In the mid-1970’s, Brian Moss — a born and raised Upper West Sider — was a student at the High School of Music & Art, and he started to take photos of the neighborhood. Now a professional photographer, Moss recently found his old negatives and scanned them in. We’ve posted several below and you can see more here.

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Riverside Park basketball courts at 76th Street. Mel.

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Kids from Lincoln Towers.

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Riverside Park, the playground at 76th Street.

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Riverside Park. Hudson River barge probably just south of the 79th Street Boat Basin

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Riverside Park. Entrance to tunnel under West Side Highway at 72nd Street.

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76th Street between West End and Riverside Drive. The New York Times Magazine cover date February 16, 1975.

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West End Avenue looking south.

ART, HISTORY | 20 comments | permalink
    1. Mark says:

      Oh look back when the neighborhood was affordable and it doesn’t look like the apocalypse everyone would have you believe the 70s were. We could all use a little more 1970s New York in our lives these days.

      • WombatNYC says:

        +1 – Could not agree more. You need 2 Million for a 2 bedroom on the Upper West Side.. Insanity

        • Melanie says:

          Unless you’re selling…

        • NewUWS says:

          seriously, you people want 70s NY back? It was cheap because nobody wanted to live here. Now everyone does, so it costs more. Thats how capitalism and democracy work. If you are looking for cheap housing, there are places in American you can move to. Living in the city is not a right from God, its a privilege, and an expensive one, which is precisely how it should be if everyone wants something.

          • aaaa says:

            not to mention there are still parts of NYC that are affordable and aren’t too different from ‘1970’s UWS’. Just move there

    2. Sherman says:

      Cool pics!

      It was interesting to see Manhattan’s last gasp of semi-innocence before the the city started going down the toilet in the late 1970s.

      Thank goodness most New Yorkers are no longer as naive and liberal as they were during the city’s pre-Giuliani dark days.

      • ls says:

        Where are you from and when did you move to NYC?

        Was a little kid then but have positive memories of UWS in 1970s. Recall it as community.

    3. Jacqueline says:

      First photo is of Melvin Coates. Long time UWS resident. He was a gifted basketball player. Long deceased now, so good to see him here.

    4. John says:

      The UWS is so much greener now. Thank you to whoever planted and cared for the trees.

    5. toto says:

      I see my block 71st Street and me waiting to cross the street.

    6. Ron Kapon says:

      I sure do remember Little Mel as well as Big Mel & Bob the opera singer. Those were fun days playing hoops at the 76 Street courts. Little Mel was quite the player when he was sober. I am still in touch with Kevin C & Clinton B from those days.
      I am 80 & still ride my bike to the courts to watch some of the games.

    7. Sally F says:

      Brian, I’ve seen some of your NYC photos on this website, always enjoy them. Today I clicked on the link above to see more, and I found your “Shelter Dog” collection. I looked at every single picture and was in tears the whole time! Beautiful pictures, wonderful and precious dogs…

      • brian moss says:

        hey sally, thank you for your kind words…its heart breaking and heart warming work, but there is no doubt a good portrait of a shelter dog can change the dogs life [as well as the human that adopts him/her]

    8. Jane says:

      Hi Brian,
      Great photos and Blast from the past! Thanks for posting, bet you have many more of the basketball courts. I’ll have to dig out mine – I remember one of you, your sister and dog. Hope to see you in this decade!