Mad Men Mistakes And Remembering John Lindsay In Harlem

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New York’s charismatic  mayor, John Lindsay.   on a walking tour of Harlem in  the aftermath of the Martin Luther King assassination. Mad Men got this right, using it as vehicle for showcasing Henry’s growing political ambition. But almost no one owned a co-op then so Peggy’s flirtation with sboston10_1964logo new0009buying an apartment is bogus. Ditto for tv remote controls. That lazy couch potato  device didn’t became standard equipment until the 80’s. Early versions existed but weren’t wireless.

Via NY Times:

“What on earth happened? We enter the fine new exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York and see that handsome patrician, boyishly grinning on posters and magazine covers: John V. Lindsay, Park Avenue-born son of privilege, graduate of Yale and Yale Law School and, in 1965, newly elected mayor of New York City. He is just out of his early 40s and is so charismatic, striding through the city streets with such casual authority, that he might have been a gift of the Fates to replace another boyish, privileged political leader, a president assassinated just two years before.

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Neal Boenzi/The New York Times

Mayor John V. Lindsay of New York arriving at the groundbreaking for the Flatlands Industrial Park in Brooklyn in 1966, the year after his initial election. More Photos »

“He is fresh and everyone else is tired,” proclaims one of the campaign posters on display, quoting the journalist Murray Kempton.

But then look at him at the end of his two mayoral terms, on a 1973 cover of The New York Times Magazine blown up on a wall at the close of this exhibition. Lindsay is graying, somber, grim. What happened between these two images? New York happened, the 1960s counterculture happened, racial radicalization happened, budget crises happened, urban renewal and urban despair happened. On the magazine cover, each crease in his face is labeled with a supposed cause: the sanitation strike, the Tombs riots, the presidential debacle, the school strike, the transit strike, the long, hot summer, and on and on.

The catalog tells of a Lindsay administration reunion in 1993 at which someone yelled out a cheery paraphrase of Kempton’s aphorism: “You still look fresh, Mr. Mayor.”

“Not true,” Lindsay bluntly replied. “We’re tired, and everyone else is dead.”–New York Times

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