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Old 01-05-2008, 10:07 AM
 
49 posts, read 245,930 times
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I lived in the city for three years earlier this decade and loved it. Truly the most amazing city in the world. And so safe. I walked around drunk at 2-3 AM many, many times without a fear.

I keep hearing about how NYC was a dump in the 70s/80s with high crime, crackheads, muggers and prostitutes everywhere. Considering how clean and safe NYC is right now I have trouble imagining the city like that. Was it really that bad?
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:14 AM
 
12,119 posts, read 31,945,644 times
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Yup, read my other posts about 8th avenue in Times Square. I watched the ball drop in Times Square on 12/31/78 and i seriously thought a derelict/drug addict was going to kill me when my hat fell off and he picked it up for me and said "see, I'm not going to hurt you!". The following year there was a gang rampage in the underground passageway near the penny arcades on 42 street in which many innocent people were mauled, beaten and robbed. I will never forget that.

Actually I'm just referring to Times Square. Not too sure about other areas. The city just in general feels safer
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Old 01-05-2008, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Atlantic Highlands NJ/Ponte Vedra FL/NYC
2,689 posts, read 3,585,329 times
Reputation: 328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chianti View Post
I lived in the city for three years earlier this decade and loved it. Truly the most amazing city in the world. And so safe. I walked around drunk at 2-3 AM many, many times without a fear.

I keep hearing about how NYC was a dump in the 70s/80s with high crime, crackheads, muggers and prostitutes everywhere. Considering how clean and safe NYC is right now I have trouble imagining the city like that. Was it really that bad?
yes things had really gone to hell, between the lindsay years the city going broke and the crack epidemic things were bad. the bottom was when dinkins was mayor, then guilanni came in and really made a change for the better. Whether it was anything he did or just a societal change is debatable but there was a dramtic change for the better.
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:16 PM
 
Location: America
6,994 posts, read 16,631,026 times
Reputation: 2090
It depends on what you call "bad". I mean if crack dealers, crack heads, prostitution, rampant organized crime and the like are not that big of a deal to you then no, it wasn't that bad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chianti View Post
I lived in the city for three years earlier this decade and loved it. Truly the most amazing city in the world. And so safe. I walked around drunk at 2-3 AM many, many times without a fear.

I keep hearing about how NYC was a dump in the 70s/80s with high crime, crackheads, muggers and prostitutes everywhere. Considering how clean and safe NYC is right now I have trouble imagining the city like that. Was it really that bad?
Rate this post positively Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-05-2008, 04:28 PM
 
12,119 posts, read 31,945,644 times
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It was August of 1979, when the second gas shortage of the 70's was going on and we were walking down 8th Avenue, I recall to catch a bus at the Port Authority

Between 49th and 50th street where what is now the big elaborate Worldwide Plaza office complex, was a parking lot surrounded by run- down tenements. The former Madison Square Garden was destroyed a decade earlier. Below 49th street 8th was nothing but cheap bars, peep shows and those dreadful looking XXX bookstores

I distinctly remember the Ramada Inn Hotel(now a Hilton Gardens Hotel) on the next blocksitting amidst all this, wondering how those who stayed there felt about staying in this area

On the next block was the Engine Company 54 firehouse(which was the station where many firefighters who died on 9/11 were from) and a row of decrepit looking tenements with drunks, homeless people, and junkies hanging out next to some type of SRO or transient hotel. At the corner of 47th street was what appeared to be a woman dressed in a white fur coat (on a 90 degree summer day) but when "she" turned her head it turned out "she" was a man, with the pimp standing right there. This was right in front of a XXX bookstore that had a bad odor coming from it.

We just turned the corner and took a detour because we just didn't feel safe continuing further on 8th. No wonder the Guardian Angels started up that year.

I always remembered this scene and found it so strangely terrible yet memorable at the same time

Over the years I have heard bad stories about W 46th street's Restaurant Row and all the terrible things that happened there at night

Today, the same walk would just be rather bland and uneventful, with the usual run of the mill Rite Aid pharmacies, Food Emporium, fancy French restaurant, Starbucks, Staples, jeans superstores, with nothing to fear or run from. Occasionally you might see some bad guys hanging out but it nothing like 30 years ago
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:27 PM
 
2,541 posts, read 10,963,547 times
Reputation: 986
Was hell's kitchen still all irish back then too?
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:50 PM
 
Location: Pawleys Island, SC
1,696 posts, read 8,589,631 times
Reputation: 725
Hell's Kitchen was changing from predominantly Irish by the mid-80's. I recall West 44 & 45 St between 10 & 11 Aves being lined up at 3 AM with dozens of prostitutes and a literal traffic jam of cars engaging them in propositions. There were also a few bars on West 43 St that had a predominantly trans-sexual clientel... Sally's Hideaway being the most popular. That arcade at 42 & 8 Ave was always hot spot for trouble.

There are a couple of good books about the Irish mob, the Westies. They were a ruthless bunch:
The Westies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 01-06-2008, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Bronx, NY
2,806 posts, read 15,907,224 times
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Hells Kitchen started to become less Irish as early as the 1950s. The Westies started moving out to Woodside back in the 1960s I believe.
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Old 01-06-2008, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Bronx, New York
4,149 posts, read 7,180,179 times
Reputation: 1866
I cherished my times as a small kid in the late 70s. My community of Tompkins Houses, while being a PJ, was closely knit, with tenant leaders making sure the community was well run and safe for the residents. All that changed for the worse in the 80s when those tenant leaders died off and the crack epidemic hit! That crack epidemic was bad! I kid you not!

I went to high school in Hells Kitchen from 83 to 86. At that time, Times Square was just in its rebuilding stages, but far from what it has become now! Also, there was a gang that ran both Graphic Arts HS (Printing) and Park West called the Deceptacons. They may have been the most notorious gang in the history of New York! I kid you not!

Many people are longing to go back to the days of 'old New York'! I say no! We can remember the times, good and bad, but as a city we have to keep it moving! We've been there and done that!
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:46 AM
 
Location: America
6,994 posts, read 16,631,026 times
Reputation: 2090
^^

+1 on Decept
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