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July 3, 2022

35 Fascinating Photos Captured New York’s Street Scenes in the Late 1980s

1980s New York was the quintessential portrait of a gritty city, slowly and grudgingly starting to clean up its act. Graffiti-bedecked subways and storefronts were still the norm and crime was high, but gentrification was slowly starting to seep into worn-down neighborhoods from river to river. Bodegas closed and yuppy wine bars opened, ushering in rent spikes and the displacement of long-time tenants and low income families.

The disco scene started to recede, and new musical genres like punk and rap were heard blaring from car windows. Clubs like 8BC and Pyramid ruled the night, heralding in an explosion of creativity, primarily centered in iffy Alphabet City and the East Village.

These photos were taken by hedyelyakim that show street scenes of New York in 1988 and 1989.


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