Safety was a huge issue in New York City. The annual murder count had almost doubled, rising from 681 in 1965 to 1,690 in 1975. During the same time frame, the number of robberies had increased tenfold.
Due to the economic crisis, many landlords abandoned their buildings, according to the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board. During the 1970s, the city had more than 11,000 abandoned buildings, and the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board stepped in to help preserve and operate them.
Even Central Park was subjected to the overall deterioration of the city. In 1977, The New York Times wrote, "In Central Park, the once‐green lawn of the Sheep Meadow is wearing away, gradually becoming a dust bowl with overuse. At the Bethesda Fountain, drugs are sold routinely, and the Duck Pond each night becomes a receptacle for beer and soda cans."
Home to countless vehicles, New York City was also affected by the 1973 oil crisis. According toThe Atlantic, a 37-cent increase in the price of gasoline paired with strict rationing led to long lines at gas stations and thievery.
The Guardian states that the subways during the 1970s left a lot to be desired. The trains ran late, were filthy, and had mechanical issues, including the doors refusing to open at stations. Riders had to stay aware of their surroundings, as the subway wasn't a safe place to be.
Even the police force went through a turbulent reform during the 1970s. The New York City Police Foundation explains that investigations into corruption prompted the reform and the eventual creation of the New York City Police Foundation.
Ultimately, New York City found itself on the verge of bankruptcy. While the city did not, in fact, go bankrupt, it still had years of financial struggles ahead of itself. Today's New York City is dramatically different from the city of the '70s, though we would be wise to remember and learn from the past.