The New York You Don't Remember
Mod note: Blast from the Past - "Best of Eddie." This one is originally from January 2012.
Wow, these photos really brought back some memories for me. Most of you are too young to remember New York City as it was in the 1980's, so some of these shots might come as a shock to you. If you've ever wondered what kind of a hellhole could spawn the likes of Midas Mulligan Magoo, let me present you with Times Square when you could still buy a nickel bag and get a back-alley handy on the same block:
This is back when Bedford-Stuyvesant was called "Hell's Kitchen" for good reason. You had to be out of your mind or desperate for crack to find yourself down there. Now you can sip chai tea in a sidewalk café without fear of a drive-by.
The photo from The Bronx reminds me of this little old lady I had for a client early in my career. She lived in The Bronx when it was still a war zone. She'd lived there pretty much her whole life and she was determined not to give up any ground to the neighborhood gangs.
And no one my age can look at photos of Coney Island back then without thinking of The Warriors - a 1979 Homeric epic about a gang from C.I. being hunted by everyone in the city:
The city has come a long way in 20 years, and I don't think anyone could argue that it hasn't been for the better. But NY natives also have to admit that the gentrification has cost the city a lot of it's more "eclectic" flavor. Be that as it may, the city now proudly stands as the center of Planet Earth, and it couldn't say that 30 years ago.