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.

New York in the 80s

New York in the 80s

New York in the 80s

New York in the 80s

New York in the 80s

New York in the 80s

New York in the 80s

New York in the 80s

New York in the 80s

New York in the 80s

New York in the 80s

New York in the 80s

New York in the 80s

“with a flourish the waitress leaves behind rearrange smears”

all photographs by Steven Siegel.


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

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

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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. :)

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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!

  16. 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

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

  18. 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 : )

  19. debbie shubert Reply

    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…..

  20. Gloria Beshara Reply

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

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