Last week, the New Yorker released a fascinating documentary featuring two strangers and their goal of walking New York City.
William Helmreich, now retired, explained that he wants to meet and document the people of New York City, and the best way to do this is to simply walk around.
“I’ve been a sociological researcher for all my career. “[New York is] the world’s greatest outdoor museum… People here come from more than 150 lands, and the great thing is that New Yorkers feel that they’re part of a small town but they’re also part of an incredibly big city,” he said.
His counterpart, Matt Green, has a different motivation for completing the trek. He left his office job as an engineer to walk full-time.
“I don’t have any other substantial source of income. I don’t have an apartment, so I stay with different people watch people’s cats… I couldn’t just sit at the computer all day anymore,” he said.
Green and Helmreich met for the first time while filming the doc. Helmreich, who goes by Bill, said he was looking forward to meeting his walking partner.
“I was very interested to know that somebody else was going to do this.This was a very interesting story,” he said.
Helmrich believes that the process of walking has taught him something about the diversity of New York City.
“You have different perspectives, but I would say that when you walk a whole city block by block you have an acute sense of both the differences and the similarities of each part of the city,” he said.
The short doc, produced by Riley Hooper with music by Chris Zabriskie, has already garnered almost 50,000 views on YouTube.