BACK Locations in New York: Photos of Crosby Street, Then and Now.
Above Photo: An almost post-apocalyptic view of a deserted Crosby Street, Soho, New York 1978 (Thomas Struth)
Big Difference: The above two photographs are taken from a similar location on Crosby Street, separated in time by thirty years.
In BACK, I set up the New York University student protagonists in a large apartment on Crosby Street, New York, close to the Broome Street intersection. I wanted somewhere quiet, easily commutable from NYU, and also a place with a rich sense of New York History, and Crosby Street certainly has that, some incidents of which I refer to in the novel.
Crosby is also one of the few streets in New York that still has Belgian blocks (‘cobblestones’ to Brits).
In the 1970s Crosby was virtually derelict, as the almost Post-Apocalyptic headline photo shows. Now it’s a fashionable and expensive piece of New York real estate, and even though it’s only one block from Broadway, it still retains a sense of residential tranquility.
I set the apartment in the novel near the corner of Crosby and Broome in a 19th century former clothing factory, with a weathered red-brick exterior, adorned with black cantilevered fire escapes on the outside of the building.
Inside it had cast-iron floor-to-ceiling columns, as befitted a building constructed in New York’s Cast Iron District. The real Crosby Street has these architectural features in abundance.
It’s not featured in BACK, but Crosby Street is also home to the Crosby Street Hotel, which in part accounts for the recent upgrade in the street’s trendy image.
Crosby Street also has historical links with many former and present musician residents – people such as Courtney Love and Lenny Kravitz lived there over the years, when it was a little more Bohemian, although as the street underwent a rapid period of gentrification, many moved out.
Nowadays there are some very expensive apartments to be found there. For example, at the time of writing, if you have a cool $24,500,000 to throw around, you could buy an apartment – sorry, “an unparalleled penthouse” at 76 Crosby Street, from New York realtors.
For a modern-day take on the Vietnam War and Adventure Backpacking into the jungles of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, see: http://peteralanlloyd.com/back-part-2/backpackers-meet-the-vietnam-war-back-screenplay-finally-finished/
For POWs left behind in Laos see also:
© Peter Alan Lloyd
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