80's | New York | News

The New York City of 30 Years Ago: VIDEO

Nyc

1983. Wasn't so long ago, but looking at this footage it feels like an eternity.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

(via buzzfeed)

From the top of the World Trade Center in 1986:

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Comments

  1. you should see what it looks like in MY memory...

    Posted by: bandanajack | Jun 11, 2013 7:48:23 AM


  2. Wonderful to see a man with muscular legs and wiggly butt shown of nicely at about 15:36--real shorts, not the monstrous culottes that hang baggily almost to ankles now.

    Posted by: gregorybrown | Jun 11, 2013 8:24:01 AM


  3. Suddenly, I feel very old.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jun 11, 2013 8:54:18 AM


  4. All sorts of interesting details...cars were so much bigger. The air looked dirtier. Time Square added a LOT of neon between '83 and '86 (but that's still just a fraction of what it is now in terms of sensory overload). 80's synthesizers and electronic instruments, which seemed so new and cutting-edge, haven't aged as well as a lot of 70's funk/soul/rock music. A movie theater was actually playing "Porky's" a year after it was released, since this was before videocassettes went wide. And yes, men wore SHORTS, compared to the urban look that now requires them to at least touch or exceed a man's knees. I wonder how the 90's now look in retrospect?

    Posted by: Dback | Jun 11, 2013 9:11:03 AM


  5. Nice. The filthy, dirty NY I knew as a little kid. The stench of bus diesel exhaust permeated the air. It was crowded, grungy and poorer than today. The summers were boiling hot, the winters freezing cold.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 11, 2013 9:34:24 AM


  6. I think Porky's was a restaurant (a chain, actually)with a theme based on the movie.

    Posted by: TC | Jun 11, 2013 9:47:07 AM


  7. I remember pre-AIDS downtown NYC from when I was in college in the late-70s; a dirty, smelly armpit that you couldn't wait to get away from. Times Square was mostly trashy and aggressive hookers, wall-to-wall sex shops and porno theaters and overflowing dumpsters.

    We had a major vendor with offices at 41st and Broadway, and it was to be dreaded when we needed to go into the city to visit them. The busses, taxis and subways were so awful that you didn't even want to take side-trips to see any of the museums while in-town.

    Get in and get-out....

    Posted by: Ted B. (Charging Rhino) | Jun 11, 2013 11:23:03 AM


  8. Bond's; Howard Johnson's; steel drums. 'Nuff said.

    Posted by: David R. | Jun 11, 2013 11:54:31 AM


  9. IMO, the changes since then have been a mixed bag. Back then artists, musicians, and actors could still afford to move there, which is why NYC/Manhattan was such a cauldron of creativity. Now Manhattan is like a Disney Epcot version of its former self. Singer Patty Smith and others have said that artists need to find a new place, perhaps one of the increasingly deserted Rust Belt cities, because the art and music scene in NYC is dead.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 11, 2013 12:04:37 PM


  10. I miss it. There was a time, in the nineties, when Times Square had become a great mix, it had cleaned up enough so that it didn't feel dangerous, but it hadn't become the sanitized, disneyfied, pedestrian mall that it is today.

    Posted by: Chris | Jun 11, 2013 12:10:19 PM


  11. It still hurts to see any image of the World Trade Center. I either want to avert my eyes or cry. That attack is one of the worst human actions of history.

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Jun 11, 2013 12:28:14 PM


  12. 1983 was the year I moved to New York. I was 18 and it was like moving to the Emerald City. The emotions I felt all come flooding back. I remember the excitement and especially the sense of possibility. I also remember the terror of the onslaught of GRID/AIDS. It is like it was yesterday....

    Posted by: Elbe11 | Jun 11, 2013 1:41:11 PM


  13. Imagine navigating this is the late 70's. New York was dirty and dangerous, but there was a lot going on in the gay world. I went to "Julius" in the Village, and met the nicest guy who lived on Central Park West. HIs place was lucite and silver. This was gay adventure. We biked through Central Park. Looked rough, but no bashing. Had never been to NYC.

    Posted by: EB | Jun 11, 2013 2:44:16 PM


  14. I was amazed by the comments on the Alicia Keys NY video on YouTube about how people all over the world wish they could visit NY. I guess it's reputation is way better than the reality, though it does have a unique vibe. Up until the mid-nineties you could see a brown dome of haze over the city as you drove in (from any direction) and the smell and noise were often really bad. While there was a raw honesty about the place in the seventies and early eighties, it's a much better place to live and visit today. What it lacks now is any sort of adult seriousness--it lacks adult honesty--all major issues are to be avoided.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 11, 2013 3:09:35 PM


  15. Yep. NYC has been Disneyfied.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Jun 11, 2013 3:29:32 PM


  16. Hey Ted B. I was born and raised in NYC(w.17th. st.& 8th. ave.) ,and I still think it was and is the best f*****g town in the world! So suck it!

    Posted by: rebarb | Jun 11, 2013 4:45:44 PM


  17. I still get in and get out

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Jun 11, 2013 4:56:24 PM


  18. Now Time Square looks like a mall in Omaha- yeah that's progress

    Posted by: jaragon | Jun 11, 2013 5:30:35 PM


  19. Jaragon, I don't know if you're a New Yorker or were one in 1983, but back then the city was a lot less safe, you were hassled by panhandlers at least once on every subway ride, and city streets were filled with weird people who wouldn't hurt you but would call out things to you and make you feel uncomfortable. I'll take a Disneyfied Manhattan any day of the week.

    But there were other nice things about 1983. Great music, many of us getting our fist personal computers, shoulder pads for those of who needed them (and I still do). But for me it was this: 1983 was the year I gave my first blow job. (sorry - but it IS what I most remember about that year!)

    Posted by: Mary | Jun 11, 2013 5:50:18 PM


  20. 1983 NYC here is closer to the current season of Mad Men (1968) than to us today. Yikes!

    Posted by: Jusayin | Jun 12, 2013 12:00:56 PM


  21. It's amazingly pre-digital; incredibly analog. I remember when being West of 8th ave in Hell's Kitchen was no mans land--you just didn't go.

    Now I live in an apt. on 42nd and 9th.

    Times have changed

    Posted by: RTG | Jun 12, 2013 7:35:08 PM


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