Long before Twitter, Facebook, cell phones and cell phone cameras — in 1980s New York — there was Nelson Sullivan. He pointed a bulky 8mm video camera with a wide fisheye lens at himself and filmed everything. As the first video "lifecaster" he was years ahead of his time. Not a narcissist by my definition, but someone who wanted to document the culture that he clearly realized was something special. I have a bunch of his stuff. Sadly, he died in 1989 of a heart attack.
This clip below was just released yesterday — destined to become a classic as Avenue A, East 6th and Avenue B are captured in all their grimy glory. In this video, he tries to get a table at (a yellow painted) Sidewalk Cafe, but "all the freaks" have the tables. Instead he improvises and drops in on his friend who lives on East 6th Street and Avenue B. They all head back to find friends and an empty table at Sidewalk where the video fades out.
Waiting for a Table at an East Village Sidewalk cafe
Previously on YouTube. (Find more of Nelson's work on YouTube here.)
A Trip to Avenue A in NYC
You can read more about Nelson and his role documenting his surroundings during the 1980s here. He died of a heart attack on July 4, 1989.