My husband and I were both born and raised in New York City. I moved to the suburbs with my family in my teens and promptly returned after college. We have a love/hate relationship with this place. Sometimes the weather is unbearable and there’s so much schlepping around to get where you are going or persnickety bus or taxi drivers and expensive fares. Still, to us NYC is the center of the universe. It’s where exuberant, creative people come to machete down their path no matter how tough the weeds. It’s where every culture and socio-economic group co-exist and can talk freely at cocktail parties about their rent. NYC is where things shift and change and yet there is so much history in the architecture and institutions that there’s always an element of same-ness.
We relish movies that show NYC in different times (Annie Hall anyone?). We’ll watch and remark “oh my gosh can you believe the upper westside was a ‘bad’ neighborhood?!” or “holy cow look at Times Square before it became a tourist mecca and home to the M&M store and Build-a-Bear factory”. That’s why this awesome New York Times piece got us buzzing. It features one of the best (yes, I have no hesitations here) and earliest casts of S.N.L out together post show. Photographer Kenneth Siegel, captured the group and other shots of people in Times Square as I remember it (not first hand, I was not even born then…but from films like Midnight Cowboy). Don’t think these guys were loitering around the TKTS booth or waiting in line to Build-a-Bear.