Stories from the 70s-90s?

Paradise-Cub

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I’m thinking of setting my project around these time periods with an urban backdrop and would love to hear any stories from older members here who might be up for sharing! ( Bonus if you got any NYC related ones! )

Everyone from my family over 25 was born and raised on the islands and only really came over to NYC late 80s/early 90s. I would ask my extended family but recent-ish family drama makes that a bit awkward for now, my mother was only really here for a bit of the 90s.
 

FAWKS

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Honestly, I'd say go watch the first few episodes of "Stranger Things - Season 1". It does a pretty good job of portraying the daily life of 90's kids in middle class America.

Life, at least for kids, revolved around:
- School
- Hanging out with friends
- Biking around to places nearby

Nobody really had access to phones and if you managed to get money, you'd usually spend it on either movies, the arcade or games and toys. Card games like Pokemon and Yugioh had just come out and were SUPER POPULAR.

I was born in the 90's, so thats been my experience.

I remember having a MASSIVE crush on a girl that lived about ~10 miles away from me who went to the same school. We became really good friends in elementary and every weekend we would hop on our bikes and each bike about 5 miles to meet each other on the local hiking trails. From there, we would go hang out, check out shops, play games in the woods, people watch and talk about how things were doing at our houses. Basically everything you'd do while dating someone, but without the titles or lovey dovey stuff. It was honestly one of the best friendships of my childhood and I'm sorry for kids nowadays that don't get to develop friendships that way. One time we literally just threw rocks at bigger rocks in a quarry trying to find hidden gems/geodes and had a blast (even though we never found any because they were just rocks)! The day I had to move away was horrible because back then the internet wasn't what it is today (dial up....ugh) and being on the phone literally meant standing in the kitchen tying up the landline (nobody else could use the phone and no other calls could come in) and remembering peoples numbers was something you needed to do.

So yeah, that's my story from the 90's. Sorry if it's not what you're going for, but I hope it helps all the same. Also this isn't in NYC.
 

TeiRaven

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A hand-me-down story I've heard is that New York City used to be so clean that you could walk fearlessly down the street barefoot--which is unfathomable to me, who has only seen it since ~2000 and would not dare wear sandals there, nevermind go barefoot XD

I couldn't tell you when exactly that was--presumably sometime between the 70s-80s, based on who told it, but I can't say for certain.
 

gstv87

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well, if movies and tv shows are anything to go by, make the environment overly smokey.
everyone was smoking back then, indoors, outdoors, in cars, in offices, restaurants, hotels, everywhere.
if you knew the brands of cigarettes, you could tell who smoked what just by the smell.
 

Paradise-Cub

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@FAWKS The contrast in how one might spend their time is still helpful!
 
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pawsplay

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Have you ever watched Everybody Hates Chris?
 

KenKrath

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Instead of watching shows set in the 80's watch shows that were actually filmed in the 80's.

Some things I recall growing up in the 80's:

-The cold war and the fear of nuclear war (Watch: The Day After)
-Vietnam war was still on people's mind
-No mass internet meant hanging out with friends in person
-Sports cards were big (i.e. baseball card)
-Music was different obviously (I suggest checking out 80's music videos) and a big thing the 80's folks today will identify with the most. Look at Madonna and Cyndi Lauper videos for female fashion.
-Thundercats, Transformers, Ghostbusters, G.I. Joe, Mask, Centurions, TMNT, Jem, Care Bears were popular mid/late 80's cartoons. He-man and Scooby Doo were earlier.
-Video stores rentals. Buying a VHS cost ~$80 so video movie rentals were popular. Movies were one of the biggest topics as a kid.
-No on demand TV. Record the show and watch it later, or watch what is on. We used to have to use a manual T.V. Guide that came in the Sunday newspaper.
-Stock tickers were slow (1987 stock crash in October)
-Debit/Credit Cards were not as popular as they are today. And no instant processing either. No internet payments either. Mail in your check to pay bill.
-No cancel culture. In other words you didn't have to be "politically correct." And most folks liked Reagan.
-Cars were like boxes
-Gas was cheap in the mid/late 80's (Here is a link)
-Movement to make people aware of drunk driving (kind of like the TRUTH youth smoking over the past decade). Some of these commercials were literally scary.
-Slasher movies were in (Friday, Nightmare, Halloween). They also depended on camera angles more instead of special effects.
-We did have internet but not many people had it. It was also used to acquire video games illegally like napster in the 90's.
-Car phones were cool.
-Microwaves started to become affordable and T.V. dinners were a thing
-I'd say average T.V. per household was 2
-Nintendo revolutionized home gaming in mid/late 80's
-Walkmen were really cool. Cassette tapes and boom boxes were big.
-Adults were comparing home stereo systems. This came with two vertical speakers, tape player, record player, and EQ (that no one used).
-Mall music performers were a thing (check out Tiffany's I Think We're Alone Now)
-Like today there was unrest in the middle east
-One thing about NYC (which I visited in the 80's) is public transportation was used safely as a kid in the daytime. The use is still common today too, so you could get to places with relative ease. Not sure about the safety though.
-Ninja/Kung Fu movies were cool
-Christopher Reeves was Superman
-Kids wanted to be the next big sports star. Maybe it's the same today?
-The stars of the 80's: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sly, Michael J. Fox, Kirk Cameron, Lea Thompson, Madonna, Michael Jackson (sometimes ostracized too), NKOTB (for girls), Tina Turner, Whitney Houston, Demi Moore, Christina Applegate, Phil Collins, Hulk Hogan, Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy.
 

Germelshausen

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Can't really comment on it myself, just the stories of my insane uncle. He is a busybody gearhead at heart working as a homebuilder in Illinois when he isn't busy sticking his head under the hoods of antiquated automobiles. In the late 1980's he started making round trips to out west, mostly California (we've got extended family over there apparently), bringing back a myriad of cheap classic cars to restore at his shop in Illinois. It was a very lucrative business at the time, rebuilding classics for auto collectors in the Midwest and the East where these old girls are considerably rarer due to the "Salt Belt".

When the border was considerably more lax before the late 1990's, he oftentimes drove with a buddy to Mexico to attend car shows or just to pick up a new project car. He raced in one of his restoration projects, a 1954 Mercury Monterey, in the "Carrera Panamericana" in the 1990's to the mid-2000's. Its a interesting spectacle seeing only classic cars race between Tuxtla Gutiérrez and Ciudad Juárez. I don't recall exactly where they had met, but during the race he met his Venezuelan wife (a considerably different time), presumably Mexico City.

The only time I know when he was in NYC was as a teenager stealing champagne glasses with my aunt and mother at some wedding celebration. Apparently he stumbled out of the party, hurled on a passing cab, and jumped back in for another round. They made several trips to NYC to see extended family in the 1980's but there's nothing particularly noteworthy about those trips.
 

Former_Sky

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-I almost forgot how we had to blow in cartridges to get some NES games working.
-Trying to mess with the rabbit ear antenna to get the best signal.
-Be kind, rewind. Likewise, heading to the rental store to grab a movie or a game to rent.
-I remember back in the 90s how you could rent entire systems, what a treat to play n64 games without buying the whole thing.
 

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