While researching my recent article on Dead Horse Bay, I happened to come across a NY Times article on 101 things to love about New York City. Normally, I don’t pay any attention to Best Of lists, but this one caught my eye because it was written in 1976. I think it’s the oldest one I’ve ever seen.
I thought it might be funny, but a lot of it just confused me. Here are some choice selections (for anyone who was living in NYC in 1976, I’d love to hear your thoughts):
101 Things To Love About New York City (in 1976)
1) Being nostalgic about things in New York that were never that great
Ha, I LOVE that people were doing this as far back as the mid-70s…but what NYC time period were people nostalgic for then? The 1940s?
3) Habitually fitting your thumbnail in the Y-cutout of a subway token
Yep, can’t do this anymore. Is there something similar people do with that little angular edge on a Metrocard?
6) The Staten Island Advance
Nothing against Staten Island’s daily newspaper, but why so high on the list?
7) The night they move the jet pattern over another neighborhood
I don’t think I’ve ever noticed this problem. Was this a bigger issue in the 1970s?
8) Dialing 873-0404
Don’t bother trying it – it’s been disconnected – but from the 1960s-1980s, this was the Dial-A-Satellite hotline, providing you with daily information about passing satellites.
26) The worst public image in the nation
29) How everyone else hates New York
30) Hating New York
84) Thinking what New York could be, if only
There seems to be a trend.
34) Alternate side of the street parking suspended
How did one know if alternate side parking was unexpectedly suspended back in 1976? The newspaper?
35) Flipping the change tray in the plastic taxicab divider
I suppose swiping your credit card while watching a clip from last night’s Tonight Show isn’t really the same thing.
36) Austin Street, Queens
I definitely don’t get this one.
43) Page 1,029 of the Manhattan telephone directory under “Ng.”
I don’t get this one either.
46) More movies, plays, and ballet than anywhere else in the world, and not going
50) The Parachute Jump in February
What was going on with Coney Island’s Parachute Jump in February ’76?
51) Northern Boulvard
This may be the only time Northern Boulevard has ever made a top anything list
65) The background teletype noise on 1010 WINS
It’s still there!
69) East-siders on the West Side
Exactly what social migration is this referring to?
76) Looking for a place you know on the dirty restaurant list
Now you can just look at the grade hanging in the window
91) The apostrophe missing from DONT WALK
Were there really so few things to love about New York in 1976?
92) Johnny Carson is gone / 93) Chevy Chase isn’t
Ha, #93 certainly dates the list.
You can read the entire thing here.
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