J. Pod has a lovely little essay about growing up in the Upper West Side during the 1970s. The politics is a la carte, so I think everyone will like it.
I live in a small city in the midst of a great city. It is the same one
in which I grew up four decades ago, and its buildings and landmarks
and topography are almost entirely unchanged. Usually the small cities
in America that never change are the ones whose best days came half a
century or more ago and are now literally rotting away before your
eyes, their once-handsome houses mottling, their fences akimbo, their
storefronts boarded, their grass untended, their gas stations abandoned
on windblown corners. My small city could have been one of those
static, increasingly impoverished, blighted places. Indeed, everything
suggested it would be.
About that time, my dad was mugged while walking to his car on 135th Street. He managed to talk the guy out of taking his wedding ring. His car battery was routinely stolen, while he was teaching class, and then he would have to walk down the block to an autobody joint and buy his old battery back.