The 1980s will go down in history as the decade that made a bold fashion statement, gave birth to the kings of many music genres, and led to the end of a uniquely nostalgic era. Latinos in New York, mostly of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, have left a lasting imprint.
As the era where the first computers were the size of your living room, and the last decade before technology first made its way into everyone’s hands, the 1980s will go down in history as the decade that made a bold fashion statement, gave birth to the kings of many music genres, and led to the end of a uniquely nostalgic era. Latinos in New York, mostly of Puerto Rican and Dominican descent, have left a lasting imprint. These photographs capture their lives in the 1980s.
The 80s in New York were all about music, fashion, and dancing. With an infinite variety of beats, from Madonna to Michael Jackson, N.W.A, David Bowie, and Run DMC. Latinos in 80s New York came out with their boombox and cardboards, set up shop, and gave a show to passerby.
Hanging out meant sitting on a stoop with the gang and busting a fire hydrant open: the essence of summer in 80s New York. It was a simpler time. No Facebook, no Instagram, no Twitter. People had to go outdoors to interact face to face.
Family has always been a close-knit unit in Latin homes, but in the 80s, there were no distractions to interrupt family reunions. Hanging out with friends meant riding the subway or chilling on the stoops, always a boombox nearby.
New York in the 80s was a mix of glamour and punk. Whatever style you owned, hairspray was required to create the puffy bangs or a spiked mohawk. These photographs show some of the bold fashion statements people made in the 80s.
Puerto Rican influence in NYC was as strong then as it is now. So much so, that there’s a Puerto Rican Day Parade. They have shaped and become a big influence in New York.
New York has the largest Hispanic population in the US, and these photographs capture the essence of present-day Latin culture in the Big Apple. It’s made up of latinos from the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Bolivia, Peru, Chile, and of course, Puerto Ricans who have woven their own flavor into New York’s immigrant blanket: from their food and music, to their own unique way of expressing themselves. Latinos in the 80s left a lasting impact on New York.
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