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Old 02-05-2012, 11:08 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC & New York
10,757 posts, read 25,565,130 times
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Don't forget that Bryant Park did not begin to change until the early 1980s with some newer festivals, and such. Then, in the late 1980s the park was restored, with new access points, as previously it had been much more isolated from the surrounding streets. Things started to turn around in the 1980s, with some of the newer developments, and hotels, on the West Side, but it took the zero tolerance crime policies, combined with business improvement districts, private foundations, local volunteers, etc. to bring about the changes that are seen today. Bryant Park was a place to avoid, as I never remember being anywhere in the vicinity (save for the library) as a child, and even then it was during daylight hours because personal safety was a very present issue.

Some of the clips and short videos people have uploaded on YouTube do give a good overall picture of various areas of the city, but it would be hard to capture the mood of the era, and the major problems that existed in the city.
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Old 12-08-2015, 07:45 AM
 
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Needle parkwas up at 72nt street and broadway. Times Square had tons of pinball machine places, there was alot of sunlight because all of the giant building weren't built yet. 15 year olds drank at the bars and a whole lot of hookers and swindlers who would hurt you if you weren't careful, patrolled the square. 42nd at 8th ave was the leader in the nation in people being murdered, the bus station was full of homeless people sleeping. In winter homeless laid outside on the side walks on the grates of steam that came from below. A walk 15 blcoks north into Central Park was an eyeopener and once you enetred the park at Columbus ave at least 5 guys approached asking if you want some drugs. In the park was a whole lot of brken benches and old street lights, leaves were everywhere along with newsppers blowing around.ne time a group of young kids with 2x4 clubs walks up the raod in the park, they passed us by, were had 5 people with us and probably didn't look too easy a target. I always walked the area with at peast 3 other pretty big guys, one of my friends was beaten up by wollam rink which was a complete wreck back then, another was mugged while his friend watched, I was mugged down by Tribeca area. The city was bad but there was far more action, many people in suites everywhere, people went to shows in their best clothes, now you see tourist and people with tank tops at shows. The whole vibe has changed. Park avend in the 50's still has some of the old feee at lunchtime and there is nothing like a rainy twilight, when the city sun just goes down the the lights of the cars and streetlights makes it seem like your looking at a dream. It's better now...much safer, but the city is a place you need to be careful in and if you live there it will take a toll on your sanity at times.
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