I have never really spent a lot of time on the Business Insider website, so I don’t know why they have a fairly significant article culling images of NYC from the early 1970’s. It does speak to the evolution of images in journalism and potential new ways to leverage those images for real cultural reporting…even in a business publication.

There are a huge number of reasons to be a total sucker for this article. The images are old enough to look clearly of a different historical era, the degradation of the color quality helps, the clothing/cars/architecture all place these images in a time gone by which is still close enough to be remembered. The power though is in that juxtaposition of a time far enough removed to be obviously long gone but still have lots of referents that connect with specific personal and community memories. This was an interesting time in New York, it hadn’t turned the corner into a really functional city, remember the city almost went bankrupt in ‘74/’75. The middle class had largely abandoned the Burroughs for the suburbs and the gentrification of the 90’s wasn’t even a possibility. Television had whole series like  ‘Welcome Back Kotter’, ‘Barney Miller’ and ‘Taxi’ devoted to the mythic lore of the melting pot that the city was supposed to be.