NYC, 1981: short documentary about "a most violent year"


OMG this is so full of shit. Sure, the city had problems, but it also had an incredible measure of creative energy, especially downtown. When I was in school we’d laugh at the tourists who came to Manhattan expecting to get shot. That’s not to say there weren’t places with crime, or that the cops couldn’t be pricks, or that city services weren’t still reeling from the 70s near-bankruptcy. It was dysfunctional, radical and culturally other, but it still managed business as usual. What can you expect from an essentializing account that relies on Curtis Sliwa’s revisionist memory, as self-serving now as he was then?

The artist with the red hair (I don’t know her, and the film lacks credits) refers to NYC as being third world in America. First, wake up: there are plenty of places in American that are truly third world economically and politically. More important, we never felt the city was ever part of America in cultural or political terms, at least not before Giuliani’s forced assimilation. I’m betting that the filmmaker is another non-native new yorker intent on identifying with America’s traditional misperceptions of new york, rather than the city’s cultural historical realities.


Well put. 81 was my freshman year, and I don’t recall seeing any crime at all, aside from the junkies in Thompkins Square.

First worlders talking about violence should check their privileges a little :v

I only remember NYC from a single few day trip that friends and I took in 1987, and being in JFK quite a few times. Myself and two other men had no problems anywhere we went at any time of day or night, but were aware. We had Larry who had spent a bit of time in NYC to guide us. Paulie, who had never left the islands (we were from) before was constantly looking up and around at the amazing architecture. I do remember Times Square back then, and its debautury. It was a very enjoyable time.

Yeah, where I grew up, a territory of the US, had a murder rate of 60.0 per 100k in 2010, rivaling #1 world wide Honduras at 60.2 per 100k. 2012 was not much better. I know I am making a comparison of a territory to a country.

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