New York Remade: Before and After Bloomberg

On Jan. 1, 2002, when Michael Bloomberg was sworn into office, these things barely existed: iPods, Blackberries, pocket digital cameras. These things didn't exist at all: the Barclays Center, Citi Field, One World Trade, or the Gehry NY building.

People smoked, all the time, in restaurants and bars. Almost no one rode bikes, and T.V.-less yellow cabs drove down Broadway right through Times Square. Back then, a market rate apartment in Harlem was about $1,200 — about half of what it is today. Pizza was $1.50 a slice, same price as a subway token.

Carrie Bradshaw lived in a Manhattan brownstone, drank cosmopolitans and typed onto a black and white computer screen. The High Line was a rusted and weedy hulk, not the locale for furtive kisses for the "Girls" crew before they head home to Brooklyn. Adlai Stevenson High School still existed. The Success Academy and six hundred other schools did not.

You could be anonymous in 2001. Now, not so much. We are watched, everywhere, if not by security cameras, then by each other. 

New York has been transformed in the last 12 years, in ways that are wrenching and huge and intimate.

And though he isn't responsible for all the revolutions we've experienced, Michael Bloomberg leaves an indelibly large mark, both for his outsize personality and his vast reserves of power. In this hour, we take a look.

Technical Direction by Paul Schneider and George Wellington

The Queens West development in Hunters Point, Long Island City, Queens.
The Queens West development in Hunters Point, Long Island City, Queens.

Look closely and you can see the same Pepsi sign in its new location. 

( Courtesy of the Bridge and Tunnel Club, Joe Geoghan )
NYC added more than 400 miles of bike lane under Mayor Bloomberg, none more contentious than along Prospect Park West, Brooklyn.
NYC added more than 400 miles of bike lane under Mayor Bloomberg, none more contentious than along Prospect Park West, Brooklyn. ( NYC DOT )
The New York on television shifted with the social center of the city, got tattoos and moved to Brooklyn.
The New York on television shifted with the social center of the city, got tattoos and moved to Brooklyn.

Sex and the City branded an earlier era of NYC living, now Girls is trying to do the same. 

Hells Kitchen shrunk and Midtown West rose high in waterfalls of glass.
Hells Kitchen shrunk and Midtown West rose high in waterfalls of glass.

Looking west from West 42nd Street and 9th Ave three new glass skyscrapers tower over the old brick mainstays.

( NYC Dept of City Planning, Joe Geoghan )
What else has changed since 2001? Let us know @WNYC on Twitter, or leave a comment below.
What else has changed since 2001? Let us know @WNYC on Twitter, or leave a comment below.
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