Friday, June 10, 2022

Come, let's drive along some side streets between Avenue C and Avenue D in 1987

A version of this 3-minute video via the Kinolibrary Archive Film Collections titled "Drive Through the Lower East Side, New York in 1987" has been floating around the Internet for nearly 10 years... 

A reader shared a more-recent version that looks a little more high-quality. 

In the silent clip, the driver/film crew start on Houston and turn onto Avenue D... and from here the car drives up and down some desolate side streets between Avenue C and Avenue D... you may recognize a few things ...

  

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

WOW. Great video!

DrGecko said...

Look at all the parking places!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad this was captured. At 2:23 is an old black car that looks like one that's still parked around the neighborhood. Does anyone know for sure?

Goggla said...

Thanks for this!

It's interesting to see Parque de Tranquilidad is already established as a beautiful garden oasis on 4th Street, while Orchard Alley down the block hasn't been created yet.

Anonymous said...

Very cool - did ya see that car up on blocks? Classic. So many burnt out buildings - and open lots.

mount shasta adventure!!!!!!!! said...

THisis what it looked like when I first started going to the EV, but somehow I forgot how abandoned it really was in places. Surreal. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Amazing. You always thought you had an idea of how abandoned this area of the city was in the 1970s. This film really brings it home.

Anonymous said...

Don't care what anyone says, I prefer to this to what we have now. And the cars were cooler, too.

I'd forgotten all about that mural on the side of the Associated, wonderful to see it again, cannot believe how many decades it's been...

Hens said...

Looks like a warzone. Whatever issues someone may have with today's gentrification, this looks absolutely devastating.

Anonymous said...

Certainly some of the most desolate parts of the EV back then. Though it is cleaner and safer these days I prefer the vibrancy and diversity of back then. Never would of thought that would be the case or that an area could change so drastically in such a short amount of time. Check out Steven Spielberg produced "Batteries Not Included" which was shot in the neighborhood in 1986. There are some great overhead shots. Of course there are the great downtown films of that era but nothing like a Hollywood style overhead shot of East 7th Street between Avenues B & C.

Anonymous said...

Well said

XTC said...

Forget about the street scenes. If you were ever inside some of those buildings the with the junkies and drugs and shooting galleries it would blow your mind.

Anonymous said...

where da yuppies be at?

jc morrison said...

i grew up in these streets, from 1967 to 2010. i was 8 when we moved to 10th street between B&C. my favorite segment is the cruise on 12th between B&C just before Campos Plaza went up. the view was northeast towards the Con Ed station on 14th. the empty site had been low tenements and a large lumberyard directly across the street from P.S.61, that burnt down in the mid 70's and burned for 8 or 9 days. that fire took out half the block. in late 87-88 the foundation and parking lots were laid out for Campos. my mother Joelle was an original tenant until she moved to Staten Island in the late 90s, i think? i and my brothers and sisters all went to P.S.61, which was a great school. it was brutal sometimes but we stuck together. the LES made bonds between people of all kinds. i'm so proud to belong to this community.

Anonymous said...

That’s what I was thinking!!!

noble neolani said...

I could convey to newcomers what the neighbored looked like when I first arrived in 1981 and lived on 6ht and Ave C. This video helps to illustrate the sights, the way of life is a another story.

JAMES said...

I grew up there and have absolutely NO wish to ever relive it via pictures or video again. That was absolutely NO Picnic.

Editor said...

E 8th St between C and D

Anonymous said...

Mind blowing to think how small the island of Manhattan is and how long this neighborhood looked like this. Meanwhile minutes away it’s dripping in money and opulence.

Sonya said...

I recognize almost none of this! Really only the very first turn from Houston left onto Avenue D.

Anonymous said...

location search for Bonfire of the Vanities?

Howard Brandstein said...

A lot of community development actually going on in what otherwise looks like a "war zone." On East 4 Street between Avenues C and D, there were four urban homesteading projects, three in construction (320 E St. and 336 E 4 St. which were part of the first community land trust in NYC,. and 309 E 4 St. not pictured. In addition there was 310 E 4 St- next to Parque Tranquilidad- which was completed in 1981 as part of a National Urban Homesteadung Program under Jimmy Carter. Finally, there was El Jardin del Paraiso- the largest community garden in the LES running from 4th-5th Streets, Aves C-D (not pictured) which was beginning to flourish as a beautiful greenspace.

Anonymous said...

Also spotted the two buildings of the Uranian Phalanstary on E. 4th st, which finally disappeared in the 2000s, with the buildings sold. The Phalanstary was an amazing artist’s sanctuary, full of strange and wonderful things. They would open once a year on April Fool’s Day. Rumor was it used to be a synagogue with some original paint on the walls and a bamboo forest in back.