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New York City has changed a whole lot over the past 30 years. Vintage photos of the city usually show how cool and beautiful everything used to be, but  Steven Siegel's shots show the real New York. In a recent interview with 12ozProphet, Siegel talked about his images and the reactions that the younger generation has to seeing the grimy side of the city: "When young people today look at my shots from the 1980s, they are aghast. To them, New York of the 1980s is almost unrecognizable. And they are right."

Bushwick, 1982. Image via Steven Siegel
Hole in the Manhattan Bridge walkway. Image via Steven Siegel
Image via Steven Siegel
The Bowery. Image via Steven Siegel
Junkyard subway. Image via Steven Siegel

Siegel adds that the older people who remember the city of the '80s are often nostalgic. "What they remember is not so much the danger but the grittiness and (for lack of a better word) the authenticity," he said. "Others’ reactions to these same photos could not be more different. If they’re over a certain age, they remember the high crime, the twin crises of AIDS and crack, the racial tension, the lurid tabloid headlines about the latest street crime. They say: It was a nightmare, and thank God it’s over."

To see more of Siegel's photos, check out his Flickr.

[via Gothamist]