The Good Old Days – New York in the 80s by Steven Siegel

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“I’ve been photographing the streets and subways of New York for the past 30 years. When young people today look at my shots from the 1980’s, they are aghast. To them, New York of the 1980’s is almost unrecognizable. And they are right. Some older people are nostalgic for “the good old days.” For example, they remember the Times Square of the 80’s… And what they remember is not so much the danger but the grittiness and (for lack of a better word) the authenticity. Yes, there was sleaze, but there were also video arcades, cheap movies, restaurants, and weird places. These same people resent the “Disney-ification” of Times Square and the gentrification of virtually all of Manhattan and many areas of the boroughs, and the loss of cheap housing and local stores everywhere. Others’ reactions to these same photos could not be more different. If they’re over a certain age, they remember the high crime, the twin crises of AIDS and crack, the racial tension, the lurid tabloid headlines about the latest street crime. They say: It was a nightmare, and thank God it’s over. Of course, both views are right.” Steven Siegel

you can find hundreds of beautiful photographs on Siegel’s Flickr page,

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