Manel Armengol was in New York in 1977 and 1978. A year earlier he’d been in Barcelona, where he’d witnessed the hated ‘Grises’ attacking people protesting for ‘Libertat, Amnesty, Estatut d’Autonomia’ (Freedom, Amnesty, Autonomy). New York had its own problems. This was ‘Fear City‘. The Council for Public Safety advised visitors never to leave mid-Town, stay in after 6pm, carry your keys between your fingers and be ready for fight or flight. In The Ungovernable City by Vincent J Cannato, New York was profiled:
Stabbings, robberies, muggings, graffiti, arson and rape began to strike a wider and wider portion of the population. Burglaries made people feel vulnerable, even in their once-safe homes and apartments. It wasn’t just the reality of crime and sense of broadening disorder that hurt. It was the raw fear and perception of vulnerability that seeped into every interaction of daily life…
Buy, boy, was the place vibrant. Manel transports us there:
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