Vintage Photograph Shows the "Proliferation of Seediness" in Times Square, 1972

A look at the recent proliferation of seediness in New York City, 1972
A look at the recent proliferation of seediness in New York City, 1972

The Lively Morgue is a daily photo blog from the New York Times in which an original photo from the newspaper's archives is reposted along with tidbits of information gleaned from the historical article it accompanied. Along with a rescan of the original photograph, the backs of each photo are also scanned, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the editorial process of one of the world's best newspapers.

Today's post shows a photo from October 9th, 1972 documenting the "proliferation of seediness" in Times Square.

Oct. 9, 1972: A look at the recent proliferation of seediness in New York City appeared in a Times article carrying this picture, as massage parlors and sex shows began sprouting up everywhere, even as police raids tried to quell their numbers. “Everyone seems afraid of meeting a pervert, or perhaps of being thought of as one,” reported The Times, which noted how solemn these diversions could make the men who frequented them. “At the live shows and the dirty movies, no one willingly sits next to anyone else, and indeed, except for a quick, sometimes furtive, glance, they do not even look at anyone else,” The Times lamented. “To some people, the dirty movies, the lives shows and the massage parlors are an outrage,” The Times reported, but to others, “they are depressing.”

The original article from 1972 has more.

(photo back)
(photo back)
Matt Coneybeare

Matt Coneybeare

Editor in Chief

Matt enjoys exploring the City's food scene with his Wife and the outdoors with their dog. He is an avid marathon runner, and spends most of his time eating, running, and working on cool stuff.

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