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How New York Nico Has Rebuilt a Community | #speeddating | #tinder | #pof | #blackpeoplemeet | romancescams | #scams


Nicholas Heller is better known by his nickname New York Nico, but even more known under the self-proclaimed and widely accepted moniker of “New York’s Unofficial Talent Scout.” He documents scenes and people throughout the city in an honest point of view and with respect and reverence for the culture he intends to protect. He offers competitions for his over 670,000 followers ranging from Best NY Accent challenges to speed dating rounds under the hashtag NewYorkNiconnections. He has also created national commercials for the New York Knicks and JetBlue, directed his own series of short films and documentaries, and produced an MTA collaboration that gave some of New York’s most iconic celebrities a chance to voice subway announcements. The stars involved in the campaign were a laundry list of local legends including Jerry Seinfeld, Whoopi Goldberg, Eric Andre, and Jadakiss. He has even launched the careers of several celebrities through his consistent documentation. All of this, and Nico is just 32 years old.

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Call him the Ken Burns of the boroughs or the Werner Herzog of the social media generation, but whatever you call him, it can’t be ‘selfish’. Nico has supported countless independent businesses through his social media campaigns which have earned stores hundreds of followers, and even more important, new customers. During the pandemic, New York Nico hit new strides and made efforts to secure funding for mom n pop shops in need. He created revenue streams and highlighted some of New York’s oldest establishments, making sure that nothing, not even a global pandemic, could cause them to shut their doors. Through discovering and sharing some of New York’s most emblematic characters, creating campaigns that serve to benefit the New York community, and through global partnerships that have kept him on everyone’s radar beyond the city limits, New York Nico is hereby dubbed the “official” talent scout of New York.

A cast of colorful characters

New York Nico makes New York City seem like a live-action episode of Sesame Street. He has found some of the most iconic and emblematic individuals the city has to offer and each of them have nothing but blessings to offer back to him.

“I’m just extremely lucky that Nico brought me into his world,” said Patrick Barr, better known by his viral name Tiger Hood. “Nico has played a very big part in this 57-year-olds life and for that I am eternally grateful.”

Tiger Hood is one of the many subjects Nico has profiled in his documentary series. Tiger is known for switching out golf balls for milk cartons and exchanging 18-hole courses with the city streets of SoHo in a sport he dubs “Urban Golf.” Hood has seen an exponential interest in both his golf and his photographs since New York Nico featured him on his Instagram, even leading to a collaboration between Tiger and Will Smith, who scored one of the highly-coveted “hole-in-one” shots in the game.

Another subject featured in Nico’s documentaries is Michael Saviello, Big Mike, of Astor Place Hair Stylists. Big Mike is one of the legendary barbers in New York City and has cut the hair of celebrities ranging from Donald Glover to Vin Diesel. But during his lunch breaks, Saviello sneaks off to a small closet studio in the back of the barber shop where he creates stunning paintings of impressive scale that feature some of the most iconic characters of New York.

Saviello has called Nico, “truly one of the great New Yorkers” and has benefited greatly from his documentary and social media shout-outs. The attention has resulted in Saviello’s first solo exhibition at ESP Gallery in New York as well as a prominent role in Nico’s recent JetBlue commercial.

Creative Campaigns

New York Nico is also known for his ability to generate virality. One of his most iconic social media campaigns was his Best NY Accent competition which took place in April of 2020. In addition to a wide range of locals who competed for the spot, the competition also attracted entrances from some of New York’s top celebrities including Alec Baldwin, Wayne Diamond and rapper Princess Nokia. Winner of the competition was New York Nico favorite and consistent collaborator Charles Salerno, better known as CharliDaWolf. Known as “Williamsburgs Oldest Bad Boy”, CharlieDaWolf has leveraged his New York Nico virality and created shirts, his own viral videos, and has appeared on the Growing Up Italian podcast.

New York Nico also created the NewYorkNiconnections viral campaign, which helped to match up single New Yorkers through Instagram’s algorithm. The contest resulted in new Nico regulars like Lukey Lunchbox, Elf of NYC, Mimi Hoops, and Richard Pigkaso.

Another continuous viral campaign of Nico’s is the New York’s Got Talent series which highlights different talented individuals from the community as well as MomNPopDrop, which features different small businesses throughout the city. He has profiled a variety of local shops and business owners including Dah Shop bike shop, Zabars Epicurean Emporium, Army & Navy Bag, and Gizo Vintage Honey. Several owners of the shops were also featured in New York Nico’s collaboration with the fellow humanitarian Instagram account Humans of NY.

World-wide Nico

Nico’s enthusiasm and support of New York has drawn audiences across the globe. The viralness of his attention has landed him work with global brands such as JetBlue. His recent ad for the company featured a who’s who of Nico stars including Green Lady of Brooklyn, Rami Matanand several independent businesses including Bodega Truck, Cozy Soup n Burger diner, and Cuts & Slices.

He has also created advertising work for some big name brands such as a Google and Tribeca collaboration, a promotional spot for the New York Knicks, a Nike commercial, and a Timberland promotion.

Nico has also reached a wider audience through his podcast New York’s Got Talent which features longer-form interviews with some of his favorite characters and shop owners. Episodes have ranged from interviews with artists Mark Cross and Stephanie Boyce as well as photographers Daniel Arnold and Jessica Lehrman.

Much of his video content is released under his production company Heller Films and is featured on his website. Recently, he has utilized his directing skills to inform the community on local politics by collaborating with New York Magazine to create the “Meet Your Next Mayor” campaign. The video features interviews with every candidate running for Mayor of New York City. The video featured in-depth policy preferences, personal backgrounds, and other interesting questions that only New York Nico could get away with, “Favorite New York Movie? and Most Overrated Thing About New York City? 

New York Nico continues to promote his city and its citizens through Instagram and through films that inspire and preserve the culture of the city. With celebrity recognition and support from New York legends like Will Smith, Jeff Garland, and Jerry Seinfeld, it seems like the city has entrusted Nico with keeping its spirit alive. With a recent appearance on HBO and social media accounts that show no signs of slowing down, the only question that remains is if Nico will stay true to his home of New York, or if he will keep growing to become the unofficial talent scout of the world as well.

READ NEXT: The Definitive List Of New York City’s Best Restaurants (In Order)

Sources:

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