Possible “Old New York” Thread

In another thread the idea of creating a thread about the so-called Old New York was mentioned. I was thinking of creating such a thread to cover music, places, memorable events (or events remembered but we rather not), subcultures, and lifestyle of such a place and time but was unsure if there would be interest.

As a late millennial-early Gen Xer, I am both glad and not glad that I grew up in a time when NYC was transitioning. And I see amongst many old New Yorkers, say those who are now 38 to 60 years old, pine over old times. Some say NYC was at its best when it was at its worst, and I agree in some respects.

NYC gave birth or influenced many worldwide cultures, music styles, and fashions and many films featured the gritty scenery of the old days. For music there was or is rap, punk, New York hardcore (NYHC, duh! :grinning:), freestyle, techno and other electronica, and even some big metal bands came from there. What is now termed street art came from the graffiti scene of old NYC.

If there’s interest we can talk about all aspects and share experiences of times and places, favorite music, movies from it, etc. I will add to the thread if others are interested.

@jshaving @The_Mighty_Stu @anna_5588


Video from Agnostic Front, The Godfathers of NYHC. I did not like the sound of AF after One Voice and I think the music thereafter is corny as hell, including this video and song, although it is a bit entertaining and expresses a sentiment some have. Old AF had a huge impact on some metal bands too. I don’t listen to hardcore or punk much anymore.

The race riots and pogrom under Mayor Dinkins were certainly exciting.

I was young so, I didn’t exactly understand why we moved back to Israel after having our door kicked in in Crown Heights by a marauding crowd, but I get it now.

I remember that.

My great grandmother was a regular reader of the Forward, obviously when it was in print form.

I’m from Glasgow and have never been to New York, although I aim to one day

My abiding memories of New Yoik was Fort Apache The Bronx with Paul Newman.

Cagney and Lacey as well.

Maybe Hill Street Blues, although that wasn’t officially NY although it sure as hell could have been.

The place seemed like a hell-hole back then.

It then became a tourist destination for rich Glaswegian housewives to go on shopping expeditions.

What a turn around.

Fuxk knows what it’s like now however. Maybe you New Yoikers can fill me in :joy:

My granddad actually owned a store in the South Bronx in the 1970s to early 80s. The South Bronx was an extremely impoverished and violent place and the Bronx generally gives many people a rough impression. Some areas are nice and others are gentrifying.

I lived in a more suburban area of Queens in a nice town. But going to more urban, exciting, or, dare I say, more grimy areas was just a bike, Subway, or train ride away. Middle class towns had more than a fair share of troublemakers too. And NYC can and sure did provide many opportunities for trouble.

New York City is gentrifying overall and much of it has lost its original flavors. Hence why many long for the old days. I’ll continue later if I can.

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When one area gentrifies perhaps another becomes
more vibrant as a result? (This is what tends to happen in London) Or is that not the case overall in NYC?

I recall seeing a funny video from a Harlem-er bemoaning white middle-class women moving into the area in their droves and claiming they’d discovered ‘chop cheese’ from a ‘cute little bodega’ they’d found.

Yes, there’s a domino effect, mostly because, obviously, there are only so many people who can live in one town. So as one gets swooped up by young professionals, real estate becomes more expensive, there’s no more living space, and then the town over starts getting sought out. This is exactly what happened in Brooklyn for towns like Williamsburg, Bushwick, Fort Green, Bedford Stuyvesant, and so on.

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Considering how socioeconomically diverse NYC is, gentrification comes with racial shifting. One can simply google the issue or see exasperation about it on social media.

Funnily enough one of my friends (from London) visited Williamsburg this week whilst he was in NYC, it seems to have become a staple of a lot of people’s itineraries.

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Yes, it is a hotspot. And many don’t even know how bad that town was in the 80s and early 90s. Same with nearby gentrifying Bushwick. Both have big art scenes and have provided former graffiti writers legal opportunities for their art form. The Bushwick Collective is one such space. I wouldn’t be surprised if such a place is on your friend’s itinerary too. I worked in Bushwick for a few years and loved it.

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