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

girls-bowery
HBO’s ‘Girls’ is Filming on the Bowery Today

Lena Dunham and the Girls crew will be filming scenes in and around the Bowery today. The shoot is to capture scenes for the upcoming fourth season of the hit HBO series. Laminated signs mark the territory, lining the west side of the Bowery and bending around to Kenmare Street into Little Italy. Season 4 […]

trainwreck-judd-apatow
Filming ‘Trainwreck’ with Judd Apatow & Amy Schumer on Orchard Street [PHOTOS]

Director Judd Apatow and the Trainwreck team pitched camp at the northeast corner of Orchard and Grand Streets yesterday afternoon. Right outside Sheila’s Decorating. The scene in question was an exterior “intersection” sequence shot near the entrance to Jodamo (of Pink Building fame). This was the second time in a week that production transpired on […]

volang-orchard-closed
Volang Boutique Shutters After 4-Year Tenure on Orchard Street

A few weeks shy of its fourth anniversary on the Lower East Side, women’s boutique, Volang, packed up and left. We passed 147 Orchard Street yesterday afternoon to find the store a ghost town. There are no updates via social media or website announcement, and the phone line is “not accepting calls at this time.” […]

melani-pizza-1
Hakki’s Rivington Pizza Parlor Renamed ‘Melani Pizza’; Full Liquor License Sought

Hakki’s “famous” World Champion Pizza at 170 Rivington Street is no longer in the Lower East Side game. Within the last few weeks, the store seemingly changed hands, and currently carries a new identity. The parlor is now called Melani Pizzeria. The store itself underwent some change as well, including a major cleanup and better dining […]

black-scale-prince
Black Scale is Moving Its Flagship to 4 Prince Street

The Black Scale flagship boutique at 296 Elizabeth Street is reportedly moving to the Bowery. More precisely, to the embattled eastern fringe of Prince Street, which has seen its fair share of retail turnover the last couple years. We are told the Black Scale streetwear brand will soon re-launch inside the old Seasonal Whispers store […]