Happy Birthday to The SoHo Memory Project

West Broadway @ Houston, 1970's (photo by Straatis on Flickr)

Tomorrow The SoHo Memory Project will celebrate its first anniversary!  Thanks to all of you who have followed us from the beginning, and a warm welcome to all of you who have joined us along the way.  In year two, I hope to take detours from the standard blog format to incorporate more images, video and sound, as well as stories from guest writers.  Please contact me at sohomemory@gmail.com with any ideas or suggestions.

Also, in the coming year, I will not be posting every week, as I have done for the past 52 weeks.  Instead, I will post about every other week,  thus freeing up some sorely needed time for me to work on my other project, New York Bound Books (www.newyorkboundbooks.com), a new website dedicated to all things New York for readers and writers.  Read my post on “The New Year in New York” here.

The New York Bound Books blog features articles about books on New York City history with annotated bibliographies, bibliographic information augmenting articles from the news, current events, and civic anniversaries, profiles of forgotten but influential New Yorkers (publishers, writers, politicians, etc.), archives, and other resources, announcements of events and newly published books about New York City, and answers to bibliographic questions about New York City history.  As many of you are New Yorkers, ex-New Yorkers, and New Yorkophiles, I’m sure you will find this new site fun and interesting.  I hope you will tune in often.

I leave you now with three videos, visual reminders of where we came from and of how far we’ve come.  My very best wishes to all for a happy and healthy new year.  See you in two weeks!

This video is not about SoHo specifically, but it depicts children in New York in the 1970s (I don’t know why it says “2002” on the screen).  It will make all of you SoHo kids will remember the old days.  Splashing in the fountain in Washington Square Park or riding your bike up and down those three green hills (were they removed in the park renovation???).  Playing ball in the streets.  Open hydrants in summer.  Riding the subway by yourself at the age of seven.  Thinking that Central Park was the countryside.  All this might sound kind of sad to someone who grew up outside the city, but, actually, it was pretty fabulous!

I’ve included this video to illustrate the context of the time frame under discussion here.  We all look back on those days nostalgically, with rose-colored glasses, but in actuality things were quite grim!  Thank goodness, as a child growing up with this as my backdrop, I did not know any better, or worse.

And I now bring you into the present, though this video is already dated as it does not mention the Kardashian store (for shame!).  No black-out curtains to be seen anywhere, and there’s even a Bloomingdales!  Progress?  You decide.

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2 Responses to “Happy Birthday to The SoHo Memory Project”

  1. BabyDave Says:

    Happy Anniversary!
    And thanks for these videos (although i haven’t yet summoned the heart to view the current-day one).
    Do you happen to have any idea, in the second video at about 2:34, is that the corner of Bedford and Downing? Where might I go to find out?
    Here’s to many more years of celebrating this city.

    • Yukie Says:

      Great eye! I paused the film, and it is indeed a shot looking down Downing Street toward Varick from Bedford Street. I cross that intersection often still. The restaurant Blue Ribbon Bakery is now where that bodega was. Don’t bother watching the third video. You’d probably find it depressing!

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