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NYC 1978-1985: A Fantastic Flickr Photo Set
October 26, 2011 2:12 PM   Subscribe


 
The process he used seems like a whole lotta work, but the end results are great.
posted by addelburgh at 2:18 PM on October 26, 2011


St. Marks and 3rd Ave 1. was immediately recognizable to me in the thumbnail; 2. may have look better back then than it does today
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:19 PM on October 26, 2011


I pretty much spent my early teen years stompin' around the East Village and my late teen years working there. I used to run a little punk-rock store a few stores down from this place. The block had a lot of turnover, so we shared a lot of the same people with Trash, and sent a lot of customers back and forth.

Also, for thirty years people have come to that stretch to say "man, this isn't what it was like back when it was cool."
posted by griphus at 2:19 PM on October 26, 2011


A couple o' previouslies.
posted by Beardman at 2:20 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Also, image I linked to facing the righthand side of the block that 2bucksplus linked to.)
posted by griphus at 2:21 PM on October 26, 2011


I also miss urban decay and widespread crime.
posted by leotrotsky at 2:35 PM on October 26, 2011 [8 favorites]


I also miss urban decay and widespread crime.

Not to worry, friend! Just a few hours away, there's a magical place that has all that plus a ten cent refund on bottles and cans!
posted by The World Famous at 2:38 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, it took a while clicking through these images to actually find some that really felt dated. Perhaps it is just the close framing of walls and shops in the first few dozen without a lot of people (or old steel cars), but there really aren't many scenes that couldn't be replicated today in the City. The first one that felt really dated (though nothing to do with New York) was the "one night stand" image. Something about that clock, and the lamp and the cigarettes (and the lack of cellphone chargers and iPod docks and whatnot) screams late 70s/early to mid 80s.

Also, right around that point in the series you start to see a lot of old galvanized trash cans -- you don't really see those anymore. You either see no trash cans or odd bomb- or vandal-proof cans.
posted by This_Will_Be_Good at 2:39 PM on October 26, 2011


This is one of those rare "then and now" photosets where I say, "wow, still looks like this 30 years later."
posted by modernserf at 2:40 PM on October 26, 2011


I mean, not these specific locations; more like the shitty part of Brooklyn I live in looks like what St. Marks used to look like.
posted by modernserf at 2:43 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


A recent related previously. Hopefully this one, too, will devolve into an argument about nostalgia for a more crime-ridden but colorful NYC vs. anyone-who-looks-back-at-that-time-with-anything-except-sheer-horror-is-basically-all-yay-crime!
posted by mreleganza at 3:10 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


2bucksplus: "St. Marks and 3rd Ave 1. was immediately recognizable to me in the thumbnail; 2. may have look better back then than it does today"

Frida's! Wow that place was something else. And then some.
posted by Splunge at 3:11 PM on October 26, 2011


First and foremost on my list once they invent time travel is heading to the Village in 1977-80.
Killing Hitler can wait until after I've danced at Paradise Garage and seen Rocky Horror at the Waverly.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:22 PM on October 26, 2011


Senor Cardgage: Did both in high school. Totally worth it.
posted by ltracey at 3:33 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Got the zippered/mesh t-shirts too.
posted by Splunge at 3:35 PM on October 26, 2011


Itracey you liar! I just wiki'd Hitler.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:36 PM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also I am totally jealous.
Did you get to dance to THE Larry Levan?
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:37 PM on October 26, 2011


Sorry Ltracey I mean. Hard to tell with webfonts.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:44 PM on October 26, 2011


Whoa! Miles Davis' Tutu came on just as I found your post. It's the perfect background music to this Flickr set. Plug in your headphones and prepared to go back in time... time... time... time...
posted by lemuring at 3:52 PM on October 26, 2011


Nice. I remember Trash N' Vaudeville.
posted by 3.2.3 at 4:21 PM on October 26, 2011


looking at the women in the pictures, I have to ask those of you who were teens and upwards at that time...

How long did it take you to do your hair???
posted by Windigo at 4:31 PM on October 26, 2011


oh my god. leshko's.
posted by elizardbits at 4:45 PM on October 26, 2011


Also, for thirty years people have come to that stretch to say "man, this isn't what it was like back when it was cool."

Yeah, and they've been right.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:55 PM on October 26, 2011


I'm in the last few days of cleaning out an apartment on 6th and 1st that my family has had since 1964. New York Telephone logos, Manhattan Cable TV bills, and listings for phone numbers that begin begin GRamercy and ORchard abound. Photo wishlist:

Ricky's shoe store on Ave. B and 10th, with its yellowed Sesame Street wallpaper. The three burned-out tenament buildings across the street from Ricky's; the vinyl shutters on one had dropped in a Daliesque fashion, and gave me nightmares as a child. Egg creams from Gem Spa. The Nuyorican. The purple people garden. Walls covered in "slience=death" stickers, and that Missing Foundation tag. And maybe, somwhere out there, random photos of me, my brother, my mom, my dad, and my grandma, which have played a part in someone else's nostalgic world.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 4:57 PM on October 26, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tonight, I said goodnight to NY. I'm leaving Friday evening to move back to the Netherlands, and I won't be back in the city again until I'm a mere visitor. I've been here since 1999, although I first started coming here as an adult in 1987 and I lived here as a small child (though too young to have anything more than Impressionistic memories).

I do remember when it was 8th then 9th then 10th and now, really now no where West you shouldn't go, and my friends have institutional memories going back to the time of this photo set.

My personal feeling is that it's fine to memorialize, although some might say fetishize, the New York City this way. But the thing that makes New York New York is it dynamism. It truly never sleeps and photos like these only show it mid occasional catnap.
posted by digitalprimate at 5:24 PM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wish I could easily link to the plethora of images from the '60s to '90s posted to the couple of former Governors Island groups that I belong to. Apparently, those of us who lived on the island (and went to school or worked off the island) shot about ten zillion photos. Lots of great stuff documenting a gritty and more dangerous NYC.
posted by blaneyphoto at 5:31 PM on October 26, 2011


Yes to Larry Levan, and it was as transcendent as you would think -- walking out into the early morning sunrise full of love and joy (no drugs) and I think that it must have been something like those who participated in the Eleusinian Mysteries must have felt, transported from themselves, communing in a way that was all sound and movement and light. Sound Factory had a very similar vibe to it, which was the founders' intention of course, and when it worked it worked very very well.

Sadly, I went to Mars for the last few times he dj'ed right before he passed, and while it was great when he was into it, it was uneven otherwise (based only on the music.)

Rocky Horror: A girl a year ahead of me was Janet in the floor show, which made her so utterly cool without peer in a school where everyone was a giant geek. Again, a sort of ritual that made me feel like something larger than myself which was frankly hard to do since I was such a lone wolf introvert.

It was magical, and slightly dangerous, and I feel like growing up there during that time was a privilege.
posted by ltracey at 6:04 PM on October 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would that I had more favorites to give <3
posted by Senor Cardgage at 6:13 PM on October 26, 2011


Now I want an egg cream.
posted by saul wright at 6:21 PM on October 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


The color process of the time does more to create a sense of the time than the contents which in many cases has not changed much.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:37 PM on October 26, 2011


It's a place, it's a thing. Or, rather, it's a place and a thing that's constantly changing and that's what made it was then and what makes it is what it is now.

The nostalgia, it's fine and all, but it's a departed life, a short lived spirit moved on. The real New York is still here for those who seek it.
posted by digitalprimate at 7:41 PM on October 26, 2011


I'm not old enough to express anything where I could remember to have experiences with this, but just looking at the old stores and items kind of brings that old and comfortable novelty that a lot of people look for.
posted by mitrieD at 11:52 PM on October 26, 2011


The photographer is the former husband of film producer (of, e.g. Boys Don't Cry) Christine Vachon. That's Christine in this picture.
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:05 PM on October 27, 2011


The nostalgia, it's fine and all, but it's a departed life, a short lived spirit moved on.

Yes and no. The neighborhood is still there, just hidden, behind all the French bistros and cocktail bars. There are still lower-middle-class Puerto Rican families raising kids over on Avenue D, and old Italian ladies feeding pigeons in Village View. I know it's wholly immature of me, but I do find it sad that the older folks who raised their kids there, survived the bad times, and participated in a community are now largely marginalized if they remain—and some do, especially the older folks. They struggled to build a safer world for their children, but ended up living in a neighborhood full of boutiques and bullshit that either ignores or disdains their existence.

(On a happier note, hey blaineyphoto! My mom taught on Governor's Island for a little bit in the 90s!)
posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:58 AM on October 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


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