If you were a resident of Bedford Stuyvesant in the 1980s, this article will refresh your memory. For those who are curious about Bed-Stuy, it will give you an idea of what it was like to live there back then. Unemployment was high, so those who wanted to make as honest a living as they could had a hustle. I used to dry cars at a car wash for tips, others searched for and sold scrap metal, there were also professional gamblers and the tools they used were dice, their game, silo. After your daily hustle, it was time to get clean, designer jeans and terry cloth shirts ruled in the early eighties worn with Reebok or track Nike sneakers. You would top this outfit off with a terry cloth kangol hat (yep, like LL cool J). I never wore hats because I kept my hair very wavy and I wanted to show it off. Sheepskin coats were still popular for winters.
By the mid-eighties unemployment dropped, and a lot of us found good paying jobs. Hip hop music had replaced disco, and boom boxes blasted lyrics throughout every neighborhood, I had a sanyo with a 7′ woofer and 2′ tweeter. Leather pants eventually replaced designer jeans, and a hoodie of the same color was worn for comfort. For dress you would put on a button front shirt, when you went to a party you would add a skinny leather necktie and British Walker shoes. When winter arrived, leather bombers were the coat of choice and to keep your head warm, a sheepskin hat. Shell toe Adidas was still a favorite, but now you would have them tapped and laced with very wide laces because you would only use them for walking. some people even put steel taps on theirs. Crack cocaine got its grip on the entire city and bad times returned, the crime rate soared. Best friends were killing each other, even folks in their fifties were addicts. But if this was your time as a young adult I am sure you have some great memories, some of which I hope this article helped bring back.