“Rather than pining for an imagined utopian past, 1970s enthusiasts yearn for the emblems of ‘Fear City,’ the symbols of dystopia”
If cleanliness is next to godliness, then New York City in the 1970s was practically satanic. Rank with rotting garbage, the streets teemed with rats. When David Johansen, the lead singer of the proto-punk group New York Dolls, shouted, “Trash, go pick it up!” on their 1973 single “Trash,” he wasn’t being figurative. Sanitation workers were being laid off; so were cops and other public servants. The days of…
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