Young People Today Wouldn't recognise New York Of The 1980s

NYC in the 80s times square

Photo: Courtesy of Steven Siegel

Normally, a picture is worth a thousand words. But some photos speak volumes about their subjects.The work of Steven Siegel recently caught our eye (via Gothamist), and we are happy to bring you 24 beautiful photographs taken of New York in the 1980s.

Mr. Siegel himself notes: “When young people today look at my shots from the 1980s, they are aghast. To them, New York of the 1980s is almost unrecognizable.” He also comments on some people yearning nostalgically for the “authenticity” of the era, while others say “thank God it’s over.” Most astutely, he concludes: “Of course, both views are right.”

As much as new buildings and scenes speak to the gentrification of New York City, so too do the photographs of people, many of whom are now long gone, having since died, grown up, or moved away. 

You can see more of Steven’s photography here.

A subway car covered in graffiti

Times Square circa 1980

Times Square circa 1985

World Trade centre circa 1980

Brooklyn carwash

The Bowery and Houston Street circa 1980

Times Square circa 1980

Eleventh Avenue and 31st Street, 1987

Office building lobby

Lower East Side circa 1980

Birdman of Howard Beach

Street protest on the Upper West Side, circa 1980

Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn

Coney Island, 1984

Coney in the 80s

Ruins at Coney Island

The Cyclone at Coney Island

The Bronx

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