I just came across this great video from WBNS-TV Columbus shot across Brooklyn and Manhattan on May 20, 1999. This was back before HD cameras were the norm, so WBNS sent a few of their videographers to New York in order to test out their new toy for the first time.

It's so evident that this video was shot in a totally different era. The pre-9/11 America that I grew up in just seems so carefree in retrospect. Of course there were problems, but it was a world of innocence when compared to the world we're a part of today. There were no constant threats, no overwhelming fear, no images of fireballs and unimaginable destruction seared into our minds. Those were the sorts of things you'd read about in books or see in films. We never anticipated it becoming part of our own realities.

I don't expect the world to ever return to this form in my lifetime, but at least we can take a moment to look back at what once was.


I love coming across stuff like this. We live in an era of technological wonder, so we've grown accustomed to documenting our everyday lives through Facebook, Twitter, Vine, and all the countless other forms of social media and video sharing that I'm overlooking. Even though I live in Philadelphia, I can get a clear idea of exactly what it's like to ride the subway in Hong Kong, land at San Francisco International Airport, or take a trip on the TransMilenio rapid transit bus system in Bogota, Colombia. Sure, social media can be invasive in some regards, but incredibly educational in others.

This video chronicles the journey of a few characters impeccably adorned in 80s fashion taking a 14-mile trek on the N train from 14th St./Union Square in Manhattan down to Coney Island/Stillwell Ave. in Brooklyn. 

The graffiti will jump right out at you, which was a major problem with the New York City subway system in the 1970s and 1980s. Despite it not looking like the safest or most attractive setting, I love the diversity of the riders in this video -- both those who are the main focus and the people in the background who are just trying to mind their own business. Even a simple ride on a city's mass transit system can be a reminder that you aren't the main focus; that you're part of something bigger.

Go ahead and enjoy a grainy, carefree ride from 1987: