Gawker's photo gallery of NYC during the Koch years
This is how I always think of the city, since it looked like this when I first visited it (in 1981) and when I would take the train down from college in New England to visit during the mid-1980s.
It's sometimes hard for me to remember it's not like this anymore.
I think the NYC depicted in "Midnight Cowboy" is so much more interesting than the NYC of today. Seediness adds character.
Manhattan had a culture back then that it doesn't have today, it officially went extinct sometime in the late 90s. Back then New York was an identity that had to be earned, today it's just a brand that can be bought.
Is there a city in the US today that is the equivalent of Koch-era NYC?
Philadelphia and Michael Nutter
Fuck you R2
I wish Manhattan could be somehow between what it was under Koch and what it later became under Giuliani. I want to keep the middle classes (now almost entirely absent) and the character, but get rid of the cars burning on the streets and the trashy hookers.
I liked Times Square, Grand Central, the South St Seaport, the Lower East Side better then. The only improvement is the South Bronx.
Manhattan is like Las Vegas for serious people.
R3, there are parts of Chicago that are like that, big neighborhoods with that sort of decay and yet a pretty vibrant mix of people.
Uptown Chicago in particular has a huge immigrant population.
But the main "Loop" area is, if not as Disneyfied, definitely cleaned up.
The places where a lot of that kind of energy is probably going to happen now/next will be the rust belt - places like Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, etc.