Photography, Vintage

New York in the 80s

i still haven’t been to new york. right now it’s a matter of saving saving saving so i can get there one day. every time i’m tempted by a beautiful piece of furniture or a new jacket i think, must save for new york. in the meantime i’m living vicariously through other people’s new york related stories, photos, films… which is why i so enjoyed browsing through New York In the 80s, a collection of photographs by Steven Siegel.

I’ve been photographing the streets and subways of New York for the past 30 years. When young people today look at my shots from the 1980’s, they are aghast. To them, New York of the 1980’s is almost unrecognizable. And they are right.

that’s just an excerpt from Steven’s thoughts about this moment in time that he captured and so generously shared – read the rest here and check out the his other sets for more NY related photography.

“with a flourish the waitress leaves behind rearrange smears”

all photographs by Steven Siegel.

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  • Reply Pippa Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 11:42 am

    These photo’s are very poignant especially the twin towers, a great find to share, thanks!

  • Reply Romy Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 11:59 am

    These are so awesome. It’s also a dream of mine to go one day. kick ass selection, thanks :)

  • Reply Carmen Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Love this photos!

  • Reply Connie Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I lived in NewYork in the 1980’s. It really doesn’t seem that long ago but my how it’s changed!

  • Reply Leather and Ice Cream Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Beautiful pics!!! :)


  • Reply Kate Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    I remember it well, despite being quite young. When I went back for the first time a couple of years ago, I was amazed at how different it was from my recollection.

  • Reply Bleinch Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Love the pictures.
    love the blog.

  • Reply Taylor Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    I can smell the hustle and bustle, makes me miss New York.

  • Reply Ezrina Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Diana, its been a while since Rhenish primary and I’m glad I got to visit your blog! (Do you remember me?) Anyhoots, you have such great posts and I thoroughly enjoy browsing through while I should be working..Amazed at your web surfing skills too. Lol, how do you know about Brooklyn based designers/boutiques when I don’t even have the slightest clue?! Please do come visit NY. Theres much to eat and see. :)

  • Reply Ashley Faye Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    love love love this post.
    i grew up in jersey, so i’ve always been close to new york and now living here, i am honestly more times then not disappointed it’s turned into disney world! luckily i reside in brooklyn so i get to escape manhattan most days. .the history is what makes it so special. get here soon! x

  • Reply AA Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    @Bleinch love the tones and love everything

  • Reply sally Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Grass is always greener I suppose, New York is amazing in its ways but I honestly can’t wait to get out and see more of the world, like your neck of the woods. :) Cheers to your future voyage, I know you’ll love it.

  • Reply f Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    wow, can’t imagine growing up in nyc in the 80s as some of my friends did. very gritty to say the least. and it’s changed so much in the last 10 years that i’ve lived here. we should do a house/apt swap! i would love to visit cape town one day… :D

  • Reply Alexa Y. Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    New York City is a pretty amazing place. I’m incredibly lucky to be living here right now, and though it’s definitely very different from the way it was in the 80s, it’s still one AMAZING place. I really hope you get to visit!

  • Reply Dana Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    pretty unbelievable. I love these – and as usual I feel nostalgic for a time I didn’t know! I really love his commentary on the flickr set. good luck getting there! it’s awfully different but still a magical place.

  • Reply julie macneil Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    i was lucky to live in Boston in the 80’s and NYC was only a 3 hour train ride away! i remember one day getting the first train out and the last back in, spending the whole day walking around, shopping in vintage clothing stores, eating bagels and cream cheese….New York is still my favorite city, even though it has changed (just like every other city) it is still the same! you will fall in love, i can promise you that! i live far away now but am planing a trip to do all the things i never got to do (even after spending a week in Greenwich Village) like have a picnic at the top of the Empire State Building, go to Ellis Island, have a hot dog at Coney Island and take a carriage ride through Central Park!

  • Reply julie macneil Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    oh, and i love all the photos, especially the fist one!

  • Reply Michelle Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Great photos and link! I on the other hand would love to see New Zealand! (I lived in New York between 2005-2011 – it was a love-hate relationship and I’m glad to have left but I do miss it in many ways.) By the way, if you liked this, you should also check out Life on the Lower East Side – it’s a collection of photographs of the LES during the 1940s and 50s: http://www.papress.com/html/book.details.page.tpl?isbn=9781568986067

  • Reply Francesca Thursday 23 August, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    wow, that photostream is a goldmine! Thank you so much for sharing! If you haven’t already you should check out Tom Palazzolo, he captured Chicago in similar ways through film and video.

  • Reply sunbeam Friday 24 August, 2012 at 6:25 am

    New York is intense! I went there for 5 days earlier this year, obviously wasn’t enough time, but enough to get a sense of character and ruggedness. You would love it I think, and when you do go, make sure you give yourself lots of time to explore – so much to see!

  • Reply Martha Friday 24 August, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    Love this post…
    I have a very close friend from NY…she was born and raised in Manhattan…and the stories she tells me about how it used to be are amazing.
    It was a city of different energy…where anyone could be anything they want.
    Now, the energy is still amazing, but it’s different.
    It’s much more “sterile”…which can either be good or bad, depending on what you want to see when you go to NY.
    But either way…NY is a city that is constantly changing and always a one of a kind.

  • Reply Ida Ayu Melati Friday 24 August, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    It seems that New York is a beautiful city at the 80s :) not too glamour…

  • Reply alison Friday 24 August, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    i love these photos! you must get to new york… it’s a magical place. i’ve been several times when visiting family. christmas is the best time to go, in my opinion!

  • Reply Dimitri Sunday 26 August, 2012 at 7:00 am

    I just love NYC in the 80s

  • Reply Philippa Berrington-Blew Sunday 26 August, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Absolutely amazing images. Makes me long for New York!

  • Reply Rhianna Sunday 26 August, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    These are incredible photos. I’m yet to go to New York either, and I wasn’t even alive in the 80s, but these somehow have a beautiful nostalgic feel about them. I think it’s the fact that these were almost definitely taken on film – it’s amazing how a different medium can do that to a person! Thanks for sharing, absolutely love these :D Rhi xx

    The Wildest of Dreams

  • Reply Molly Monday 27 August, 2012 at 6:20 am

    Keep saving. It will be SO worth it!

  • Reply Francesca Tuesday 28 August, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    I totally agree with Rhianna. I’ve not been to NY but I somehow share the same feeling of nostalgia, (maybe because of movies)?

  • Reply mudintheusa Tuesday 28 August, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    This photographer is fabulous — great eye for a compelling shot, finished with perfect composition!

  • Reply CQMHF Tuesday 28 August, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I love this Blog!


  • Reply chia Wednesday 29 August, 2012 at 1:30 am

    Amazing pic selections!!
    I have been saving both money and energy for My big apple trip, and every time i dream of New York I watch some Woody Ellen’s film : )

  • Reply debbie shubert Wednesday 29 August, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    my niece just enrolled at NYU this week ….her dream came true…hang on to yours….love love love this blog thank you….i own a small antique store in michigan and you always inspire…..

  • Reply Gloria Beshara Wednesday 26 September, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing these awesome pictures. NY will always be my favorite city. Love…

  • Reply samiuddin Saturday 29 March, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Nice collection of pictures. Thanks.

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