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Old 05-12-2008, 07:21 PM
 
11,290 posts, read 14,783,805 times
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Default Restaurant row 20-30 years ago

I was just reading about bad street conditions on Restaurant Row on W 46th street between 8-9th Ave's in Manhattan back in 1988 and how the Guardian Angels were getting involved trying to combat prostitution, drug(crack) peddling, addicts, and the controversy they stirred up. It seemed like a very lively place to be to say the least

What I am looking for is for someone to describe the atmosphere because I enjoy reading about this type of thing and everytime i have been on Restaurant row even as far back as 14 years ago I have never seen any undesirables, whether it be at night during theater hours or in the AM when they are hosing down the street so I'm curious

Although i read of a bad atmosphere in 1988, I would assume that it probably was even worse a decade before that even because there were no new projects such as the Marriot Marquis('88) or Worldwide Plaza('89) to spruce up the area.

Back in those days was the physical atmosphere the same as it is now--trendy, European like, sophisticated, or was it less so? Currently it seems so trendy I couldn't picture any undesirables there back then

Once you entered Restaurant Row back then say to go to dinner, would you have to push your way through hoardes of undesirables like on 42 street, or was it less menacing? Was it really that frightening like the papers said and deterred people from going to the restaurants?

Who was more threatening and intimidating, the addicts or the pushers? What did addicts look like and how did they dress? What did pushers look like and how did they dress? Were they black, white, Hispanic, etc? I heard there were several SRO's on the block. What was the atmosphere like in the lobbies of these SRO's? Was it really that if you just kept to yourself these characters wouldn't bother you? Or would they bother innocent people?
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Old 05-12-2008, 09:01 PM
 
Location: UWS -- Lucky Me!
757 posts, read 2,241,600 times
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There were no hoards, but there were plenty of suspicious types. The strategy would be to look straight ahead, be alert to who and what's going on around you and get to the avenue as quickly as you could.

There's a fairly recent thread about it in this forum. You should have no trouble finding it with the site's search engine.
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Old 05-15-2008, 01:21 AM
 
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Nah, not menacing, except for an occasional flash of unease in encountering someone unstable. I'm not sure it was more sophisticated, except that of course people dressed better then. (I don't consider it particularly trendy now.) And there were never hordes anywhere in the Broadway area, except 20 minutes before curtain time, when people were hurrying to theaters. I doubt you'll find anyone here who was inside one of the SROs, but if you are truly interested in reading about it, there are all kinds of books and articles about the period, if perhaps not 46th specifically.
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