Thursday Throwback: Documentary of Lower East Side, Circa 1983 [Video]

Posted on: October 20th, 2011 at 6:28 am by

Over the summer, the folks at Dangerous Minds uncovered a stellar video documenting 1960s life on the Lower East Side. All in color. It’s a stunning look at a time most often seen in black-and-white. Now another fascinating clip has come to light, this one showing the neighborhood in 1983.

French filmmaker Marie Martine directed this short documentary that harkens back to pre-gold-rush life on the Lower East Side, principally at Avenue B and East 11th Street. The time-capsule experience is synchronized to the music of Alan Vega, Wipeout Beat, Decade of Decay, Martin Rev, and The False Prophets; plus, the sounds of everyday life were also thrown into the mix. Bask in what was.

It’s twenty minutes, so set aside a nice block of time to watch.  The recently-shuttered Life Cafe is at the 17:00 mark…

http://vimeo.com/30811222

And because it’s so fitting, we’ll follow suit and include an excerpt from New York Magazine in May 1984.

In the seventies hundreds of buildings were abandoned, buildings with no heat, no hot water, no locks. The landlords had wrung all the money they could get out of them….Today [1984] whole blocks between Avenues A and D are lined with the carcasses of buildings. Vast stretches of land are covered with crumbled bricks and cement. Until recently, lines of drug buyers snaked around the blocks….When Father Moloney found a dead body near the Christadora Building last year, the police acted almost unconcerned. ‘We are in a no man’s land,’ he was told. ‘They can dump anything they want here.”

Recent Stories

orchard-hell-retail
Orchard Hell Building Retail Units Sell For $21M

Ever since the branded sidewalk bridge arrived in October, the commercial retail in the base of the 23-story Orchard Hell Building has been dormant. Cushman & Wakefield is still pimping the properties – separate from the Hotel Indigo upstairs – for possible flagship usage. But now, a wrinkle in the story… The Real Deal reported […]

farmhouse-ludlow
‘Farmhouse Restaurant’ Replaces Sebastian LC on Ludlow Street

Our suspicions about the Sebastian LC closure late last year were at least partially confirmed this week. Yes, the corner restaurant is back open, but not with the same moniker. Management is forsaking the French fare for the more generic American style cuisine. Farmhouse Restaurant announced itself a couple days ago with a new sign […]

whynot-orchard
Whynot Cafe on Orchard Street Fails, Looks to Become ‘Sushi Wa’

Whynot, because it couldn’t. Whynot Cafe failed to gain traction due in large part to its inability to secure a full liquor license. Their two bids met stiff resistance from the community including the LES Dwellers. And now it’s on last legs. Rumblings of its closure had circulated for the last week, but their PR […]

goa-taco-extension
Goa-Taco Extends Its Residency on Delancey Another Month; Scouting Permanent Location

Fans of Goa-Taco on Delancey Street will be happy to hear this. The tiny lunch counter alongside Grey Lady just reupped its tenancy for an additional month, and will continue to serve Paratha tacos here through the end of March. “The response has been really positive with us being in the area,” owner Duvaldi Marneweck […]

essex-market-demolition-1
Plywood Fence Arrives at Essex Market Buildings for Demolition Ahead of Essex Crossing

It begins… The first plywood fence of the Essex Crossing mega-project just arrived, with the rear parking lot of 115 Delancey Street now cordoned off. Demolition of the one-story warehouse building is slated to commence early next week – likely Monday – and kick off more than a decade of dust and (additional) noise in […]