In the broke New York City of the 1970s, P.S. 41, on West 11th Street, was a lot rougher than it is today.
Parental involvement was minimal. Big yellow school buses, not nannies, ferried kids back and forth from their homes in the Village, Soho, and Lower East Side.
It wasn’t uncommon to have your brown-bagged lunch stolen and eaten by a hungry classmate before you got to it. And 30 kids to a class with one teacher? Totally normal.
One thing probably hasn’t changed though: class pictures are always pretty goofy. What became of these first graders from 1975, who are now in their early 40s?