Compared to the 1970s, the 1980s were a time of restrained optimism in New York. The boom on Wall Street was fueling the speculative real estate market, and unemployment numbers dropped noticeably. However, the city’s reputation for crime and disorder was still very much a part of New Yorkers’ daily lives.
The illegal drug trade flourished, causing the murder rate to soar, and dividing the city into areas ruled by different drug lords. It became known as the crack epidemic.
The New York City Subway fell victim to a crime epidemic that saw more crimes being committed on the subway each year than in any other subway system around the world.
Homelessness also became a serious problem during the 1980s.
These fabulous photos were taken by Peter Anderson that show street scenes of New York in 1987.