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New York City was a s**thole in the '80s

Before it was the "concrete jungle where dreams were made of," it was a "concrete jungle where dreams go to die."

Photographer Steven Siegel has been leaving fans of his Flickr photostream in awe with his gritty pictures featuring New York in the 1980s.

"When young people today look at my shots from the 1980’s, they are aghast. To them, New York of the 1980’s is almost unrecognizable. And they are right," said Siegel in an interview with 12ozProphet.

While the New York that Siegel has captured may look like a foreign country to some recent transplants, the photographer admits that "some older people are nostalgic for 'the good old days.' For example, they remember the Times Square of the 80’s… And what they remember is not so much the danger but the grittiness and (for lack of a better word) the authenticity."

To some, these photos may seen unappealing and and sleazy, which Siegel acknowledges. "There was sleaze, but there were also video arcades, cheap movies, restaurants, and weird places."

Some of Seigel's best shots of the "pre-Guiliani era” below. Check out the rest of them on his flickr feed!

 
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