It was a harsh neighborhood to live in back then. You had junkies all over the place, bad infrastructure and the feel of a refugee camp. Luckily enough they built the Suzan Dalal Center that changed everything around. Like any change, there are good things and bad things.
Back in the day, you would hear Yemeni Arabic in every corner but today you hear mainly French. Back in the day, there was a special vibe before Sabbath where you could feel how the neighborhood was struck by an angel. You could hear prayers bursting from all the synagogues, you could smell the aroma of all the special dishes people have prepared for Sabbath.
At Passover, people would burn their ‘chametz’ (leaven) and you could actually see Sukkot when it was time to build them. Today it feels like they ‘copy-paste’ Kfar Shmaryahu to Neve Tzedek and it sucks.