I found a fascinating snapshot of NYC history in our video archive:
From our video team’s intro:
From 1972 to 1982, Sheldon Nadelman worked as a bartender at the “roughest bar in town”—Terminal Bar, directly across from the Port Authority. When he wasn’t pouring drinks, Nadelman was taking photographs of his patrons. […] Over 10 years, Nadelman made more than 1,500 black and white portraits of bouncers and boxers, actors and cooks, businesspeople and hustlers.
Thirty years later, his son, animator Stefan Nadelman, created Terminal Bar, a funky documentary based on the photos. Featuring an interview with Sheldon, the film looks back at '70s New York, now long gone.
Here’s the full 22-minute documentary:
A reader reflects on that seedy part of the city’s past:
As a teenager during the ‘70s, all I remember about the old 42nd Street were Tad’s Steaks, Nedicks hotdogs, and the dilapidated movie houses showing kung-fu movies—double feature for a buck. I probably walked by Terminal Bar many times but never paid attention to it.
I worked in an office building on 42nd street and 8th avenue next to the Port Authority right during the time that they ripped down the old 42nd Street and put up the new one. That was strange to see so much empty space temporarily.
Another reader is wistful:
I found I could actually smell that street. It wasn’t a good smell, but it was “New York, 1970.” I miss it.