Video: Take a gritty summertime subway ride to Coney Island–in 1987

August 19, 2016

From the archives of ’80s NYC nightlife videographer Nelson Sullivan comes this summertime classic video. Young Village Voice writer Michael Musto, artist Albert Crudo, and photographer Liz Lizard with her two kids in tow join Sullivan on the trip to Coney Island from Manhattan on a very different subway than we’re used to today (h/t acapuck via Reddit). Their destination, too, won’t look the least bit familiar to anyone who’s visited the aforementioned beach destination in recent years, though there are many among us who fondly remember the beautiful decay of the boardwalk environs and the thrill of its garish attractions in the pre-MCU, pre Keyspan days.

We never tire of checking out the graffiti-covered cars and fellow riders who probably only look more menacing. And at some moments if you don’t look too hard, everything appears pretty much the same: The noise, the heat, the underground grit–and the fact that when it comes to fashion, everything a few decades old looks cool and new again.

As the long-gone streetscape passes by, the marquee at the also-long-gone Loew’s Oriental (it’s now a Marshall’s) advertises “Beverly Hills Cop II” and “The Untouchables” in a snapshot from a moment in culture. Another difference from today’s F train crowd: No cell phones, of course. “But how did they shoot the video?” you may ask. That, young one, is a story for another day.


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