Sunday, July 26, 2009

New York before Dinkins, Giuliani and Bloomberg

On this lovely summer Sunday we take a trip back in time to the 1970s courtesy of CityNoise.


Anonymous said...

Remember when almost all stores were closed on Sundays? Bring back the "blue laws" i believe they were called, At least we had one nice quiet day...............

lIno said...

Those shots make it look rather benign.

Check these:

-This is the stuff I show my out-of-town and foreign friends..this is the city I saw while getting around town.

Much of this was self-inflicted due from misguided social engineering...but NYC came perilously close to Detroit..St Louis..Newark..Gary Indiana......

Anonymous said...

Lino, most of that shit still goes on, photographers just don't take photos of it anymore. Are there still burnt out buildings and junkies dying in the ghetto? Yes. There always will be. You can't save people who don't want saving.

Queens Crapper said...

Yes, Harlem was a ghetto back then. Most of Queens, on the other hand, escaped becoming blighted. Remember Flushing photos I posted awhile ago from this era.

Lino said...

Thanks for the link, I missed these first time around.

There is alot to write about here, one of the most interesting points is how differently Queens fared as opposed to Brooklyn and the Bronx during the dark years.

My Grandmother lived just off the Concourse in Bedford Park (Bx)she was there from 1943 and from 1959 onward 'till she left in 1982, I made hundreds of trips to her place and also the Botanical Garden and Zoo. I saw first hand how the So BX was turned into huge open spaces strewn with rubble of burned-out buildings.

There are several theories and opinions about what happened to the own observations and research points to a tragic confluence of trends.

Most of the Bronx apt buildings went up in the years after the subway service commenced.
Many of these buildings still had their original tenants in the 1950s early 60s, as fate called it, they began to age out and leave just as the first waves of migration of blacks from the south arrived and Caribbean Hispanics flooded in.

Crime increased and this sent the Borough into a spiral that sped-up the evacuation of whites.

By the late 60s, the Bronx was a becoming a scary place. I remember standing on the roof of my Grandmother's apt house in 1970 and seeing a trails of smoke from fires in the So. Bx.

The blackout of 1977 was a nightmare of arson and gangs up there and essentially finished what was left of the white middle class in the borough. With the exceptions of Pelham and Riverdale, there was a real exodus as people finally realized how dangerous their old neighborhood could be.

Queens rode that era out in relative peace. So, was the it that neighborhoods stood together and informally policed who got-in, or was it simply the huge space, low density and preponderance of private houses vs. apts?

Anonymous said...

Ahh, the days when you could drive and park on Wall Street, before the post-9/11 paranoia swept our city.

Anonymous said...

These are great photos thanks for posting them
as for the comments about Queens - I guess it depended where you lived in the borough

Anonymous said...

My Grandfather had a store like this on George street n Knickerbocker. Now its all houses built in the 70's

- Joe