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Check out these supremely cool photos of NYC in the ’90s

Yes, the ’90s are officially retro. Take a trip down memory lane to the city that once was

Written by
Dan Kilberg
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Though the ’90s might not feel like that long ago, our city's neighborhoods are a world away from the gritty places they used to be, for better and for worse. French photographer Gregoire Alessandrini shot these images between 1991 and 1998, and his pictures show a time back when Brooklyn was just another forgotten borough, Soho was an up-and-coming area and the Lower East Side was cluttered with dives and a bohemian squatter population, (rather than luxury condos and wellness centers). Alessandrini describes NYC back then as a city "waking up with a bad hangover from all the past parties and eccentricity," following the wildness of the ’80s. If Alessandrini's amazing shots put you in the mood for all things plaid and scuffed, go ahead and compare New York now with the NYC of the '90s.

RECOMMENDED: See more New York photo galleries

Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1994
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

Circa 1995, Billy's Topless
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1991, East Village
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1992
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

Left: 1993, Flatiron Building. Right: 1991, Flatiron and Empire State Buildings
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1993, East Village
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1993, New York bike messenger
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1993, Meatpacking District
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1993, Basquiat mural
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1993, West 17th Street and Tenth Avenue
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

Left: 1993, Alphabet City. Right: 1991, Bowery
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1994
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1994
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1994
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1994, Alphabet City
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1995, Meatpacking District
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1995, East 6th Street
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1995, New York posters
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1995
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1995, Empire State Building
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1996, Lower East Side
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1996, Brooklyn Bridge
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1996, West Side
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1995, Church Street
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

Left: 1995, Vazac Hall. Right: 1997, Chinatown
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1996, Village Cinema
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1996
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1997, Alphabet City
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1997, New York subway skyline
Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

Left: 1997, 42 Street. Right: 1991, Houston Street
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Photograph: Courtesy Gregoire Alessandrini

1997, Alphabet City
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