It’s easy to rhapsodize the gritty NYC of old, especially given how staid, safe, sanitized, corporate, avaricious and soulless the city is today. I’m certainly guilty of it. Myself and a cabal of other bloggers seem to constantly hearken back to eras when Manhattan was a more interesting, more diverse, more colorful and more dangerous place. We romanticize it as if carrying a torch for a long-lost, unrequited love.
It’s prudent to remember, however, that the danger was real — despite whatever excitement and vibrancy came with it.
Somewhat uncomfortably tied to the release of J.C., Chandor’s new film “A Most Violent Year” (which I haven’t seen) comes the website NYC,1981, an ambitious and captivating collection of essays and pictures from the fabled year in question, touching on subsections like style, art & culture, music, graffiti and living. For someone like me, it’s a veritable candy store (although I note somewhat sniffily that they’ve covering a few things I wrote about ages ago, but I’m just a tiny little blog at the end of the day).
I haven’t had a load of time to explore it, but I note that my comrade, the scrupulous Jeremiah Moss is a contributor. I don’t recognize the other folks, but if Jeremiah’s involved, it’s worthwhile.
There’s also this mini-documentary