"Where were you in 1986?" asks the nostalgia-inducing subtitle to this five-minute Super 8 tour of one videographer's journey from Miami to New York, which solidly chronicles the pre-gentrified city. After some shaky shot-from-the-airplane captures of Midtown and the Empire State Building (which, let's face it, just don't get old), our dear tourist visits the Twin Towers and the East River waterfront promenade in Turtle Bay, plus captures the Staten Island Ferry passing the Statue of Liberty. After some frames of ordinary buses, tenements, and traffic lights, we see a streetscape reflected in a puddle (oooh, artsy) and a newsstand from the days when they actually had dozens of newspapers stacked and ready to sell. Then there's the great Greenwich Village pan, filmed on West 8th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues. Three pigeons peck at the asphalt while trash lines both gutters. The street is nearly empty, and three now-gone spots?the 8th Street Playhouse;
the an original Barnes & Noble; and Crazy Eddie on Sixth?take center stage. The image quickly jumps to a pandhandler wearing some kind of cape while brown paper-bagging it. Classy. Flaming Pablum categorizes the whole thing "Vanishing Downtown." Yup, sounds about right.
· West 8th Street in `86 [Flaming Pablum]
· All Video Interlude posts [Curbed]