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.