Tag Archives: new york subway

New York City Subway 1986

Something that's normally mundane can become interesting in the proper context.  Video shot in the subway is pretty boring stuff, unless of course the video is 25 years old and provides a snapshot in time.  The video below was shot in the NYC subway system in 1986 and it's fascinating to me because if you didn't know the date of the filming you'd have to look fairly closely to figure out what's different about it.  Sure there are some women wearing dresses with shoulder pads, and some of the shoes have a decidedly old school look to them, but unlike every 80s movie ever made there's not a single pair of parachute pants or Thriller-esque leather jacket to be found.  What you will notice after a while is that not a single person is carrying a phone or other mobile device, which means that people are standing or walking without distraction.  You'll also notice an incredible amount of graffiti on the trains compared to today, and it's a reminder of what it was like before New York adopted the broken windows theory in the 90s.  So yes, this seemingly mundane film is actually a fascinating piece of history.