Before & After: Union Ave. 1982

Today’s before and after is from precisely 34 years ago near the intersection of NE Union Ave (MLK Jr. Blvd) and NE Davis.

One thing we take for granted today is the longevity of our cars. In fact, the average age of cars on the road today is 11.5 years, which consitutes a sharp rise even in the last decade. Notice in this picture, a blue 1974 Mercury Comet with ragged vinyl roof. Barely 8 years old and this thing has serious cosmetic defects. I hardly imagine many 2008 cars have such problems, save the occasional case of headlight oxidation. Nor must we constantly lube our cars. Pity the corner station, which has no use in the era of once-a-month-fill-ups and 10,000 oil changes. Now converted into all manner of coffee shops, dog baths and cafes, these vestiges of a more trouble-prone automotive past have been reabsorbed into the fabric of the city.

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