West Side Rag columnist Maria Gorshin directed our attention to this delightful home movie made in 1971 by Nicholas West and posted on YouTube. The sleek cars, the vintage buses, the men in stylish hats, the ladies perched on benches in the median, the faded graffiti peace sign, the glimpse of the old New Yorker movie theater, and the strange sequence toward the end of the movie where the camera follows a boy as he runs away, all make the 3 and a half minute film worth checking out. West offers this description of the video, which you can watch below. (When you’re done, check out some images of the neighborhood from 1982.)
“A view of Broadway, 1971, taken from the northern traffic island at Broadway and 88th St, Manhattan NYC. Also included at the end is a short segment filmed from the northwest corner of West End Avenue and 89th St.
I made this film when I was a teenager, with an old Bell & Howell Filmo 16mm newsreel camera that my Dad bought for me from a thrift shop for $5. This is the only film I ever made with that camera. The film’s speed is indeed slowed down, but I did that in the digital conversion for upload to YouTube, in order to make it easier to see what was going on.”