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Old Posted May 9, 2021, 7:49 PM
MplsTodd MplsTodd is online now
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Vintage NYC: 1980s

Another Time-Travel Series: Here's a collection of photos from New York City. Most were taken during 1988 and 1989, although some date back to 1984 and 1985. New York in the '80s was still recovering from financial stresses of the '70s. When I lived in New Jersey (1988-1992), New York suffered from its highest murder rate, with over 2000 murders in 1991 (compare to less than 300 in 2018). And the Port Authority Bus Terminal was an absolutely crazy place, with wide-open drug dealing happening the in the rest rooms and litter everywhere. But improvements were occurring, with more people living in Lower Manhattan with Battery Park. And, the subways, which had been covered with graffiti during the '70s and much of the '80s finally became cleaned up. When I was optimistic, my soundtrack for NYC then was "Steppin' Out" by Joe Jackson , at other times it was "Dirty Boulevard" By Lou Reed. I hope you enjoy!


Empire State Building, Oct 1987 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Welcome to Coney Island, Brooklyn March 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Little Italy, NYC Spring 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Spring Street, Soho, NYC Spring 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Leaving Yankee Stadium, Bronx May 22, 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Columbia University, Spring 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Roller Skating in Central Park April 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

East Side from Roosevelt Island Aerial Tram, March 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Lipstick Building, NYC Feb 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

I just read an article in The NY Times that Park Avenue's median was much wider and pedestrian friendly prior to 1926, when it was narrowed to accommodate two additional traffic lanes. They're planning to return Park Avenue to it's original layout!

Park Avenue, Feb 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Park Avenue Boxes, NYC Feb 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Coney Island, Brooklyn, March 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Coney Island Boardwalk, Brooklyn, March 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Handball Courts, Brighton Beach,Brooklyn March 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Brighton Beach Avenue Under the EL, Brooklyn, NYC March 1988u by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Brighton Beach homes, Brooklyn, March 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Hudson River Promenade, NYC April 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Looking to Jersey City from Battery Park (Hudson River Promenade), April 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Times Square, NYC April 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Preaching to the masses at TKTS, Times Square, NYC April 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Fifth Avenue, opposite Central Park, Looking south Feb 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

5th Avenue, Upper East Side, NYC Feb 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Looking uptown along 9th Avenue, West Side of Manhattan, near Port Authority Bus Terminal, Feb 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Manhattan from Staten Island Ferry, Feb 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Fordham Avenue, The Bronx NYC, Feb 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Power Plant, NYC Feb 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Looking up York Avenue from Roosevelt Island Tram, Feb 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Roosevelt Island, NYC Feb 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

International Style marching down 6th Avenue, Midtown NYC October 1987 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

The Algonquin Hotel, 44th Street, NYC by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Midtown Manhattan from Hoboken, Oct 1987 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

5th Avenue from The University Club, October 1987 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

The Dakota, Central Park West at 72nd Street, NYC October 1987 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Midtown from Sheep's meadow, Central Park Oct 1987 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

View from lunch rest stop, Long Island City by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Manhattan and the East River from Queensboro Bridge by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Central Park South skyline from Sheep's Meadow, NYC June 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Flatiron Building, July 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Little Italy, NYC July 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Federal Hall, Wall Street, NYC July 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Fifth Avenue, NYC Nov 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Fifth Avenue post-Thanksgiving Holiday Shoppers, Nov 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Looking to downtown New York from Midtown, Nov 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

ESB shadow over NYC-November 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Looking northwest from Empire State Building, Nov 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Midtown from Empire State Building, Nov 1988 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Central Park, NYC April 1989 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Central Park, NYC - April 1989 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Fifth Avenue along Central Park, NYC - April 1989 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Looking west along Bleeker Street from 6th Avenue, Greenwich Village, NYC - April 1989 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village, NYC - April 1989 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Greenwich Village, NYC - April 1989 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Chelsea Hotel, 23rd Street - April 1989 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Trinidada Tumblers Street Performance, Washington Square, NYC - May 1989 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

St Bartholomews Church, Park Avenue, NYC - June 1989 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Taxis along Upper Madison, NYC -- July 1985 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Lexington Avenue, looking north from 50th Street, NYC August 1985 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Times Square, NYC August 1985 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Union Square, NYC -- October 1987 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

NYC Subways--Before crackdown on graffiti by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Upper West Side Skyline from Central Park August 1985 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Looking west across 5th Avenue with 54th Street at left. by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street, NYC Feb 1984 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Queensboro Bridge, NYC Feb 1984 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Looking North along Broadway at Tiemann Place (125th Street), New York, NY -- February 1984 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Looking Southward over Midtown, New York, NY -- February 1984 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Corner Flowershop & D'agostino Market, Upper east Side, New York, NY -- February 1984 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Sliver Highrise, Upper East Side, New York, NY -- February 1984 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Where the Train Tracks emerge from Park Avenue Tunnel: Looking Northward from E 96th Street, New York, NY -- February 1984 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

The Reservoir, Central Park, New York, NY -- February 1984 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Madison Avenue at East 96th Street, New York, NY -- February 1984 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Overlooking Delacorte Theater, Central Park and Upper West Side Apartments from Belvedere Castle, New York, NY -- February 1984 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr

Midtown Skyline from The Reservoir, Central Park, New York, NY -- February 1984 by Todd Jacobson, on Flickr
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Last edited by MplsTodd; May 10, 2021 at 8:03 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted May 9, 2021, 8:12 PM
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Cool thread. Dirty old New York.
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Old Posted May 9, 2021, 8:36 PM
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cool stuff.
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  #4  
Old Posted May 9, 2021, 11:59 PM
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superb stuff!
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hmmm....
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  #5  
Old Posted May 10, 2021, 1:35 AM
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I do not miss the smog.
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Old Posted May 10, 2021, 1:50 AM
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Wow, great stuff. Loving these 80's threads.
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  #7  
Old Posted May 10, 2021, 2:19 AM
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Sigh...no matter how badly people downgraded the 80s, they were the good times comparing with today, right now, the precise second while you are reading this comment.

I am taking advantages of high technology, smart phones, social media, mobile pay, new energy cars but I hate them all. Who you guys can send me back to 90s?
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Old Posted May 10, 2021, 4:24 AM
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This could be a coffee table book I'd happily pay for. Fantastic!
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Old Posted May 10, 2021, 4:36 AM
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Loved viewing these photos! (though I often feel a little sad when I see scenes like this from the 1980s as I can’t help but think of HIV/AIDS... still it’s interesting to see photos from back when I was just a kid only concerned with watching my cartoons). It’s especially interesting seeing certain areas back then and comparing them to how they look today. Thanks for posting these!
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Old Posted May 10, 2021, 4:43 AM
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Now this is the New York I remember. Growing up in Utica in the '80s it was always a thrill going down to NYC - chaotic but alive. Great photos.
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  #11  
Old Posted May 10, 2021, 4:57 AM
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This set does a great job in that it covers a large area. Out of the lot, Fordham Road and Coney Island haven't changed too too much, something to experience for a tourist seeking the NYC experience that hasn't been wiped clean in the 21st century.
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Old Posted May 10, 2021, 6:42 AM
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Man, those are great. Nice capture outside the New York Central Library, February of 1984. The year Ghostbusters came out. Were they working on the exterior still? I know they were talking about it being under renovation - at least, the exterior was, when they were shooting there.
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Old Posted May 10, 2021, 12:14 PM
MplsTodd MplsTodd is online now
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Thanks for your comments! Going into NYC was always an adventure & I loved wandering around the city! I vividly remember driving my gf (now wife) into the city for the first time for Valentine’s Day 1988. We were waiting to turn into Midtown from the West Side Highway and a fight erupted at the car in front of us between an aggressive “squeegee man” and the car’s driver. “Welcome to New York!” I said. We had a great time in that city!
By the way, Hudson11, while I do agree that the air is cleaner today, the “smog” in the October 1987 photos down Fifth Avenue & Midtown from Sheep’s Meadow actually show smoke that drifted from wildfires in West Virginia & Kentucky.
And, sorry Kevin, I have no clue about the Boards & renovation for NY Public Library.
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Old Posted May 10, 2021, 12:22 PM
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Old Posted May 10, 2021, 1:47 PM
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Agree with others that these are book-worthy.

One small tweak - "Lexington Ave. looking north from 50th St." is actually Third Avenue looking north. The shot is definitely taken from 3rd Ave./50th St.
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Old Posted May 10, 2021, 3:48 PM
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Please keep sharing these blasts from the past! This is the big bad NYC I remember from my childhood years

Also I was just going through your Flickr stream and I fell in love with this one... it's such a mood

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Old Posted May 10, 2021, 4:34 PM
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I remember that New York! Love the photos!
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Old Posted May 10, 2021, 5:15 PM
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I'm loving all these vintage series! Thanks for sharing, as always.
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Old Posted May 10, 2021, 6:50 PM
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And there it is. Just incredible.
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Old Posted May 10, 2021, 7:18 PM
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damn, these throwback threads of yours are fantastic!

none more fantastic than that of the big apple itself.

thank you, thank you, thank you
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