Something The New York Times is doing so right

Nytimes.com has an ongoing audiovisual feature on New Yorkers that will both make you love this city all over again and—more important, if you ask me—will make you fall in with people. With humanity. With life.

Each installment of "One in a Million: New York Characters in Sound and Images" tells the story of one person: "Henry Reininger: The All-Night Accountant," "Ed Grajales: The Dictaphone Doctor," and so on. Most of the people are, for lack of a better description, unknown, and I love that the Times IDs them by their unusual jobs. It plays to the simplest manifestation of curiosity: You fix dictaphones? What's that like?

There are also interviews with people you might know from the neighborhood, whichever neighborhood that might be. "The Singing Waitress," for example, profiles Maggie Wirth, who I have seen many times at Marie's Crisis in the West Village, where she's worked for 30 years.

Today I watched a story that brought tears to my eyes, not because it was sad but because it was so joyful. The subject of "Alexandra Elman: The Blind Wine Taster" lost her sight in 1995. Here, she tells of her life as a wine taster (she travels to restaurants and serves as an arbiter), what it was like to lose her sight, and the apparent wonder with which she approached this new way of being. Elman's vitality is palpable and memorable, to say nothing of her wardrobe: black shifts and flamboyant hats, with a kindly yellow Lab as her constant companion. The black-and-white photography, by Todd Heisler, is just as remarkable.

http://nytimes.com/packages/html/nyregion/1-in-8-million/index.html?hp&hp#/alexandra_elman