I saw this clip from the Romano-Archives floating around the internet today. What caught my attention — other than the stunning quality of the film — was how eerily similar these people are to those of us today. Well, other than the clothing, cars and price of potatoes.
Their mannerisms and reactions to sites around them (and how that one guy’s hat stays on while riding that double-decker bus). The kids playing in the fountains of Washington Square Park. The guy enjoying a cold beer on a hot summer day. People bustling to work. And (of course) the tourists gazing in amazement.
The landscape of the city may keep changing, but the essence of what NYC has always been remains the same. It’s a magnet for tourists and adventure seekers. It’s still a place where people come to ‘make it’ or to just lose themselves. And with the quality of this film being so crisp, it makes this revelation somehow seem even more true.
It also seems that what we thought was a new direction of the city is not all that new. I’m talking about the area becoming more family friendly. It’s all evolution. Things happen in cycles. Some friends show concern about the influx of ‘family values’ and did at one time too. But now I don’t know. Now it seems that this is a good thing.
As long as we don’t lose sense of who we are, we’ll be fine. We can be family oriented without whitewashing the area into some boring suburban hell hole. We can have the art, the culture, the hustle, the music and still welcome the families.
Trust me, it could work.
OK. I’m off my soapbox. Enjoy the video: