1990s Downtown Manhattan Was The Coolest Place On Earth

All images via the best 1990s Manhattan photo blog on the web — bar none — Gregoire Alessandrini’s New York City in the 1990s.

1. Artwork “The Wall” (gateway to Soho) built by Forrest Myers, taken down in 2002. Houston & Broadway, southwest corner.

The great photos of Gregoire Alessandrini.


Gregoire Alessandrini, who is currently a director of video production at Louis Vuitton in his native France, spent 1991 — 1998 in New York City as a student.
During that time, he took many, many great photos of Manhattan.
Great photos of the Times Square.
Great photos of the World Trade Center.
Great photos of graffiti and murals.
Even great photos of Wigstock 1992!

And, he took great photos of downtown Manhattan.
If you lived in New York in the 1990s, see how many of these scenes you remember.

2. Houton & Broadway, southeast corner.

3. Remember the smiling whale? Northeast corner of Houston and Broadway. It’s now a fucking Adidas store.

4. Southwest corner of Houston and Lafayette. In the 90s, I walked through the old Gaseteria (now a bp station) to and from work several thousand times.

5. The Buckley’s street poster campaign was classic. E. 12th & Avenue A.

7. Houston St, before it was in TriBeca, before it was in Brooklyn, it was a great place to see and hear music.

10. The Shrine Church of St. Anthony of Padua, on Sullivan & Houston. Not dead yet, thank God.

11. WK piece? on Lafayette Street. I remember it.

12. The Holiday Cocktail Lounge on St. Marks, as close to a “dive” bar as could be found in Manhattan. R.I.P.

13. One of the “casitas” — small houses — built on empty lots (remember those?) in Alphabet City.

14. Tower of toys, Alphabet City.

16. Cooper Square “art” across from the original Village Voice HQ.

17. Kremlyovskaya vodka poster gets updated. E. 4th St., across from Tower Records (dead of course).

18. Baby Doll Lounge, corner of Church and White, TirBeCa. Long dead.

20. The old Patricia Field store on 8th St.

22. Tompkins Square Park.

24. Christopher Street in the West Village. Remember the terrible “Mr. Jenkins” Tanqueray ads?

25. 5th Avenue & Washington Square Park.

26. The Astor Place Cube.

27. Chelsea’s Empire Diner.

30. 24rd & 6th. Killed by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

31. For me, today’s Meatpacking District is much scarier than these photos of when it was still, you know, an actual “meatpacking” district.

32. This was only 15 years ago. Un-fucking-believable.

36. Even the ads were better.

Buy prints of Gregoire Alessandrini’s photos:


If you’d like to buy a print of any of these shots, or any photos from Alessandrini’s blog,
just email him: greg_alessandrini@yahoo.com.

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