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Stunning Nostalgic Photos of New York City in the 2000s

New York City in the 2000s was a decade of change, and revival. The city experienced both tragedy and triumph, with significant events shaping its future. This period saw economic shifts, construction booms, and cultural transformations, all contributing to the vibrant life in the Big Apple.

Life in the 2000s

Life in New York City during the 2000s was dynamic and fast-paced. The city was a melting pot of cultures, with neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy, and Harlem showcasing the diverse backgrounds of its residents. The population continued to grow, attracting people from all over the world.

Public transportation remained a crucial part of daily life. The subway system, with its intricate network of lines, made commuting across the five boroughs convenient. The introduction of the 7-day and 30-day unlimited MetroCards made travel more affordable for residents. Buses and taxis were also popular modes of transportation, adding to the city’s bustling energy.

Famous Places and Events

The most significant event of the decade was the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. This tragic event deeply impacted the city. The aftermath saw a massive cleanup and recovery effort, with the area being transformed into a site of remembrance and rebuilding..

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Times Square continued to be a major tourist attraction, known for its bright billboards, Broadway theaters, and New Year’s Eve celebrations. The area saw an influx of tourists, especially after the rejuvenation efforts of the late 1990s.

Central Park remained a green oasis amidst the urban jungle. It hosted numerous events, including concerts, marathons, and seasonal festivals. The park was a favorite spot for locals and tourists alike, offering a respite from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Economy and Industry

The economy of New York City experienced ups and downs during the 2000s. The early part of the decade was marked by the aftermath of the dot-com bust and the economic impact of the 9/11 attacks. However, the city’s financial sector showed resilience. Wall Street continued to be a global financial hub, with the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ playing central roles in the world economy.

The real estate market saw significant activity, with new developments and luxury apartments being constructed. Areas like Williamsburg in Brooklyn and the Meatpacking District in Manhattan transformed into trendy neighborhoods with high property values.

The latter part of the decade was marked by the 2008 financial crisis. The city faced economic challenges, with job losses and financial instability affecting many residents. However, the city’s economy began to recover towards the end of the decade, thanks to federal aid and local efforts to stimulate growth.

Construction and Infrastructure

Construction was a defining feature of New York City in the 2000s. The most notable project was the rebuilding of the World Trade Center site. The Freedom Tower, also known as One World Trade Center, became a symbol of resilience and hope. Its construction began in 2006 and was part of a larger plan to redevelop the area with memorials, parks, and office buildings.

The High Line, an elevated park built on a former railway track, opened in 2009. This innovative project transformed an old industrial structure into a beautiful public space, attracting visitors and revitalizing the surrounding neighborhoods.

Subway system improvements continued, with renovations of key stations and the extension of certain lines. The city also invested in upgrading its aging infrastructure, including bridges, tunnels, and roadways, to accommodate the growing population and traffic.

Restaurants and Food

The food scene in New York City during the 2000s was diverse and innovative. Fine dining establishments like Per Se and Le Bernardin set high standards, attracting food enthusiasts from around the world. These restaurants, known for their exquisite menus and top-notch service, earned numerous accolades and Michelin stars.

Ethnic cuisine thrived, reflecting the city’s multicultural population. Authentic dining experiences could be found in neighborhoods like Jackson Heights, known for its Indian and South Asian restaurants, and Flushing, famous for its Chinese and Korean eateries.

The food truck phenomenon took off in the 2000s, with gourmet trucks serving everything from tacos to falafel. These mobile eateries became a staple of the city’s food culture, offering quick, delicious meals to busy New Yorkers.

Entertainment and Culture

The entertainment scene in New York City was vibrant in the 2000s. Broadway continued to be a major draw, with hit shows like “The Lion King,” “Wicked,” and “Jersey Boys” attracting theatergoers. Off-Broadway theaters offered more experimental and avant-garde productions, catering to diverse tastes.

The music scene was equally dynamic, with venues like Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall hosting concerts by top artists. Genres like hip-hop, rock, and pop thrived, with local artists making significant contributions to the music industry.

Art flourished in New York City. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art continued to attract visitors with their impressive collections. Street art and graffiti also gained recognition, with artists like Banksy leaving their mark on the city’s walls.

Social Issues

Environmental awareness increased, leading to initiatives aimed at making the city greener and more sustainable. The Bloomberg administration launched PlaNYC in 2007, a comprehensive plan to improve the city’s environment, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhance public spaces.

Education and healthcare also saw reforms. Efforts were made to improve public schools, with new policies and programs aimed at increasing student performance. Healthcare services expanded, with new clinics and hospitals being built to meet the needs of the growing population.

Fashion and Lifestyle

Fashion in the 2000s was diverse and evolving. The decade saw the rise of fast fashion, with stores like H&M and Zara becoming popular. Designer labels continued to thrive, with Fashion Week remaining a major event in the city’s calendar. The styles ranged from minimalistic and chic to bold and eclectic, reflecting the city’s dynamic character.

Fitness and wellness became significant trends. Gyms and fitness studios proliferated, offering everything from yoga to high-intensity interval training. Central Park and other public spaces were filled with joggers, cyclists, and fitness enthusiasts.

Technology and the internet started to shape everyday life. Personal devices like smartphones and laptops became ubiquitous, changing how people communicated, worked, and accessed information. The rise of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube revolutionized social interactions and entertainment.

Neighborhood Revitalization

Several neighborhoods in New York City saw significant revitalization during the 2000s. Williamsburg in Brooklyn transformed from an industrial area to a hip, trendy neighborhood with art galleries, music venues, and chic boutiques. The influx of young professionals and artists led to a vibrant community atmosphere.

Harlem also experienced a renaissance, with new restaurants, cultural institutions, and housing developments bringing renewed energy to the historic neighborhood. The Apollo Theater continued to be a cultural landmark, hosting performances and events that celebrated the area’s rich heritage.

The Meatpacking District in Manhattan evolved into a fashionable area known for its high-end boutiques, nightclubs, and the Chelsea Market, a food hall offering a variety of gourmet options.

Technology and Innovation

The 2000s were marked by rapid technological advancements. The tech industry in New York City grew, with Silicon Alley in Manhattan becoming a hub for startups and tech companies. This growth was driven by the increasing importance of the internet and digital technologies in everyday life.

The introduction of Wi-Fi in public spaces like parks and cafes made it easier for people to stay connected. Online services like Amazon and eBay changed shopping habits, while Google and Wikipedia transformed how people accessed information.

Digital innovation also impacted entertainment, with streaming services like Netflix starting to change how people watched movies and TV shows. The city’s media and publishing industries adapted to these changes, embracing new technologies to reach wider audiences.

#2 View from the roof of the Millbrook Houses, E. 137th St. at Brook Ave., Bronx, 2000

#3 View north along Courtlandt Ave. from E. 158th St., Bronx, 2000

#4 Pentecostal Church of Jesus, 1416 Boston Rd., Bronx, 2001

#6 St. Peter’s Pentecostal Tabernacle Deliverance Center, 937 Home St., Bronx, 2001

#7 View north along Third Ave. toward E. 149th St., Bronx, 2001

#8 Intervale Jewish Center, 1024 Intervale Ave., S. Bronx, 2001

#9 Loyal Baptist Church, 881 E. 167th St., Bronx, 2002

#10 Former Bronx Borough Courthouse, E. 161st St. at Third Ave., 2002

#11 Templo Adventista del 7mo Dia, 1064 Intervale Ave., Bronx, 2002

#12 Templo Adventista del 7mo Dia, 1064 Intervale Ave., Bronx, 2002

#14 St. Peter’s Pentecostal Tabernacle Deliverance Center, 937 Home St., S. Bronx, 2002

#16 Hickory Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 1200 Bryant Ave., Bronx, 2002

#18 John J. Moore Memorial AME Zion Church, 1015 Boston Rd., Bronx, 2002

#21 Subway stop, E. 167th St. at River Ave., Bronx, 2003

#22 Former Bronx Borough Courthouse, E. 161st St. at Third Ave., Bronx, 2003

#29 Vyse Ave. at E. 178th St., South Bronx, 2005 May.

#36 Ruined gas station, view from the roof of the northernmost Buiding part of Air Rights Towers, E. 161st at Park Ave., Bronx, 2008 building

#38 The Bible Church of Christ Annex, former Synagogue, 1069 Morris Ave., Bronx, 2009

#39 View east along Charlotte St. from Boston Rd., Bronx, 2009

#45 St. Peter’s Pentecostal Tabernacle Deliverance Center, 937 Home St., S. Bronx, 2009

#46 Former Bronx Borough Courthouse, E. 161st St. at Third Ave., 2009

#47 View SE along Seabury Pl. from Boston Rd., Bronx, 2009

#52 Early Life Chidren Center, Quincy St. at Sumner Ave., Brooklyn, 2000

#53 View of the J and Z lines along Broadway from Sumpter St., Brooklyn, 2000

#54 View west along Broadway from Sumpter St., Brooklyn, New York, with Manhattan skyline in the background, 2000

#55 Messiah Missionary Baptist Church, 866 Sutter Ave., Brooklyn, 2001

#57 Monk’s Memorial, 1880 Fulton St., Brooklyn, 2001

#58 St. Leonard’s Church, Wilson Ave. at Melrose, Brooklyn, 2001

#60 Little Mission Church of God, Inc. 923 Pacific St., Brooklyn, 2001

#61 View of the J and Z lines along Broadway from Sumpter St., Brooklyn, 2001

#62 View from the Tompkins Houses toward Park Ave. at Tompkins Ave., Pfizer Plant on the right, Brooklyn, 2001

#64 Corner of Saratoga Ave. at St. Mark’s Ave., Brooklyn, 2001

#65 E.P. Grocery Store, corner of Mother Gaston Blvd. and Belmont Ave., Brooklyn, 2001

#66 View SW from the roof of The Langston Hughes Houses, Belmont Ave., Brownsville, Brooklyn, 2001

#67 Skyline seen from Sumpter St. along Broadway, Brooklyn, 2001

#68 Glover Memorial Baptist Church, former Synagogue, 2134 Dean St., Brooklyn, 2001

#70 Urban Strategies Day Care, 452 Pennsylvania Ave., Brooklyn, 2001

#71 Iglesia Pentecostal El Calvario, 116 Suydam St., Brooklyn, 2002

#72 Former Aidlin Automation, 1613 E. New York Ave., Brooklyn, 2002

#73 The Second Calvary Baptist Church, 503 Glenmore Ave., East New York, Brooklyn, 2002

#74 View from the Tompkins Houses toward Park Ave. at Tompkins Ave., Pfizer Plant on the right, Brooklyn, 2002

#75 Gethsemane Baptist Church, 2097 Fulton St., Brooklyn, 2002

#76 Santa Barbara Roman Catholic Church, Central Ave. at Bleeker St., built in 1910, Brooklyn, 2002

#77 Former Aidlin Automation, 1613 E. New York Ave., Brooklyn, 2002 March.

#80 J Train waiting to enter the Myrtle Ave. Station, Brooklyn, 2003

#81 House of Faith, 401 Saratoga Ave., Brooklyn, 2003

#83 View of the J and Z lines along Broadway from Sumpter St., Brooklyn, 2003

#84 Entrance, Broadway Junction Station, NYC Subway, Brooklyn, 2003

#85 View from Flushing Ave. entrance to the G train toward Union Ave. and Gerry St., Brooklyn, 2003

#86 Brooklyn Hotel, closed, Front Street, Brooklyn, Iowa, 2003.

#87 “Satan, you are not longer my Lord.” outdoor service of the New Creation Ministry, Sutter Ave., Brooklyn, 2003

#92 Free Mission for All People, Sutter Ave. at Ashford St., Brooklyn, 2004

#94 La Crema Deli Grocery, corner of Mother Gaston Blvd. and Belmont Ave., Brooklyn, 2006

#95 The Charles Hamilton Early Childhood Academy, 2505 Pitkin Ave., Brooklyn, 2006

#98 Southwest view towards Manhattan, New York, from Tompkins Houses, Park Ave. and Tompkins Ave., Brooklyn, with Pfizer Plant on right, 2008

#100 House of Faith, 401 Saratoga Ave., Brooklyn, 2009

#109 59th St. between 6th Ave. and 5th Ave., Manhattan, 2005.

#113 42nd St., N. side, by 8th Ave., Manhattan, 2004.

#114 23rd St. between 6th Ave. and 7th Ave., Manhattan, 2004.

#117 NE corner 42nd St. and 8th Ave., New York City, 2004.

#118 View south on 5th Ave. from 28th St., Manhattan, 2004.

#121 St. Nicholas Ave. and W. 178th St., Manhattan, 2004.

#123 Former Corn Exchange Bank, Park Ave. at E. 125th St., Harlem, 2003.

#124 Art by Roy Lichtenstein, Times Square Station, Manhattan, 2003.

#125 View of Lower Manhattan from the Manhattan Bridge, 2001.

#126 View of the World Trade Center site from the Manhattan Bridge at Madison St., 2001.

#127 View of lower Manhattan from the Manhattan Bridge, 2001.

#129 9/11 view south from Manhattan Bridge along Madison St., Chinatown, 2001.

#130 St. Vincent’s Hospital, W. 12th St., West Village, Manhattan, 2001.

#131 View of Manhattan from the foot of the Manhattan Bridge, Brooklyn, 2001.

#132 St. Paul’s Chapel, Broadway at Fulton St., Manhattan, New York, 2001.

#133 View SW from 4th St. east of Avenue B, Manhattan, 2000.

#134 View north from the roof of the Grant Houses on W. 135th St. at Morningside Ave., 2000.

#135 Above Fifth Avenue Midtown Manhattan New York City, 2005.

#136 East Broadway Chinatown Manhattan New York City, 2006.

#137 Tourists at Ground Zero World Trade Center area Downtown Manhattan, 2001.

#138 Yellow taxis printed paper billboards Times Square Manhattan, 2000s.

#139 Snow covered blizzard George M Cohan Statue Times Square Midtown Manhattan, 2000s.

#141 Majestic Theater West Forty Fourth Street Manhattan New York City, 2003.

#142 A view of New York City and the top of one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, 2001.

#143 Lower Manhattan Seaport and Financial District, 2000.

#144 Cartier Versace Shops Fifth Avenue Manhattan, 2006.

#145 Snow covered Charging Bull Statue Broadway Financial District Manhattan, 2000s.

#146 Times Square Midtown Manhattan New York City, 2005.

#147 Street scene yellow taxi cabs Fifth Avenue Manhattan New York City, 2000s.

#148 Street scene Times Square Manhattan New York City, 2002.

#149 Christmas tree lights Rockefeller Center Fifth Avenue Midtown Manhattan, 2000s.

#150 Crowds Times Square Midtown Manhattan New York City, 2005.

#151 News stand Times Square Midtown Manhattan, 2005.

#152 Street sign Times Square Midtown Manhattan, 2005.

#162 Brand new Shore Parkway Greenway between the Spring Creek Bridge and the Howard Beach exit, Queens, 2009.

#168 Midtown East & Queens from the Rockefeller Center Observation Deck, 2009.

#174 21st Street in Queens approaching the Queensboro Bridge, 2008.

#178 Real Estate Opportunity in Long Island City, Queens, 2007.

#180 View of the city from 40 St.-Lowery subway platform in Queens, 2009.

#189 Rockaway Parkway Station, Canarsie, Queens, 2004

#191 Automobile repair businesses in Willets Point, Queens, 2008.

#192 Long Island sign and old rail car landing with new buildings on the waterfront, Queens, 2008.

#193 The multicultural Elmhurst neighborhood in Queens, 2008.

#194 Single-family homes in the multicultural Elmhurst neighborhood of Queens, 2008.

#197 The ‘5 Pointz’ building in Long Island City, Queens, 2007.

#200 Bravo Comida Rapida Restaurant on Roosevelt Avenue, Jackson Heights, Queens, 2006.

#201 New York City during the 2004 United States presidential election, 2004.

#202 Automobile repair businesses in Willets Point, Queens, 2008.

#203 Visitors enjoy the public art sculpture ‘The Ride’ by Emily Feinstein in Socrates Sculpture Park, 2009.

#204 Children cool off in the spray of a fire hydrant on Broad Street, Stapleton, June 2008.

#205 Double Dutch Turners and Rope Jumper at Park Hill Apartments Complex, 2009

#206 Shoppers wait for the Disney Store to open on Black Friday in the Staten Island Mall, New Springville, 2008.

#207 Dusty Traffic Island in Grasmere Transformed into Memorial Angels’ Circle After 9/11, 2002.

#208 Filmed on Staten Island: ‘WAR OF THE WORLDS’ in Huguenot, 2004.

#210 Lone Figure Walks Along West Fingerboard Road during a Spring Snow Storm, 2003.

#211 Traffic Snarled on Hylan Boulevard at Burgher Avenue, First Snowfall of 2010 Season, 2010.

#212 Who remembers the Christmas blizzard of 2010? The first snowfall knocked Staten Island for a loop, packing a wallop and turning roads into a wintry nightmare, 2010.

#213 ‘You Chase Them Away, and They Just Come Back’: Turkeys Slow Traffic as They Cross Laconia Avenue, First Noticed as a Problem Around 1996 in Staten Island, 2008.

#214 A parade of Corvettes on New Dorp Lane in the S.I. Columbus Day Parade, Oct 4, 2009.

#215 Hometown Buffet in Forest Ave., closed suddenly before Valentine’s Day in 2008.

#216 Staten Island Ferry Pulls out of St. George, First Boat to Sail Since 9/11 Attacks, September 17, 2001.

#217 The Blackout of 2003 on Staten Island, the first borough to have power fully restored two days later, 2003.

#218 Longtime New Dorp hardware store, now the site of New Dorp’s Stop and Shop, 2004.

#219 Kids Play Basketball at Todt Hill Playground During Police Athletic League’s Summer Play Street Program, 2009.

#220 Egg-Stravaganza at the Staten Island Zoo, March 30, 2002.

#221 Holiday shoppers at Toys R Us in New Dorp, Nov. 24, 2000.

#222 Shoppers lined up outside Toys-R-Us in New Springville for Black Friday deals, 2009.

#223 The Full Line Grocery Delicatessen Stood Near Hylan Boulevard and Burgher Avenue for Over 30 Years, 2010.

#224 Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices in Port Richmond, serving Staten Island since 1928, July 30, 2006.

#225 Independence Way banner carried by children in the Travis Fourth of July Parade, 2007.

#226 Hooters on Hylan Blvd. in Grasmere, Closed in 2001

#227 Peter’s Eats on Victory Boulevard in Travis, Staten Island, Closed in 2003, Circa 2003

#229 The intersection of Victory Blvd. and Richmond Ave. marks the heart of Bulls Head, 1985; 22 years later in 2007.

#230 Hundreds Wait for Flu Shots at Our Lady Queen of Peace R.C. Church, New Dorp, 2004.

#231 Susan Wagner High School Marches in the Staten Island St Patrick’s Parade, 2002.

#232 Cheering Mets Fans at Jody’s Club Forest, West Brighton, 2000.

#233 Tugboats Make Their Way from Homeport in Stapleton to Pier 1, St. George, 2005.

#234 Clearing a Car on Rockland Avenue During the Blizzard of 2006

#235 Revelers Celebrate the Giants Victory over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII on Forest Ave, West Brighton, 2008.

#236 Commuters wait for the bus on Hylan Boulevard, Dongan Hills during a snow squall, 2003.

#238 Holiday Shoppers Line Up Outside Toys-R-Us Store in New Springville, 2009.

#239 Hugo’s Tavern became Martini Red on Van Duzer Street, 2002.

#240 Remember Beer Goggles? Here’s the Van Duzer Street bar, 2008.

#241 Yankee fans wait in line at Modell’s in New Dorp to purchase Yankees’ World Series items, the biggest day in the company’s 120-year history, 2009.

#242 The Curtis High School Marching Band marches during the 2009 Staten Island Columbus Day Parade.

#243 MJ’s Supper Club, a popular Richmond Valley restaurant, 2004.

#244 Portobello on the Bay pizza joint in Great Kills called Mansion Avenue home until 2008.

#245 Classic cars parked in the New Dorp shopping lot with the old Hylan Plaza sign visible, 2003.

#247 Stephen Jackson, 10, and Sister Celina, 6, Cool Off with Fire Hydrant Spray in Clifton, 2006.

#248 With one of the Navy ships as a backdrop, the Navy Regions Northeast Band performs at the former Stapleton Navy Home Port, 2004.

#249 Santa Claus leads a motorcade on a Harley to Mount Loretto for the Staten Island Bikers Association 8th Annual Toy Run, 2002.

#250 Remember when Circuit City closed in 2009? Signs in the store signaled price cuts of up to 90 percent, but popular items were gone. Now home to Dick’s Sporting Goods, 2009.

#251 UA Theater on Staten Island: Premier Movie Complex, Home to Biggest Releases of the 1990s, Closed in 2005.

#252 People Waiting Outside Noodle Kidoodle, New Dorp, for Beanie Babies, 2003.

Written by Wendy Robert

Brand journalist, Ghostwriter and Proud New Yorker. New York is not a city – it’s a world.

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