The 1920s was a decade of change and transformation, marked by the end of World War I, the growth of the American economy, and the rise of new cultural and social movements. New York City was at the center of it all, serving as a hub for art, music, fashion, and finance. With a population of around 6 million, the city was bustling with energy, as people flocked to enjoy the newfound freedom and prosperity. This was a time of great excitement that later on  would come to be known as the "Roaring Twenties."


The iconic Wyndham New Yorker Hotel in Midtown New York

New York - "The place to be" for fashion and style

New York was a leader in fashion during the 1920s, and women's styles in particular underwent a significant change. Hemlines rose, waistlines dropped, and women embraced a more relaxed and carefree look. Makeup and accessories also became more prevalent, and women experimented with new styles and looks. Men's fashion was also impacted, as they traded in their stuffy suits for more relaxed, comfortable attire. This new style of dressing was seen as a symbol of the changing times and a rejection of the traditional Victorian values that had dominated the previous century.


New York’s "lost generation" - shaping the art and culture scene 

But not only the fashion scene was blooming. New York was also a center for art and culture during the 1920s. The decade saw the rise of the "lost generation," a group of young artists, writers, and intellectuals who flocked to the city in search of inspiration and excitement. Jazz music, which had its roots in New Orleans, found its way to New York, and the city's jazz clubs became popular venues for the latest sounds. The decade was also a time of great literary and artistic innovation, with writers like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway producing some of their most famous works. In addition, the Museum of Modern Art was founded in 1929, solidifying New York's place as a leader in the art world.


The New York Stock Market - from Boom to Great Depression

The Roaring Twenties was also a time of great prosperity, as the American economy experienced a period of rapid growth. This growth was driven in large part by the stock market, which boomed in the late 1920s. People from all walks of life invested in the stock market, eager to share in the prosperity. However, this boom was not to last, and the stock market crash of 1929 marked the end of the decade's prosperity and the beginning of the Great Depression.


The beginnings of New York as we know it today

As we learned now, the "Roaring Twenties" was a decade of great change and transformation, marked by new styles, new art and culture, and new prosperity. While the decade was not without its challenges, it remains a time of great excitement and optimism, a time when anything seemed possible. New York City played a central role in this period of American history, serving as a hub for creativity and innovation. The century will always be remembered as a time of excitement, excess, and a rejection of the old ways in favor of something new and bold.


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February 06, 2023 — Myrat Saryyev