I had almost forgotten what it was like to strategize a transit commute or to place my exact change on a bodega counter after skipping the line. Norms in New York City can seem outrageous in other places — that’s what I love about this city. From the inaudible bang for your buck housing to the borough cultures and subcultures. Each neighborhood, block and building has it’s own bubbling identity. It can look glamourous but the real life hustle is a motha. Finding your flow in the city is a layered task with moving parts that will send you whirling in circles if you’re not grounded. My cousin Jessie is hard at it; work, hustle, grind and little sleep. We visited her for the holidays and were able to bring her just a bit of normalcy during an otherwise hectic and lonely time for most NYC transplants. My family members are my favorite subjects. There’s a certain comfort that exists between us that it makes for really authentic shots. You can trust that the personalities in these pictures are real.