This month's IMNYC back-track machine lands us in the Manhattan of a decade ago, January 1989. Let's set the scene.

Anita Baker's "Giving You The Best That I Got" held the # 1 spot on the Billboard charts with competition from U2, INXS, Tracy Chapman and Luther Vandross. Rob Base rocked the b-boys with "It Takes Two" and De La Soul dropped "3 Feet High & Rising". The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame added to it's 4 year tradition by enshrining Otis Redding, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder and the Rolling Stones in a New York ceremony.


Andy Warhol still wore the crown in the art world and shared his regime with Basquiat, Keith Haring & Kenny Scharf while Christian Boltanski, touted as one of the most promising French artists of his generation, showed Lessons of Darkness at the New Museum of Contemporary Art on Broadway.

Former Wilhelmina vice-president Faith Kates was enlisting models like Beverly Johnson and Vogue covergirl Kara Young for the formation of her new agency NEXT, while current day Victoria's Secret lingerie supermodel and SoHo dweller Frederique graced the cover of Cosmopolitan.


Reagan had recently passed the White House off to Bush, and high interest rates and creeping inflation had Wall Street in a funk.

Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown, Dangerous Liaisons and Eric Bogosian's Talk Radio buzzed the cinemas, while James Ivory and Ismail Merchant edited the soon-to-be-released flop Slaves of New York

Material girl Madonna and bad boy Sean Penn got unhitched.

Michael Jackson (fresh from his Moonwalker video release) and George Michael tried to out-pop each other in rival soda commercials for Coke and Pepsi. If you were any kind of style aficionado, chances are you were wearing an elaborate brocaded vest with jeans for that 'return-of-the-rich-hippie'look that would get your fashion license revoked today.

Manhattan gunman Bernhard Goetz was quoted as saying, "I feel this case is really more about the deterioration of society than it is about me." before being sentenced to 1 year in jail for his January '84 subway shooting spree which left 4 youths wounded.


Like most red-blooded Americans of the time, you were probably following the endless speculation regarding the explosion of PanAm's flight 103 (later found out to implicate Libyan state sponsored terrorism).

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Rudolph Giuliani resigned from his post after a successful 5-1/2 year battle against tax evaders, & organized corruption

. His plans at that time included running for mayor against incumbent Mayor of New York Ed Koch, under whose administration there were so many allegations of scandals investigated, that his eventual rise into talk shows would prove to be inevitable.

Speaking of scandals, Washington's Mayor Marion Barry was still going through the dress rehearsals for his forthcoming Ramada Inn blockbuster home video "I Smoke Rocks" as he wept at a press conference he called in order to accuse the Washington Post of spreading "innuendoes" and "rumors" about his alleged drug activities.

Morton Downey Jr. had yet to stage his phony skinhead attack and still smoked the TV airwaves alongside Johnny Carson and Sanford & Son while Lou Reed summed up some brutally topical experiences of the big apple on his album "New York". Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was granted a pardon by former president Ronald Reagan for conspiring to illegally contribute to Nixon's 1972 campaign and Japan's Emperor Hirohito died, as well as New York Giants Hall of Fame first baseman Bill Terry, while M.Butterfly and Cats dominated Broadway. CREDITS

Author : Roger Bilco

Research : Lauren Wright

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