I just got done watching the ball drop, on TV this time. As 1977 rolled into 1978 and 1979 rolled into 1980, I saw the ball drop, in person, in a very different New York City. The first time, NYC had just emerged from the Summer of Sam and the looting and arson connected to the July 1977 blackouts. The overall atmosphere as pervaded by crime, sleaze and decline. The question was whether it was even safe to go into New York City at night. Things were a bit better the second time. Koch was mayor, and I was with the college girlfriend that wound up setting me up with my wife. There were faint signs of revival.
Now, watching it on TV, New York City was obviously the world capital. Live music performances, including Jimmy Buffet in Brooklyn, were everywhere, NYC was clearly the place to be. Frank Sinatra’s last major hit, “New York New York” blared from the speakers.
Now a short history lesson. George Washington was inaugurated as President for his first term on Wall Street. While NYC’s turn as national capital didn’t last long, it has become the vital, throbbing heart of the world.
I am proud to be a New Yorker.