1. rightonmarissa
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    rightonmarissa New Member

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    late 1960s setting

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by rightonmarissa, Aug 20, 2012.

    i know in the lateb60s there was a social revolution. ive researched the fashion, houses, hair..

    but my question is what do ou think it would be like walking down nyc in the 60s? there were protests, i know that. but was pot sold openly? what kind of stores did they have? did everyone dress eccentric? did everyone try lsd? were drugs more common than now? im trying to google it. ive only got so far. i imagine like the movie, " across theuniverse". anyone have any ideas, or kniw a book/movie hat would give me inspiration?
     
  2. B93
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    B93 Active Member

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    Attitudes and behaviors and places varied, as they always do. San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and Topeka, Kansas were almost in different universes. Parallel cultures existed to some degree in many US cities as life went on nearly as usual in factories and on Main Street. Everyone was related to or at least knew someone killed in Nam. People with 9-5 jobs tended to consider hippie culture an abomination.

    Youth were either patriotically supporting the war or protesting and worrying about their draft status, and some few rebelled violently. The counterculture tended to espouse high ideals with little plan of how to achieve them. Many used the counterculture to honestly seek ideals and others used it as a way to escape responsibility and just party on.

    Pot and some more serious drugs were easy to obtain through acquaintances but not dealt openly in most places. A great many college age people tried pot, much fewer used it regularly or tried LSD. Trafficking was prosecuted but not with the vigor of later years. The iconic "head shop" on some side street sold incense, drug paraphenalia, tie-dyed shirts, and LP records in an astonishingly wide range of genre, and possibly knew where to make a drug "connection", while Main Street and the relatively new Shopping Malls kept business as usual.

    Read Wikipedia on "Counterculture of the 1960s". Watch movies that deal with the late 60's-early 70's era, whether or not they have a counterculture theme. Easy Rider, The French Connection (in NYC), Born on the Fourth of July, Cisco Pike, Midnight Cowboy, Billy Jack, Hair, The Deer Hunter.

    Added snarky comment: Invest in a keyboard that has capital letters to begin your sentences. It will get your writing more favorable attention.
     
  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm not a great source, because I spent the years 1965-1970 in St. Louis, and only walked down the street to go to kindergarten. :)

    But I remember it as eminently conventional and normal. My parents moved to from our urban neighborhood to the suburbs because of exactly one rumored incident of someone buying pot. I never heard, then or later, of even one person that we knew trying LSD. Stores were, well, stores; less slick than the chain stores of today, but not fundamentally different.

    Big things were happening, but the world wasn't saturated with those big things in the way that you might imagine.
     
  4. luna claire
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    luna claire Senior Member

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    Hello. I'd also suggest the tv series Mad Men which is set in the 60's in New York.
     
  5. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    There is a major and general misconception about "the 60s" that they constituted a single era. But 1960-63 was very different than '64-'66, and both were different than '67-'69. In fact, each year from '67 through '69 showed a marked increase in radical behavior. This was due to several things, some legitimate, some not. And some had specific meaning for New York.

    The backdrop of all this included three emerging issues - the undeclared war in southeast Asia (and the underlying fear of nuclear conflict that the 1962 Cuban Missile crisis had brought to the surface), the struggle for equal rights for people of color and the struggle for the equality of women. In addition, there was the fact that this was the post-WW2 generation, which was intensely spoiled by the position the US held as victors who had not had to fight the war on their own land. A lot of people used these as an excuse for excess behavior and a general disregard for traditional authority. New and widespread media spread the influence of this phenomenon far further and faster than it would have done in earlier times.

    The middle part of the decade brought two major events - the escalation of the war in southeast Asia (without the consent of the governed - an important fact) and the passage of major civil rights legislation. The former triggered a major protest movement while the latter triggered a backlash that led to race riots and culminated with the 3rd party candidacy of George Wallace for the presidency in 1968. In New York, a blackout in November of 1965 resulted in widespread looting in black neighborhoods that opened the door to more riots the following summer, and which destroyed the economic bases of those communities (many of which would not be rebuilt for 4 decades).

    In New York in the late '60s - really, '68 and '69, pot wasn't sold openly (although in Greenwich Village, with its many "head shops", it was pretty close to it) but it wasn't hard to get. It wouldn't be until the mid-70s that you would walk down the street and be acosted by hawkers mumuring, "Smoke? Smoke?" New York then was, as it is now, a very diverse city, so people dressed in many different ways. Keep in mind that NYC was (as it is now) a center of business, and businessmen in the 60s wore suits and ties to work every day and most women wore skirts or dresses. But New York was also home to several major universities - NYU, Columbia - and here, too, there was diversity of dress, with some students in hippy garb and others in shirts and ties. Also, some campuses were more conservative than others.

    Did "everyone" try LSD? No. A few did. But as we learned more about it, and particularly how bad "bad trips" could be, its use really died out. I don't know that drugs were more common then than now, but they were much more a part of everyday conversation, and their influence was far more pervasive.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that's certainly a good reference... also check out movies and novels set in nyc during the 60s...
     
  7. rightonmarissa
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    rightonmarissa New Member

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    how did i know someone would say this? sorry but im on an ipad, this isnt my story (so it doesnt have to be gramatically correct), and im freehand writing how I would like to and what is most comfortable for me. I assure you when writing an actual story and taking time I will probably CAPITALIZE MY SENTENCES. that is all.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The long-running musical Hair was set in, and ran in, New York City, with mostly local actors. I'm not saying it's an accurate portrayal of NYC counter-culture of the time, but it certainly shines a light on that culture.

    Also, use a resource like IMDb to find movies and TV shows of that time period, particularly those set in NYC.
     

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