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20 Things New Yorkers Older Than 40 Did

And will never do again. It was a great time to be a New Yorker.

1. Take in the view while eating at Windows on the World.

2. Eat the best 5 a.m. meals of our life, elbow to elbow with strangers.

3. Go underground knowing exactly how many rides we had left.

4. Read the best weekly newspaper in America.

In the 1990s, New York Press had the following writers doing weekly columns: Matt Taibbi, Jonathan Ames, Dirty Sanchez (Mike Doughty), Ned Vizzini (author, It’s Kind of a Funny Story), Jim Knipfel, Alexander Cockburn, Christopher Caldwell, Daniel Radosh, screenwriter William Monahan, Dave Eggers, Amy Sohn, Sam Sifton, Spike Vrusho (favorite sports writer ever), etc. (sorry if I left you off) — ALL at the same time.

5. Call people on the plentiful and clean (and working!) NYC pay phones.

6. See legendary shows at CBGB.

Photos via Rockers NYC, and Robert Barry Francos.
(NOTE: These two particular photos are for New Yorkers well over 40.)

7. Go out in the East Village before gentrification.

8. Go to Billy’s Topless (no implants!), before Mayor Rudy Giuliani forced them to change it to Billy’s “Stopless” (no topless dancers) and eventually close.

Above: Oil painting of Billy’s by Max Ferguson.
You can buy a print right here.

9. See Cool New York-centric street ads everywhere.

10. Walk through Soho before it was a shopping mall.

11. Leave a downtown Saturday night party and walk for 15 minutes through the Financial District to get to our subway — without seeing another soul the whole way. It was fucking eerie.

12. Walk the old 42nd Street. We saw bad crimes happen on 42nd Street. We don’t think it was better, but we remember it.

13. Go to many, many dot-com parties (always free alcohol!) — all at the “coolest” venues — in the late 1990s. So much geek money. Millions one day, nothing the next.

14. Remember the 1993 World Trade Center truck bombing that failed to bring down Tower 1.

15. Go to Yankee games at the old stadium in the 1990s.

There is NO comparison between the current Yankee Stadium atmosphere and the feel of the games in the mid- to late 1990s. None. I’m not a Yankees fan (Mariners). In fact, I hate the Yankees. But that was the best place and best time to see a baseball game. period.

16. Spend a blackout night in The Chelsea. (We stayed in the “Nautilus” room, where everything — the lamp, the bed, the rug — was shaped like a nautilus shell.)

17. Max Fish. So many nights at MAX (period) FISH.

18. Ride in individually adorned subway cars.

19. Think that people who lived in Williamsburg were insane. (Well, that hasn’t changed, but the reasons have.)

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