Brooklyn, Photography, Wanderlust Wednesday
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Wanderlust Wednesday: Brooklyn…in the 1970’s

Photo by Danny Lyon / NARA

Ok, so this is technically a cop out – I mean you can’t go back in time (yet…). But Business Insider posted these great photos from Danny Lyon / National Archives and Records Administration of 1970’s Brooklyn and they are so fascinating. I know that I am totally letting collective nostalgia get the best of me, but what person who respects art and creativity doesn’t have a semi-dream view of pre-gentrification areas such as Bushwick, Park Slope, parts of Harlem etc. Of course I know there were huge problems both socially and economically, but I can’t help envisioning all of the multi-racial community happenings – the camaraderie, the resourcefulness that people in those neighborhoods had to possess in order to express themselves creatively. It all sounds like some sort of utopian pocket of happy innercity kids which, when I put it that way, sounds horrible, naive, and unrealistic. Ugh.

I guess I want to go back in time because I like imagining that community that I could never be a part of, and that also cannot be recreated. Living in Williamsburg now, in what my co-worker informed me is called an “intentional community,” I’m starting to feel sad about the gentrification (not because I didn’t feel bad before, just because this is adding to my sadness). But I’m not going to talk about my thoughts on gentrification because that’s way too involved when all I’m really trying to do is share some pictures of awesome looking 1970’s Brooklynites, so without further ado:

Bushwick, looking pretty much the same except with more non-white people (damn you gentrification!)
Photo by Danny Lyon / NARA

LYNCH PARK IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY. June 1974 Photo by Danny Lyon / NARA

Apartments in Fort Greene, June 1974 Photo by Danny Lyon / NARA

 

Photo by Danny Lyon / NARA

 

Photo by Danny Lyon / NARA

I love this, I want to find it and see if it’s still there: BLACK SPORTS HEROES ARE THE MOTIFS IN THESE WALL PAINTINGS ON NOSTRAND AVENUE IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY. July 1974 Photo by Danny Lyon / NARA

BOY SCOUT LEADER RECRUITING AMONG LATINO YOUTHS IN THE BEDFORD-STUYVESANT DISTRICT OF BROOKLYN IN NEW YORK CITY. June 1974 Photo by Danny Lyon / NARA

Seriously, this is awesome, no beach left in all of New York State looks like this: CHILDREN AT RIIS PARK, A PUBLIC BEACH IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY. July 1974 Photo by Danny Lyon / NARA

 

LATIN YOUTHS AT LYNCH PARK IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY. June 1974 Photo by Danny Lyon / NARA

RKO BUSHWICK THEATER IN BROOKLYN, NEW YORK CITY. July 1974 Photo by Danny Lyon / NARA

 

 

PUERTO RICAN BOYS PLAYING SOFTBALL IN BROOKLYN’S HIGHLAND PARK IN NEW YORK CITY. July 1974 Photo by Danny Lyon / NARA

 

 

Admit it, it looks awesome and utopian. Everyone is happy. I know what I’m saying is wrong but the evidence is there! Just look! Time travel is the only answer.

 

Also you can see some more pictures from Danny Lyon’s 1970’s Brooklyn that I didn’t post on Business Insider.

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: “Creating Hipsturbia”: Is Gentrification Pushing Out The Creative Class? « The Narcissistic Anthropologist

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