20 Vintage Photos That Capture New York City’s Iconic Subway Since the 1980s


I grew up watching movies that were filmed in New York City in the 1970s and 1980s and my, how things have changed in the Big Apple. I remember the grit, grime, and danger of Taxi Driver and The Warriors, but those days are long gone, for better or for worse.

Jamel Shabazz has been documenting the people and culture of New York since the 1980s, and these 20 photos specifically highlight NYC’s amazing subway system and the people that have been riding it. You’ll enjoy these vintage snapshots.

1. All Ears, NYC 1980

2. The Trio, NYC 1980

3. Rush Hour, NYC 1988

4. Fly Girl, NYC 2002

5. Soros For Life, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NYC 1981

6. A Frozen Moment, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NYC

7. Twin 1 & Twin 2, Brooklyn, NYC 1980

8. A Time Before Starbucks, Brooklyn, NYC, Early 1980’s

9. Tougher Than Leather, Brooklyn, NYC 1980

10. Back To The World, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NYC 1982

11. Untitled, Spanish Harlem, NYC 1980

12. The Love Connection, NYC 1982

13. The Violists, NYC 1997

14. Daddy‘S Little Girls, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NYC 1980

15. The Last Look, NYC 1980

16. Church Ladies, Harlem,NYC 1997

17. The Dream Girls, Brooklyn Bound J Train, NYC 2000

18. The Righteous Brothers, NYC 1981

19. The Outside View, Brooklyn, NYC 1999

20. Tougher Than Leather, Brooklyn, NYC 1980

What a great time capsule.