[W 8TH Street Heading West] from Anthology Film Archives on Vimeo.
Having spent six weeks walking the sidewalks of NYC in 1973, this little film resonated with me; a walk back in time. The only question is: which are more interesting; the cars or the people? I recommend watching it twice, one for each.
Probably late 1970. There was a 1971 Mustang fastback
The source said “About 1970”. Given that it’s summer, we’ll change it to 1971.
The guys hair length looks pretty much as they do now!
The New York City of All in the Family, Welcome Back, Kotter and Saturday Night Fever. Towards the end of the film we follow two of Travolta’s buddies.
I visited Manhattan with my parents in 1975, and I remember how “gritty” it seemed to this small-town boy. When I returned for a visit in 1996, Manhattan seemed cleaner and more upscale.
The 1967-69 Thunderbird four-door and two 1969 Plymouth Furys jumped out, along with the Peugeot. The one Fury was a four-door hardtop, so it wasn’t former a taxi or police car.
Very cool to see. I saw another movie of the same kind filmed in Montreal in 1975.
You can see the Olympic Stadium still under construction at 1:12.
City life before “Super Size” was an option and it shows. The tourists were easier to spot back then. They were the ones with cameras hanging around their necks. The civilian Checker at 1:33 is noteworthy.
It’s before high fructose corn syrup existed commercially for public consumption and nobody had access to 800 calories in a 16 oz. cup (looking at you, Starbucks). That said, I’m not seeing dramatically skinner 40+ people in this real, from my perspective.
There is not one bedonkedonk butt of any age in this video. Try to shoot a 3 minute video in any metropolitan area now with the same results.
I agree with Kita Ikki; this has to be late 1970. There is a ’71 Ford Country Squire and a non-1970 plastic grilled F-350 tow truck driving down the street.
Lots of VWs, a Jaguar, and plenty of Chrysler products. Quite the variety.
And then the hair and clothes on everyone….
I’ve changed it to 1971. It has to be, since it’s in the summer. The source was wrong.
Interesting- Outside of some Polo shirts with the maker’s crest on the left breast, there were almost no “branded” clothing, or logo T-shirts.
A jacket appears at 0:40 reading “Guard,” but it appears to be a uniform, rather than something chosen as a form of self expression or identity.
What’s that Peugeot 304 doing there? This might be the first evidence I’ve ever seen of them selling one here besides the listing in my 1971 Auto Almanac.
Really? There were quite a few all over SoCal in the mid-late ’70s. I came very close to buying a used one; they were going for peanuts in the late ’70s.
Here’s one I wrote up here: https://www.curbsideclassic.com/curbside-classics-european/craigslist-classic-1971-peugeot-304-a-rare-american-survivor/
I’ve seen a couple of them in Europe, and I recognized it. There was a Peugeot dealer in my hometown and 504s and 505s were grossly over-represented in my neighborhood. I even saw a 404 that hadn’t rusted into pieces sitting derelict on a dead end street once in the early ’80s. I saw a number of 604s on my travels to the west coast, but never a 403. Car buying habits are incredibly regional. Do you know what the best-selling car was in California in 1973? It barely made a ripple in the flyover states that year.
Cool, watch it a 3rd time for the buildings. You can recognize this one by the chimneys.
Great clip. I was very young at the time, but probably my biggest eye opener as a little kid during that era, was how casual people were about littering. There seemed to be litter everywhere back then. It seemed some people would drop everything after they were done with it. Seeing garbage tossed from cars was so common. Urban decay was still very real.
Some people’s fashions look remarkably ahead of their time. The woman’s outfit at 2:11 would have been fresh after Star Wars, and during the late 70s punk and disco era.
America before rampant fast food places, microwave ovens and other instant gratification food sources. Our air and water are much cleaner, but we have other ways to diminish our lives.
Fast food restaurants were popular in the 70s, only folks were more active back then, and bad food wasn’t a staple of so many people’s diets.
Fast food has actually been around for well over a hundred years. The big problem is in the size: According to the DCD, an average restaurant meal now is four times larger (in calories) than in the 1950s.
In the ’60s, the typical McDonalds meal had 590 calories. By the late ’90s it was 1550. Today it’s closer to 2000.
Take a look at this chart. it shows what happened when folks went to cooking at home to eating out:
At min 1:31 there is a guy talking into his cell phone. A time traveller.
I’d like to know who’s providing the cell service- I’d sign up in a heartbeat.
I think the rational explanation here is, aliens.
Imports seem limited to VW Bugs except for the Peugeot 304 and 404. The Jag xk 140 looked tired ,.was that a parking ticket on the windshield.?. Seems to big to be a “I want to buy your car, call me on….. ” note.
Then you must have missed the Volvo 122, the Mercedes, and two Toyotas. And I’m pretty sure that was a reverse slant rear window Anglia at 0.43.
I’m trying to figure out how this footage was able to be taken such that camera shake was avoided yet the camera was able to be elevated above tall people while walking through crowds and at accelerated walking pace. Nicely done. Several pedestrians moved over to allow the camera-person to walk past, which demonstrated courtesy.
Comparing using 2019 Google street views:
–Storefront signs are more subdued and classical now, not as funky. No more awnings that extend to the curb. Stores somehow seem less “welcoming” now, and there are fewer of them.
–Street is now tree-lined, and looks cleaner. Someone from 1971 would say, “Man, they really cleaned this place up!”
–Still a smoke shop at #59.
–End of block: Carol Blane is now Sprint.
–Oldest cars (opp. side of street): ’57 Chevy, ’62 Plymouth, 1st gen. Corvair coupe. Red ’62 Comet at 00:55.
I looked for Jean Shepherd; didn’t see him.
Sigh, I miss Oldsmobile. At least two of the handsome 67 Cutlasses and an earlier Cutlass on that fun little walk. A reminder that GM was at the top of their game in this era.
I’m with Paul – Lots of Peugeots in Socal in the 70’s. I’d never seen one until I came to UCLA for grad school in 72. Many on campus, faculty and students drove them. I thought I’d landed in car heaven when I came here from the Midwest, especially to see so many exotic “foreign” models as daily drivers.
The earlier one appears to be a ’66 Cutlass Supreme. 1st year for that model and appeared on the front cover of the owner’s manual.
People then were better-dressed than they are today, but you can tell it’s not the 1950s or early 60s when men wore suits and women wore dresses.
I’d give a pass on body weight, because even today in Manhattan, you don’t see a lot of fat of people on the sidewalks. I believe New Yorkers walk more than residents of any other major US city or town.
On the cars, GM ruled. Amazing number of Pontiacs and Oldsmobiles. Lots of VW Beetles also, and the Toyota Corona makes an appearance.
Definitely a lot more street trees today.
I was struck by the Mopar presence…it seemed to me that there were more of them than GM!
I walked around New York back in 1980 from the Empire State building down to Battery Park. Was visiting grandparents and they were horrified.
On the street
Looking at New Jersey
Off-topic maybe, but I couldn’t help but be reminded of this (slightly) more recent video:
Here’s another NYC film from 1971. This one is a bit easier to see all the cars in.
In every old film or photo of a street scene, there’s always a VW Beetle and a Chev Impala present. They were once as common as suv’s are today.
This is more like the New York I remember from the 70s and 80s. I also found the Shoei Japanese restaurant odd since the name is a famous helmet maker so when I saw Shoei I expected a motorcycle shop.
Is it me, or does the real estate look more affordable?
All those skinny people! I counted no more than four who looked overweight. So different now…