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February 18, 2017

20 Vivid Color Photographs of New York City in 1979 Through an Australian Tourist’s Eyes

Back in the late 1970s, a photographer named Terry (who goes simply by Terry from Sydney on Flickr) was in his 20s and exploring the world away from his home in Australia: “I had come from Canberra in Australia which was and still is a low rise city,” he told Gothamist, “I was very impressed with the skyscraper skyline of the city.”

“I thought the city was vibrant and full of energy,” he continued. “I noticed that pedestrians walked faster than I was used to. There seemed to be an unwritten rule not to make eye contact or speak to strangers, especially in the subway. I broke this rule twice while trying to ask for directions. Each time, I got as far as saying ‘Excuse me’ before the person jumped back from me. However, they were helpful when they found I was just a lost foreigner, not a mugger. I felt a bit like a hick from the sticks.”

“I was shocked at the state of disrepair in Harlem. The streets had big potholes. There were many burned out buildings. Some lots had no building, just piles of rubble. However, overall, I felt that New York was an exciting city.”

New York City 1979 - Outside Grand Central Station

NYPD Policeman 1979

NYPD 5th Precinct in 1979

New York City subway in 1979

New York City subway in 1979

New York 1979 elevated train

New York City street 1979

New York City taxi 1979

NYC Statue of Liberty and Twin Towers 1979

New York from WTC 1979

New York City 1979 - busy street with lots of people

New York City 1979

New York City 1979 - E127 Street and Madison Avenue

New York City 1979 - E122 Street

New York City 1979 - Broadway What's on?

New York City 1979 Canal and Centre streets

New York City 1979

New York City 1979 - Shoe Shining outside Grand Central Station

New York City April, 1979 - Times Square

New York City 1979 - 5Av W125 St

(Photos by Terry from Sydney, via Gothamist)

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