I lived an hour outside Manhattan between 1973 and 1994. The city I knew and loved is gone, replaced by a shinier, cleaner, safer version that no longer feels like home to me. This is a ridiculously personal reaction, but nonetheless I am firm in my conviction that a lot of what made New York unique and wonderful has disappeared since I left the area. Of course, an aging dude who knew NYC in the fifties could say the same thing during the 1980s, and he'd be right. So don't mind me and my ramblings, but do take a look at these videos of some of my favorite opening credits for TV shows and films, all depicting the New York I knew best, for better or worse.
Manhattan (1979) “Chapter one: he adored New York City. He idolized it all out of proportion. Uh, no. Make that “He romanticized it all out of proportion. To him, no matter what the season was, this was still a town that existed in black and white and pulsated to the great tunes of George Gershwin. “
"Taxi" (1978-1983) Angela's Theme was one of the best-known instrumentals of its time.
"Million Dollar Movie" WOR-9, New York This introduction to a long-running movie show on channel 9 is well-loved by anyone who grew up in the New York metropolitan area during the 70s and 80s. I swear, it used to make my heart race and made me want to run into the city and explore. It made me think of my dad coming home in the evening after a long day working in Lower Manhattan, and how in the winter the cold clinging to his coat smelled of the good, honest smells of the city.
Taxi Driver (1976) Blurry and blobby, but still NYC as it was, as seen from Travis Bickle's POV.
Working Girl (1988)
"The Odd Couple" (TV, 1970-1975)
"The Jeffersons" (1975-1985) One of the great 70s TV themes, sung by the great Ja'Net DuBois (who played Willona Woods on "Good Times")
"All in the Family" (1971-1979)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) A bit of a cheat, since I wasn't yet born in 1961. Still, great shots of 5th Avenue during that era.
The Warriors (1979)
I'm certain I am missing or have forgotten some great NY opening scenes, so comment below if you think of any!