing and as she was leaving at the store they the alarm went off for me but once they noticed I didn't have any merchandise they were supposed to release me and in the process they found a weapon, a gun. A 25. A little gun. A broken gun at that. And it didn't have no bullets in it or anything. There was nothing I could do with it because it was broken. And they found it in my bag. It was wrapped up in like a beanie hat, it had like um Minnie Mouse on that little hat and by prying and prying in the bag they found it. So they didn't really have proper cause to search me that's why my attorney said they're gonna throw it out and um seal it like off my record. I told them the person that stole it left out the store and when they saw they looked in my pocket book and once they saw that they had nothing in me they were supposed to let me go but they didn't. They kept prying. I'm a good girl. I like to look beautiful and dress and shop and eat. Not go to jail. You got to wear certain colors in jail, beige, orange. Those not my colors. I can't wear pumps in jail." --Sandra Walton.