I still have parents, and I still love the old world.

Since everything is Watergate-mania this week, this alternative view of the United States in the 1970s is worth a few minutes of your time today.  Check out this old-school, shaky-cam cinema verité video accompanied by the Modern Lovers’s “Old World,” (1972):

If you watch the video closely you’ll see a New York that’s hard to come by even in the outer boroughs, let alone Manhattan anymore:  laundry hanging out to dry over the street, a huckster’s pushcart full of vegetables for sale, and a shot of the World Trade Center’s twin towers under construction.  This was not a video created in 1972 by the band, but rather by a fan for YouTube–you’ll notice that several of the shots probably show early 1980s cars rather than 1970s cars only, for example–but it’s an affectionate pastiche of New York City in and around the decade of the 1970s.

I welcome reflections and criticism from those who remember New York in the 1970s.  (I was too young and too far away to know–I never saw the city until the mid-1980s as a teenager.)

3 thoughts on “I still have parents, and I still love the old world.

  1. It’s funny, you can definitely hear that Lou Reed-tinted guitar work here. Don’t have any idea how to place it in philosophical terms, how it would have been received at a loft party, when lofts were just lofts. Musically, New York in the 1970s makes me think of John Lennon, Yoko Ono and stuff like that there.

    My building is looking for a couple of new tenants, and the signs hanging in front advert to modern amenities, but “old world charm,” and I was just thinking about the ambiguities invested in the latter term.


  2. Thanks for a fantastic musical interlude. The first time I visited NYC was as a college student out visiting a girlfriend in upstate New York in 1989. The city had a magnetic pull on us because we were both theater majors at the time (technical theater, not acting!). Her dad, a law professor, bundled us up in his minivan and drove us down to NYC to have a lunch lunch with a buddy of his who worked at a high powered law firm with an expense account to prove it. We had an epic four hour lunch at an Italian Restaurant whose name I have long forgotten. It was probably the first time I had eaten honest to gosh Italian food, not the Pizzeria Uno variety from SoCal. We had apperativo, plenty of wine with the meal, and finished it off with Espresso and Sambuca. The subsequent walking tour of Manhattan was wobbly but educational. We saw Times Square in its seedy glory, Central Park, fifth avenue and a host of other places I will never remember.


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