February 10, 2012 11:37:22 AM

Carl Courant




I nominate the "NO RADIO" plaque that adorned the rear-side window of many a car during the '70s and '80s.


In the 1970s and 1980s New York City appeared to be in a downward spiral - the narrative was dominated by crime, filth, blight, drugs, bankruptcy, Son-of-Sam, squeegee men, graffiti . . .

Any car parked with a visible tape deck was almost assured of a break-in. Motorists took to placing "NO RADIO" signs on their cars to forestall this.

This would be, as a single object, a powerful iconic representation of the mood of those dark times.

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