Saturday, June 17, 2006

NY Art Scene 1974--84

Does anyone around have any thoughts or memories of the NY scene, 1974-84? I certainly remember the trains. Seen Vs. PJ on the #6 line. Seen was the ultimate king! I remember Kieth Haring everywhere. I really didn't to the East Village at all, because my mom who was a school nurse on the lower east side said not to. Everyone knew that you didn't learn to read in Alphabet City.

The High School I went to in Queens, the talk was all about Rapp and was it music. The guys from Run DMC, who I think were in my school sure thought it was. The crew of music teachers sobbed that it wasn't. I was listening to old Who records and the Dead, but beating the brat sounded cool.

One of my favorite shows as a kid was Welcome Back Kotter. The show that personified the sort of self loathing and shame that NYers seemed to have for themselves and showed so vividly what suburban America thought of cities. Why would this guy go and live in city? That was the whole concept. Everyone who liked NY must have been crazy or gay or on drugs. I didn't get that at all, to me it was obvious that suburbia sucked so bad and that NY was so great. But for the most part, NYers themselves didn't think so.

But the blunt fact was that the city was damn dangerous and not a joke.

I remember the period afterwards a lot better and I know one thing. A lot of the people who believed in NY are now insanely rich.

1 comment:

Merge Divide said...

If anyone is interested... there is a great documentary that was released by Plexifilm on DVD... it's called "Style Wars", and it presents a wide view of street artists and b-boy culture during the time that John is talking about. And it's got loads of great extras including a photograph gallery of train pieces by Seen, Daze, Kase 2, Dondi...etc. Henry Chalfant was the producer. Good stuff that I return to often.