I feel like the last one left at the party. Everyone has died or moved away. I've lived in the same rent-controlled apartment since 1975. I had so much fun in NY in the 1970s. I was young and carefree. I hung out at the greatest places -- got into Studio 54 a few times, shows at CBGB/OMFUG, amazing memories at Tunnel. The 1980s were even better. I don't know how I'm still here. Everyone moved away. Got families or different jobs. I walked into my apartment today, the same one I've had where all these good times happened, and I felt so achingly alone. I don't know who my neighbors are. The only mainstay is the old woman who lives downstairs, who has been old since I first moved in. When she dies I think I might seriously lose it. Nothing is the same. Times Sq. looks like a Pottery Barn catalogue. The Village and Soho look like suburban mini malls. Nothing is the same, it's worse.
Don't worry, I'll bring it back.
Huh? The Village does not look like any kind of suburban mini mall, particularly the East Village. It is still The Village. And New York has been changing all the time. It has not been like it was in the 80's SINCE the 80's or the 90's. Did you not think these things during each of the past two decades? I mean, did you just wake up from a coma and realize that New York had "changed?"
Aging is the thing that brings this awareness. It's normal. It's always a downer.
This could be my story too except the location of San Francisco.
OP during your hayday many NYers were lamenting the same thing. Cities are constantly changing.
OP = early onset dementia.
You do realize when you were there in the 1970s, there were a lot of people like you are now, complaining about all the hippies and drugs and crassness of the 70s, and pining for the glamorous more formal NYC of their youth?
Can I have your apartment, OP?
Cold are the hands of time that creep along relentlessly, destroying slowly but without pity that which yesterday was young. Alone our memories resist this disintegration and grow more lovely with the passing years. Heh! That's hard to say with false teeth!
that's what I thought, R10
how much is your rent OP? in what hood?
Is this an extension of the "Let's All Pretend We're New Yorkers" thread? If not, you just supported their entire satirical raison d'etre.
My apartment is in Washington Mews. I adore it and can't believe I live here...found it in 1974.
ahhhhhh.... boo fucking hoo
You're as happy as you make up your mind to be.
You sound like an old bachelor OP.
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit, Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
Do you really want a neighborhood Where people piss on your stoop every night?
I share many of the same experiences as you, OP. Moved to New York in 1975. Lived on the USW pre-gentrification for two years and then moved to no mans land in the East Village. 7th between C&D. I loved hanging out at Danceteria, The Mud Club, St. Marks Bar. We got to see a young and stunning Debbie Harry front Blondie, The Ramones, Richard Hell, Television, Madonna and so many more. It was grimy, real, dangerous and fun. And everyone knew each other. My block had a pot spot in an abandoned building and you put the money through a slot and got back a real nickle bag of killer weed for five dollars. Now the East Village is a glorified vomitorium. Predatory Frat Boys. Women who are so drunk they can barely stand trying to navigate the streets in five inch stilettos. And there are still the takers who live in the projects on Ave. D who use these idiots as their personal ATM's when they stumble home in a drunken haze at four A.M. It must be like shooting fish in a barrel. And I don't feel sorry for them one bit. Don't know how to make you feel better about your circumstances but as the curse goes "May you live in interesting times". And we did.
I agree in spirit with R9.
I don't live in NYC, but I spend at least a week in the city every year. (When I was young, one of our family vacations every year was to NYC to visit my mother's family. Now I have to go up for work.)
I would have hated to live in NYC during the 60s and 70s. If I could choose an era, it would have been either the Old New York of Wharton or the 30s and 40s.
But hippies, drugs in the street, bell bottoms, etc? You can have them.
And Death, Capital D, shall be no more, semi-colon. Death, Capital D comma, thou shalt die, exclamation mark!
That's how I feel about this site, OP.
Threads like yours help a little.
What happened to Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda?
What a beautiful thread. New York is dead!
This reads to me as the stripping of cool and the embalming of a once-exciting city that are specifically disturbing, not the passage of time.
I'm only 30 so I never saw the "artsy" NYC, and when I visited for the first time a few years ago, I couldn't figure out how a "regular" person could afford to live there (even outside Manhattan). It just seems SO expensive and more like a millionaire/billionaire playground.
The 'me me me' New York trolls are why this website is dying. No one cares.
I met someone who is living in my grandfather's old Lower East Side (what it was called in grandpa's day) apartment. For the same walkup, 1 bedroom, railroad flat, rattrap that my grandfather paid 89 dollars a month for up until the 1990s this schmuck is paying almost 4 grand a month.
Very rich and very stupid people killed NYC.
Read "The Return" by Brad Boney, it is a m2m romance novel that is so much more than that... it is two stories, one set in 2013(in Austin, TX) and the other in the early to mid 80's( in NYC).
Really a well written book , in my opinion, but at times it just got me crying my eyes out.
R14 beat me to it.
It's not so much that other places became more like New York but that New York basically became like everywhere else.
It still has great energy but you'd be fooling yourself if you think it's remotely edgy anymore.
Liza! is that you at op? Call me dear. You sound blue.
Los Angeles here. Was nice to grow up here and it's no longer as nice.
People keep coming here and it's crowded and poorly run. Roads need repair and all the taxes go for public servants' pensions and multiple raises when everyone else trying to keep their jobs.
NY at least is clean and safer than before.
OP, try a vacation or visiting someone away from New York for a week or two.
I can't believe how much my hometown, Fort Worth, Texas, has changed.
Whenever I visit now (I live in NYC now), I don't even recognize it anymore. Everything that made it charming before has been pretty much wiped out, replaced with bigger this and bigger that (thanks to the Bass brothers). Don't get me wrong, change is nice (Bass Hall is especially grand and now all the big Broadway shows that come through Texas no longer skip over Fort Worth in favor of Dallas) and I'm glad downtown actually has a night life now; it's just that I don't recognize anything anymore and don't feel like I'm at home whenever I'm there.
My mother passed early last year (still hurts to write that) and I haven't been back since. Doubt I go back anytime soon.
It's not just NY. It's all of America. We are past our prime. Our glory days are behind us.
hugs r37, glad you are enjoying NYC.
speak for yourself r38...I am in my prime.
The West Village is now a big campus for NYU students, and the East Village is now a big campus for Asian NYU students. It's unbelievable.
The Village of your youth now exists in its modern incarnation in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Have you seen the "scene" on the L train?
r43 must be Miss Micah, trying to intimidate me with the use of quarter hours and cookies.
It's called getting old.
And now, nothing is left but caftans and earrings!
OP: How poignant... thanks for sharing. Very Holleran....
At some point you start to lose more friends than you make new ones.And the ones you have become more conservative and old too and dont stay out late. So what you gonna do? Go hang out with the young fun people in Brooklyn? And talk about what? Would you enjoy that? Would they want you among them? Everyone misses their 20s. You have to constantly evolve a lifestyle appropriate to your age, experience and needs.
That said, the country has been declining under the increasing income inequality. This has created a conservative city that is less edgy, with less room for people who need to flop around, experiment, risk and perhaps fail. So besides the subjective experience of different generations overall, the city is less interesting today overall. That's just part of our overall decline.
Used to live in Park Slope/Windsor Terrace in the 90's. Just went to NYC for a few days and had time to explore extensively the old neighborhood for the first time in 13 years. Not much had changed at all, it was actually nice to see that it had the same character.
The phenomenal growth of the finance industry is one of the major reasons why NYC is so expensive.
[quote]It's not so much that other places became more like New York but that New York basically became like everywhere else.
I think r34 is dead on. American cities are converging in terms of what they offer by way of commerce, dining, and entertainment. For sure, change in NYC has been constant throughout history, but those changes were by and large unique to NY (while other cities experienced their own specific changes).
In the current phase, NY is morphing into a standard model for a city that all American cities are adopting: multiplexes; enormous chain restaurants; Gap; Starbucks; a local production of Wicked. NYC is just a larger version of Dayton or Hartford or Macon.
It's a combination of American preferences for the comfort of the familiar wherever they go, along with ever-brutal economics rewarding economies of scale. It's sad, but very real.
When I read "Dancer from the Dance," I realized he had captured "my" time in NYC perfectly. I was no Malone, nowhere near as hot, but I had some of his experiences.
There were many late nights at the Tenth Floor, David's Loft, and other after-hours clubs that were too fabulous for words. They became the boilerplate for nightclubs across the world. The people I met seemed so interesting to me. There was the hot Cuban guy who lived in that exotic, foreign territory known as "Tribeca" where he fixed exotic Italian sports cars in his loft. There was Potassa de la Fayette, Dali's muse and the drag queen of the moment (actually a very nice Filipino boy) who modeled during the day as a woman for Halston and Sant'Angelo. I remember dancing next to my hustler friend Pablo and his regular "trick" Paul Lynde at the Limelight in Sheridan Square ("She's such a bitch when she drinks," Pablo said.) I remember the old International Stud on Greenwich Street with the back room and "Ladies Who Lunch" playing on the juke box; bodybuilders toking up on angel dust outside (that's what a lot of them used before steroids). Across the street lived a strange guy who went by the name "Richard DuPont." A con man, he was Roy Cohn's ex, and greatest enemy. DuPont (real last name: Grossman) lived on Greenwich across the street from the Stud and, if anyone was around back then, you might remember him. He drove a blood red '66 Bentley and a black '36 Rolls Royce with bug-eye headlights. He'd troll the West Village in these cars and load them up with cute boys. David from the Loft was on record companies' payrolls, and was responsible for breaking "Soul Makoosa" and others, making them FM hits. It was a great time, in retrospect. But everything looks better in retrospect, most of the time anyway.
Go to Berlin.
I'm sure in the 70s there were people who were around since the 40s and 50s who thought everything changed and went to shit.
OP, if you were a hot, young 22 years old and bouncing around the city you would have an entirely different outlook on everything. It's a generational thing.
OP when you got to the city, I bet you overheard complaints about how steak dinners used to be 2 dollars and you could see a Broadway show for 5 bucks..plus all the damn hippies and drugs and the queers shove it in your face etc..
You are probably experiencing a personal passage of time crisis and projecting it onto the city.
Having said that, there are changes to the Times Square district that I could do without.
The death of bookstores is the hardest thing for me to take but that is generational.
R55: a hot 22 year old with money.
[quote]The Village does not look like any kind of suburban mini mall, particularly the East Village. It is still The Village.
Then you haven't been here long. Or are an idiot. It's not even what it was in the 90s.
Cities do change, but I fear the changes that are happening to New York (and other interesting cities) in recent years, is something different, something worse. It is destroying the unique, the intellectual, the bohemian and replacing it with the bland and the suburban and at ultra-inflated real estate prices. More money than ever, but zero brains.
What a great thread. So many different angles. How the passage of time affects our environment, our perspective, our position in society; the down-side of glabalization & modern economics; reminiscences of 'the good old days' and a cool little slice of history; and of course the requisite immature anti-NYC and anti-whatever trolls who can't see beyond their noses & realize that what they say is kind of beside the point, even if somewhat true.
Keep the stories coming, fellas!
Agreed, R58. A few days ago I was on St. Marks between 2/3rd Avenue. look West.. There's this huge glass tower thing looming over it now on St. Marks/3rd where there used to be a Starbucks.
And the years go by... and your dreams have lost some grandeur coming true/ There's be new dreams maybe better dreams and plenty before the last revolving year is through..
And the seasons, they go round and round...
The towering condos overlooking the patio of the Eagle sadden me.
This seems to be a recurring theme with a lot of old time New Yorkers. They actually preferred the city when Times Square was a block of porn shops and you would have to step on used needles or you'd get mugged in Central Park in broad daylight.
I'm not old enough to have visited the city when it was crime central. Was it really that much better?
[quote]This seems to be a recurring theme with a lot of old time New Yorkers. They actually preferred the city when Times Square was a block of porn shops and you would have to step on used needles or you'd get mugged in Central Park in broad daylight.
That is the same bullshit we've been hearing for years. NO ONE is saying they prefer crime to safety--this is precisely the false reasoning Giuliani and Bloomberg used to sell this city out from under all of us. The current state of NYC is NOT the only option to crime and filth--it's simply been presented as such by people who stood to profit from it.
I can't believe that a city that endlessly carries on about its sophistication bought into this bullshit. There are many ways to "clean up" a neighborhood without destroying it. Anyone who tells you the "new" Times Square was the only choice is making money off it, to the detriment of every city resident.
personally, i have a hunch -- just a hunch -- that all the "luxury" development has killed the goose that laid the golden egg. just by way of illustration, the times ran a story about UPE wealth now wanting a place a downtown. why? cuz the people are more "interesting" down there. wha -- ?? those "interesting" people are GONE, honey. what is everyone going to do when they show up looking for interesting people and just see the same old (lifted) faces?
of course, there is another sensibility driving the development -- suburb backlash. conservative, "straight" people want high-rise, car-free living nowadays. they don't want to live out of cars, and don't want the yard any longer. those people don't care if the "interesting" people are gone. what they want are track homes in the sky.
#65 is somewhat right but mostly wrong. Cleaning up the City by itself made it massively more popular. Even if you had little new development you would still see huge rent increases because it’s so much more desirable for people to live in NYC. In fact, some of the neighborhoods that are landmarked and have seen less new development have some of the biggest increases in real estate prices (e.g., Soho, WV and Park Slope).
The changing buildings are low on the list of changing New York. What is missing is the plethora or quirky, imaginative, creative free thinkers who were larger than life in the way they lived and the scope of their thought.Corporate America has taken over and the younger generations of New Yorkers are exactly like the younger generations in any large city in the country. The only difference is that they are forced to do things at a faster pace. Farewell to interesting, "Bohemian" NYC. It was a great time. For the rest of you...see you at Starbucks.
I didn't mean to set you off r65. I guess what I'm asking is what made that New York so special? Was it really special or was it because you were young and on your own? I think we sometimes remember things better than they were.
Nostalgia is a longing for a past that never was- Doris Lessing.
it's the same thing everywhere
Get some new material.
This narrative was stale in 1999.
r65, put down the crack pipe. No one said there are only two possibilities for how the city could be. The conversation is about what it was and is. People are lamenting the loss of a NYC that was free & creative & crime-ridden. Reality set those parameters, not Bloomberg.
[quote] what they want are track homes in the sky.
I've been in NYC for over thirty years. Yes, it has changed for the better in terms of crime, corruption, and efficiency of city services, but the price isn't cheap and the middle class still struggles versus the very rich here.
It's always been that way due to the limited land available, but it's more extreme now than ever.
[quote]The Village does not look like any kind of suburban mini mall, particularly the East Village. It is still The Village.
Perhaps you don't remember the Village before there were rows of Mark Jacob shops -- alleviated only by Ralph Lauren shops. And in the areas not thus gentrified? We have tee shirt stores, fake headshops and mass market porn. It was not ever thus.
r65 makes a damn good point. The corporate masters want you to believe that the only way to make something "safe" is to raise rents and get the "undesirables" out.
You can reduce or even eliminate crime and not have an Applebees or a Disney store in your neighborhood.
Fran Lebowitz on a rant about how NYU destroyed the Village. It's worth a listen.
Everybody looks at the past with rose colored glasses. NYC IS WHAT IT IS. Your youth was what it was. Everyone everywhere remembers how much "better" it was. Personally, I like to look for "old New York" in its classic architecture and parks and things that are STILL around. There is still a lot of charm and glamour and excitement here, still a great connection to the past. But you can't tell that to curmudgeonly old cunts who harrumph about the good old days.
I walked past the old Limelight (now a store!) the other day and smiled. That old church is still there with the Limelight sign out front, even if it IS a store. I just thought "Man, had some good times there back in the day."
The Monster and the Duplex are still around, too, but only gargoyles go there. Still nice to see the old places slinging drinks.
Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle, The Empire State, The Brooklyn Bridge, the Guggenheim, Washington Square, the Flatiron Building, Central Park...NYC is still a world class city with endless landmarks and a rich history that you could not take in completely in a lifetime. Problems? It has ALWAYS had its naysayers and those who yearned for the good old days. I remember people saying back in the Studio 54 days that the city was "unrecognizable" because of all the discos and party circuit people. THEY longed for the swingin' 60's New York of Barefoot in the Park and Mad Men. And people in that era longed for the New York of the 40's and 50's, of The Stork Club and Toots Shors. And so on.
[quote]No one said there are only two possibilities for how the city could be.
Then you're not listening, r73, or haven't been here long. Because that's EXACTLY what we were all told whenever any objection was raised to the Disneyfication of formerly "troubled" neighborhoods. "So, you prefer crack dealers and whores on the street?" It's all anyone had to say in response to legitimate concerns about any neighborhood undergoing corporate-sponsored gentrification--"oh, they just want the homeless people and crack whores back." As if that were the only option other than Mickey Mouse.
[quote]Cleaning up the City by itself made it massively more popular. Even if you had little new development you would still see huge rent increases because it’s so much more desirable for people to live in NYC. In fact, some of the neighborhoods that are landmarked and have seen less new development have some of the biggest increases in real estate prices (e.g., Soho, WV and Park Slope).
In what way does this contradict my point about the false proposition presented to this city by the people who sold it to Disney et al?
A lot of gay men's nostalgia for a vanished NYC always has to do more with a nostalgia for their gay youth. They miss being handsome young bucks when all the world was theirs and they could get laid all the time. That world goes away for everyone at a certain age.
[quote]my point about the false proposition presented to this city by the people who sold it to Disney et al
Start your own thread. This thread is about missing the NYC of a certain era.
[quote] My apartment is in Washington Mews. I adore it and can't believe I live here
If you use the word "adore" I lose all sympathy.
Fran's rant = 100% correct
Sometimes I wonder what the Village and the West Bronx would be like if NYU had kept its campus in the Bronx.
New York is no longer yours, it's someone else's now.
[quote]Times Sq. looks like a Pottery Barn catalogue.
As opposed to what, Dear? What is this mythical Times Square you long for? Are you old enough to have walked Broadway in the 30's to the early 60's where there were movie palaces with big movies playing? Then you might have a point. Because if your only old enough to been here in the 60's and 70's where the theaters closed or turned to porn and sex shops started infiltrating, and 42nd Street and 8th Ave were actually dangerous to walk down. The 70's was the worst time, crime and filthy streets.
I'll take the revitalization any day. My other bitch is they should have save every theater on 42nd Street and maybe built a big Movie Palace in Times Sq.
BTW, to the idiots who don't know NYC history, the Times Square redevelopment started under Koch in the 80s. It did NOT start in the 90s.
Preach it, r65. These fools need to be schooled.
Thank you, r68! A neighborhood is defined by the people who live there, not the real estate.
r79 lives in a pink Martini glass and thinks she's Holly Golightly. Dream on, Grandma.
Patti Smith's overrated book "Just Kids" chronicles that time period in New York that the OP so wistfully remembers. She also views that era as magical and romantic, a period of excitement and creativity that was never seen before or since. A former lover of hers, Sam Shepard, was asked what he thought of Smith's depiction of New York life back then. He commented very sensibly that "it didn't seem romantic at the time...it was just street life."
I don't think that era was nearly as wonderful as the OP (or Patti Smith) remembers it.
R94 and Sam Shepard are also living in a dreamland. The reality is somewhere between Smith's and Shepard's portrayals/remembrances. Anyone who believes only one or the other is an idiot. One must take all of these accounts as part of a whole. It would be like someone taking the Warhol Diaries as the one, true accurate recorded of the epoch-- ludicrous.
High, high rents, the lack of affordable accommodations is what is killing any interesting city today and making it full of dull and greedy people.
Whether New York back then was good or bad is subjective. It's all seen through youthful memories. Almost everyone looks back on their youth with fondness and a sense that it was better than it actually was.
R11: A quote from my favorite character in Palm Beach Story--The Wienie King!! My favorite character in my favorite movie!! (If I weren't a straight female living in LA, I'd ask you to leave that bum of a husband of yours and run off... to Palm Beach. We could ask the Ale and Quail (?)Club to chaperone.)
[quote]Almost everyone looks back on their youth with fondness and a sense that it was better than it actually was.
Very true, but not necessarily a bad thing.
[quote]Very true, but not necessarily a bad thing.
Not for the people themselves who reminisce, no; but for the people who have to listen to the oldtimers like the people on this thread yammer on and whine, it's pretty irritating, since you know what they say is only partially true and they're omitting the bad parts of their memory.
I lived in New York in the 80s.....It was horrible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NYC is better now. At least you can walk around at night safely unlike before.
I moved into Yorkville when it was Germantown. Cafe Geiger, Kleine Kondetori, Ideal restaurant, Bremen House, Bavarian Inn, Karl Ehmers, Elk Candy (marzipan), Salamander shoes (mostly shoes from Germany). There was also the Little Finland bar, Viand, Christine's (a Polish restaurant) and a little Greek restaurant. The drugstores had German greeting card sections.
Now it's all Best Buy, Petco, Brookstone, Duane Reade. There was a decent little Barnes and Noble store where I could always find a good book. It turned into a Barnes and Noble Jr while Barnes and Noble opened a cavernous store on 86 and Lex. A little while later they opened another B&N on 86 between Lex and Third. It was like the B&N solar system. First the Jr closed, then the cavernous one on Lex. There's still one on 86 but I think it's smaller than it used to be.
I miss Azumas, the Bazaar stores, Love Cosmetics, Dramatics, Woolworth's (this past Christmas I had to discard a christmas light set I bought at Woolworth's 25 years ago). I miss the Yorkville Inn, Dorrian's.
There were still lots of signs painted on the sides of buildings from the early 1900s. The whole area was 6 story tenements. Now the tenements are in a minority and may all be pulled down for 40 story buildings. I used to go to a deli where the guy at the register talked exactly like a Bowery Boy.
To all the people that think this is just a bunch of old people complaining, it's not.
Manhattan didn't used to be 90% chain stores and restaurants.
Manhattan used to have some affordable living.
Manhattan attracted artists and other outsiders who WEREN'T subsidized by their parents.
The Village was once not just an NYU campus.
[quote] but for the people who have to listen to the oldtimers like the people on this thread yammer on and whine, it's pretty irritating, since you know what they say is only partially true and they're omitting the bad parts of their memory.
You could close the thread. You're not God's Appointed Schoolmarm, you know.
Or perhaps a mysterious stranger has placed your head in a vise and is FORCING you to read this thread? Oh, the horror and the suffering you must feel!
R106 is 100% correct. Some people don't get it.
R11, please permit me to doubt that your "hands creep along."
r109: Re (r11)-- This is a word for word quote from the 1940s movie "Palm Beach Story" written and directed by the great Preston Sturges. If you have problems with the dialog, I suggest you contact him (though he's been dead a while).
[quote]Manhattan attracted artists and other outsiders who WEREN'T subsidized by their parents.
This. Honest to god, I don't think there is anyone in NY who is under 30 who isn't being subsidized by their parents. Of course, that's always happened in NY but ever since the late 90s it just seems like it's everyone.
What is up with that weird poem?
I miss old New York too, especially my gorgeous Brooklyn Heights apartment.
this is for r113:
Meet Cathy, who's lived most everywhere,
From Zanzibar to Barclay Square.
But Patty's only seen the sight.
A girl can see from Brooklyn Heights --
What a crazy pair!
I've been in NYC for almost 20 years.
I love it here. Haven't been happier anywhere else. Not sure where I'd go if I had to leave.
This spring I returned to Paris, where I moved from. I hadn't been back in all that time.
I was stunned by the changes. Yes, certain places don't alter architecturally, but nothing is static. It was not the city I remembered. The visit jolted me, but once I got over the shock and the realization that the city I remembered now exists only in my memory and present imagination, I had a great time. The food! The wine! Even the people! (Who were friendlier, incredibly. Much, much friendlier. Even the French can change.)
We can bitch about the chain stores and restaurants, and NYU, and Times Square Disneyland, and the eradication of bookstores, record shops and a thriving Off-Broadway where real plays could get done and clubs where bands and stars-in-the-making were discovered in person, not online. And being New Yorkers, we do.
But we also now have the High Line, safe walks in Central Park at night, Governors Island, bike lanes, cigarette-free bars and restaurants (beloved by us non-smokers), safe mass transit (and three cheers for the electronic subway timers!), more public spaces (often with more public art), all in addition to access to world-class museums, music, theater, film (try finding the great documentaries and indie films at multiplexes in the suburbs...), sports teams and fashion.
All the great cities will change. They must to survive, to continue to be great. NYC included.
I remember watching movies when I was a kid in the 80s about how artists moved to New York to attempt to achieve their dreams and become famous. They were poor, they lived in shitty apartments but they had the opportunity to prove themselves by succeeding.
I moved there in 2005 and it was nothing of the sort. I worked 60+ hours a week in law just to afford my rent and I didn't even live in Manhattan. It was nice. It was clean. I felt safe but damn it I feel robbed I never got to see a street battle using dance as a weapon.
I escaped to NYC from a podunk, hateful backwater 40 years ago. I still love it, but it's painful to watch old haunts disappear. And yes, the city will always change, but streets like Bleeker turning into Madison Ave. South is sad.
I thought my first Village apt. was overpriced at $250 a month.
I try very hard not to start so many sentences with "This used to be."
Come to Harlem, sugar! We got the best fried chicken and waffles in town!
I liked that NYC is cleaned up and safer now, but I do NOT like how it's basically only for rich people now and how all the shopping is chain stores just like everywhere else.
so where do the poor artist types go?
Ideal ! Yes we called it the Pepsi German because of the sign.
Good food since 1933. Weiner schnitzel. My fav was the brats.
Elisabeth and Margaret were the 2 waitresses. 3 fav vignettes
Thin old guy ate lunch there, alone at the 2-top in front of the upstairs seating area. Eye patch, crippled arm, sat bolt upright. Looked like Kenneth mars in young Frankenstein. You knew what war and what side he got those scars on.
Two New York young Jewish actor types, one says "you gotta try their latkes". So guy says "I'll have the latkes ... With sour cream". Elisabeth says "ve do not serve sour cream vith our potato pancakes ... Ve serve applesauce!"
A whole bunch of friends went to see the Treasures of Dresden
at the Met and several guys brought their kids. One kid looked very blond German (they were Swiss). Kid ordered brat platter and it came with sauerkraut but he didn't eat it. Margaret said "you didn't eat your sauerkraut" and he said "no" and she said "eat your sauerkraut" and took everyone else's plates. He dad gave him a look like "I'm not saying anything" and the kid ate all his sauerkraut. Then we had struedel.
R122, you have broken the unspoken rule of DL. All comments must be able to be said in one breath.
[quote]But we also now have the High Line, safe walks in Central Park at night, Governors Island, bike lanes, cigarette-free bars and restaurants (beloved by us non-smokers), safe mass transit (and three cheers for the electronic subway timers!)
Well, if that isn't a list of absolute bullshit nobody ever wanted or even asked for, except for perhaps the smoking thing, I don't know what is. THAT LIST is what's wrong. THAT LIST is not what makes a great city. It's suburban garbage for boring people who should stay in the suburbs. Who gives a fuck about bike lanes and subway timers? What sane person would ever want to walk through Central Park at night?
I'm curious how OP could love the 80s. AIDS made the 80s a living nightmare for most gay men, poz or neg. As Rupert Everett wrote, it was like living behind a glass wall.
Yes, but now it's on the Internet and the Internet never forgets.
Late night dumplings at the Hunan Taste at #1 Doyers Street.
I loved the opening scene of the Nance because my aunt took me to the automat when I was a kid. She brought a roll of nickels and we had lunch.
And the bookstores! Rizzoli's ... Isn't that Henri bendel now? Scribners was Scribners. B&n sales annex. And all the used bookstores on broadway downtown. At least the Strand survives.
It's all good. Once upon a time. And I was there.
My God, how you demented New Yorkers drone on...
Why didn't 9/11 get all of you in one fell swoop?
That's what I want to know, R121
Or do those people simply not exist anymore -are they just working at shitty jobs, maybe two, just to survive, the world of being creative completely out of reach?
The success of these projects and initiatives say far more than your naysaying rant. I didn't say that those are the only reasons the city has changed in a positive way, but guess what? PEOPLE LIKE THOSE CHANGES. And if you don't, you need not take part. You can ignore the electronic timers on the subway (though most of us find those very helpful), you can avoid the High Line and Governors Island, and you need never, ever get on a bike.
We are catching up with some of the great European cities, which have most of these things.
And for those of us who live near Central Park (and I do), it's great to be able to use the park in the evenings. Many people do.
I've lived and worked on three different continents, so you can take your smug comment about suburbia and stick it up your snobby ass. I stand by my comments, which stated that the city was already great, and making it more livable and enjoyable does not make it less so.
I think you don't like these changes because it makes the city too accessible, too user-friendly. That's okay. You can leave. Detroit is waiting with open arms.
R127, may a drone hit you during the night.
R121 and R128,
It's almost impossible to be a starving artist here now. Many struggle to survive with a regular job. You have to be as creative about how you earn your living as you are with your creative life.
Sadly, what I'm noticing in theater is that a huge chunk of the industry is made up of young people with family money who don't have to worry about making rent as they make their way. Especially the directors and the younger producers. Actors still come from all walks, but how long they can stay in the game is often determined by harsh financial realities. With so many people in theater coming from financially entitled backgrounds, there's no question that the kind of work that is being created and supported will be affected accordingly.
Yes, I left you with the same stores and restaurants that are in Peoria. So, get over yourselves.
You know that New York is over when people stand in line in front of Dominique Ansel bakery in Soho for hours just so they can say they ate their cronuts.
As someone who has lived in NYC for almost 20 years this makes me bow my head in shame.
[quote]so where do the poor artist types go?
This will come as a shock to DL-Nyers but it's possible to be creative in other places.
[quote]Sadly, what I'm noticing in theater is that a huge chunk of the industry is made up of young people with family money who don't have to worry about making rent as they make their way. Especially the directors and the younger producers. Actors still come from all walks, but how long they can stay in the game is often determined by harsh financial realities. With so many people in theater coming from financially entitled backgrounds, there's no question that the kind of work that is being created and supported will be affected accordingly.
R130 is spot on as an example of what is happening in theater. I'd add that many of the actors are being supported by family money - remember they are going to Ivy League schools...for ACTING!
[quote]What sane person would ever want to walk through Central Park at night?
You're not a real NY'er.
[quote] I stand by my comments, which stated that the city was already great, and making it more livable and enjoyable does not make it less so.
These changes (and others you don't mention) are coming at a cost and that cost is what made this city interesting in the first place. That is what posters on this thread are pointing out.
And for the record I agree with the ranter.
[quote]electronic timers on the subway (though most of us find those very helpful), you can avoid the High Line and Governors Island, and you need never, ever get on a bike.
I don't believe these were the changes posters were alluding to.
R134, no you can't. There is nowhere like New York City. Anywhere else is just that...anywhere else, a justification, a rationalization, a defense. If you want the big dream, the big success, the big fame you come to the Big Apple. It has always been thus and still is.
[quote]There is nowhere like New York City. Anywhere else is just that...anywhere else, a justification, a rationalization, a defense. If you want the big dream, the big success, the big fame you come to the Big Apple. It has always been thus and still is.
Why, you could almost set that to music, Liza!
Better luck next time, R130.
In the meantime, New York declines further!
[quote]There is nowhere like New York City. Anywhere else is just that...anywhere else, a justification, a rationalization, a defense. If you want the big dream, the big success, the big fame you come to the Big Apple. It has always been thus and still is.
Honestly, aren't you embarrassed at repeating this kind of tripe?
[quote]OP, NYC died when they closed the Adonis Theater.
That's because the clientele died, not the city's fault.
[quote]I don't know who my neighbors are. The only mainstay is the old woman who lives downstairs, who has been old since I first moved in. When she dies I think I might seriously lose it.
How old is this woman, OP, 115?
Funny because you're the old man to everyone else in your building under 50.
New York City isn't for everybody. Thank god.
Who are all these people with "Family Money."
They can't fill up a city as large as NYC.
Most rich families do not shower money on their kids except for good schools.
I am 50, I was born and raised in The Bronx and have lived in Manhattan since I was 19.
I am as thrilled to be here as I ever was. It was always tough.
On Sunday on Third Avenue while waiting on line to see the new Woody Allen movie I was overcome with nostalgia remembering I did that 35 years ago to see Interiors.
My New York is still here. I found a way to make it work as others have and continue to do.
Did you check under the sofa?
R146 There are more upper middle class people than you realize.
I love R53.
I don't care if it's only half the story, R100... as with any retelling, most people omit the boring parts. And I'm sure at other times they recount the bad times. This thread was about good ones.
p.s. You don't have to listen to anything, not the oldtimers and not the straight cockroaches, on DL. Just click off the thread. Remember?
Manhattan is now a playground for the wealthy, international 1%, and that's probably not going to change in our lifetimes. In fact, it's just going to keep getting wealthier and more exclusive.
I went back to Manhattan
But my city was gone.
When an armpit like Astoria is becoming trendy(not to mention the even uglier Long Island City)you know that Manhattan is for the rich and famous.
MY New York disappeared for good the night trashy media sales women started ostentatiously falling off flimsy high balconies in the social Siberia that is Midtown!
[quote] Most rich families do not shower money on their kids except for good schools
Your idea of "most rich families" is outdated. They certainly do shower the kids with money. They are building giant houses for their kids out here in the Hamptons like there's no tomorrow (and there may be no land left tomorrow). They want the grandkids to have the same upbringing their children had but don't want them staying in grandpa's house in the summer with him and his third wife. So they build a house for the kids, then they get to see the grand kids all summer without the hassle of living with them until mom and dad can afford their own Hamptons home.
I hear you, OP. I've lived here my whole life. In 2007, I moved to another state. I moved back in 2011. I felt such a disconnect from the city, it was the oddest thing. It just seemed so foreign. I know the city is ever changing, but when you're here every day, the change is gradual and you don't notice it quite as much. But four years away, and the difference was astounding.
We don't exactly have a country of origin, many of us are rejected my our families, community etc. I can see why OP laments over something that may seem unimportant. Perhaps in a fucked up way, it was 'home'.
[quote]When an armpit like Astoria is becoming trendy(not to mention the even uglier Long Island City)you know that Manhattan is for the rich and famous.
Isn't it crazy? LIC is already getting 'luxury' condos and Astoria is pretty much the last neighborhood left, so it is going to be the next Williamsburg. Everywhere else is already gentrified.
Actually, I should say "everywhere else white people feel comfortable living is gentrified, and Astoria is the last neighborhood left in the city where white people feel comfortable, so that will be next."
David Bryne chimes in:
[quote]The city is a fountain that never stops: it generates its energy from the human interactions that take place in it. Unfortunately, we're getting to a point where many of New York's citizens have been excluded from this equation for too long. The physical part of our city – the body – has been improved immeasurably. I'm a huge supporter of the bike lanes and the bikeshare program, the new public plazas, the waterfront parks and the functional public transportation system. But the cultural part of the city – the mind – has been usurped by the top 1%.
What, then, is the future of New York, or really of any number of big urban centers, in this new Gilded Age? Does culture have a role to play? If we look at the city as it is now, then we would have to say that it looks a lot like the divided city that presumptive mayor Bill de Blasio has been harping about: most of Manhattan and many parts of Brooklyn are virtual walled communities, pleasure domes for the rich (which, full disclosure, includes me), and aside from those of us who managed years ago to find our niche and some means of income, there is no room for fresh creative types. Middle-class people can barely afford to live here anymore, so forget about emerging artists, musicians, actors, dancers, writers, journalists and small business people. Bit by bit, the resources that keep the city vibrant are being eliminated.
Things change. All things end. Then, new things begin. The circle of life turns.
I meet all sorts of people from everywhere. It's the same with most large cities, I hear, whenever the subject of the past comes up.
It's certainly so, with San Diego. Not all changes are welcome, or satisfactory. Here, it's the population explosion.
Btw, I spent a summer in New York in '79. Loved it! New Yorkers were my favorite Americans, then.
too late to move, now.
Byrne band with Weymouth. 1%.
I think New York was at its peak in the '40s and '50s and would have been a fabulous place to live and experience.
I moved there in the '70s and for me, the best of times was the '80s. I admit I liked the Howard Johnson's in Times Square, and I liked the old Times Square. To me, now it looks like Disneyland.
I lived in a beautiful neighborhood in the west village and it still looks the same. But over the years I saw everyone in my building leave - two guys died of AIDS, several elderly people died or went into nursing homes; gradually, everybody left.
I have to agree it's not just the change in the cities, it's the changes in ourselves and how we felt when we were first there that makes the difference. I remember it all being so exciting. It may be time for OP to investigate another city or make some new friends or find new interests. It's easy to be isolated or stagnate. I moved out of New York but I still visit often, so I feel like I have the best of both worlds.
I remember when they were two Howard Johnsons in Times Square.
You can still get into Studio 54. It's now a theater and you can see pasty faced Alan Cummings this spring in the revival of Cabaret. Be thankful you are still alive after all of your partying. It sucks getting old and invisible....that's life. Everything changes every second and you cannot stop the hands of time. Soon you and your memories will be dead too.
Steve Rubell- snorting cocaine in hell
I know how you feel, my Shaker Heights is gone, it's been gone for many years now. All shvartza, and not quality shvartza either.
I only know NY's past from pictures and movies, but to me the 50's and 60's seemed better.
To me the mid-to-late 70's and 80's come across as somewhat seedy, smelly and ugly.
I love Times Square!
What's wrong with Pottery Barn?
OP, all true, but remember that old people said that about "their" New York when you first moved there. They looked around at the dingy, seedy '70s and remembered bygone fabulousness, the theaters and movie houses and the glamorous fashions of their day.
Real estate and NYU have changed NYC nightlife. There's still a lot of nightlife, but it's not gay, and not interesting. I'm 53 and accept that time marches on. I'm just happy that I lived in such interesting times and try very hard to stay relevant without looking like an aged hipster. It helped to move to Brooklyn and get out of the East village. Downtown just depressed me and it seems like after 9/11 everything just revved up. The days of Wigstock, the piers, the great grungy East Village gay bars are gone. The interesting arty people are still here, they're just out in the boroughs. I am a freelancer and share studio space with a bunch of young animators, writers and video artists. It's up to the kids to make their NYC interesting for them, even if it's not that interesting to me. I had my time in the sun, now I'm happy to have a nice dinner party with friends on my ice floe.
Living in LA, I have met people, residents of Manhattan, who enthusiastically describe the changes to NYC with utterance like, "High Line! Clean! Isn't it GREAT?!"
These are the people who do not understand innovation or original culture. They don't. They read blogs or study subtle or not subtle signals as to how to look and behave in their chosen milieu. They cover their arms in sleeve tattoos overnight, they grow beards asap, they attend all the festivals and more importantly, post the evidence photos online to lock down their presence and imprimatur of cool. They have never really struggled, and in my experience, are dysfunctionally involved with their rich, weird families. These people are energy parasites, who wait for group approval before liking anything, see the poor as human-like creatures but not as people worth knowing in any way. This is the new Manhattanite, and they are repulsive. Get out now.
I at one time would have done anything to live in NYC, but the conditions that made it so attractive - the excellence and idiosyncrasy - have been blasted away. I miss the involvement in culture that doesn't really exist here in LA, but I suspect it doesn't exist anymore in NYC, either.
[quote]I thought my first Village apt. was overpriced at $250 a month.
I had a studio on 63rd and Lex for $220 back then, in a narrow building over a button shop that's still there (Tender Buttons). It had french doors that opened on to a redwood deck that looked out at the back of the Barbizon Hotel.
I moved to L.A. in 1975 and was kind of horrified because I expected something different from watching TV. This is when the Church of Spiritual Sexuality and the Institute of Oral Love were still on Santa Monica Blvd. But you could buy a house in the Valley for $35K. I found Studio One and the French Market, bought a convertible and tried to fit in.
Everything DOES look better in retrospect, esp when it comes to the old daze in NYC. when you're young and hanging out, going to impromptu parties, staying up all night, damn. I crammed more memories into a few years than I did in the next 40.
The trucks, the old piers, the crumbling West Side Highway (High Line) that they finally tore down after a dump truck crashed through the pavement and fell to the street below. It sounds awful, but in my memory it was SO much fun.
Hey OP....there is a solution:
I'm so glad I got to experience NY in the 80's. I only visited but it was a blast!! Watch After Hours or Desperately Seeking Susan to get feel for it. NY was never for me, it overwhelmed and scare this boy from Upstate. Going to visit now it just seems rather bland and generic. The poster who said it was due to Wall Street is dead on.
A pretty okay book about the sixties and seventies New York was written my Edmund White
and is called City Boy.
I was always fascinated by New York in that period of time but I missed it.
Oh well. I have Phoenix now. Maybe that is better than nothing.
Hey r122, which of the two Ideal waitresses was the one who would say "Vot to drink, Dollink?" when she took your order?
Funny, you just start thinking places you love so much will just automatically always be there to enjoy. Sigh.
[quote]I remember when they were two Howard Johnsons in Times Square.
Weren't the two Weinerwald's too. I loved HoJo's and went there regularly.