New York City Governor’s Ball Music Festival is about to kick off! But let’s find a different angle to the city. Why not relive the Big Apple like New Yorkers did in the 90s?
Many of the people I met and heading the same way, are most likely the kids of the 90s, the time period we grew up is everything cheesy and every inventive and turned cool. The line-ups at Governor’s Ball this year are the resurrected 2000s indie bands or what I like to call “the product of the 90s” so why not go back and learn what happened in the 90s that made 2000s that cool!
The Nineties are living a real renaissance in terms of trends, from the music to the look and the actual fashion. From exposed belly-buttons to printed parachute trousers, from music to accessories the celebration of the 90’s is in full swing. We embrace the nineties trend and want to take you where the 90’s are still alive and kicking. From clothes to food, from books to exhibitions, here is all you need to do to cure your 1990 nostalgia in NYC.
The Meat Packing District in the 1990s looked like a (dangerous) ghost town: gritty and industrial it was certainly not inviting (see how it looked like). The highlights of the neighborhood are the SEA Thai restaurant… and of course, speaking of 90’s, Pastis, a restaurant which featured a lot in Sex & The City.
Want to go back in time when NYC was rough and run down? Definitely head back to the Community Gardens of the Lower East Side and ask one of the tenants to tell you how NYC looked like in the 80’s and 90’s. This social trip is also chance to also enjoy these beautiful gardens, rigorously run by neighbors in these last few days of sunshine. If you are searching for more history, pay a visit to the Tenement Museum, too.
Take a chance to bounce back in the 90’s reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (1999) – Although Chbosky’s iconic coming-of-age novel was published just before the end of the decade, it takes place in the early ’90s. Mixtapes are extremely central to the plot. Other options? Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel (1994) or the iconic Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk (1996). And although I am a fan of the recently passed away David Foster Wallace, I’ll admit I never succeeded in finishing reading Infinite Jest (1996), but you might give it a try.
No question about it, wine bars are no longer what they used to be. Throughout the restaurant-saturated precincts of New York, wine bars have been proliferating like latter-day Starbucks, purveying their wines by the glass and simple bites with typically homespun charms.
It wasn’t until the late 1990s that a different kind of wine bar took root in New York. Relaxed, unpretentious Italian places like Bar Veloce and Il Posto Accanto in the East Village familiarized New Yorkers to words like panini, tramezzini and quartino.
There was no proselytizing, no lectures. They simply served wine and let customers set the pace.
The low-key vibe and the easy prices made these places appealing to consumers regardless of their wine orientation, especially to women who wanted to avoid the testosterone-driven pickup scene at bars. That is still true today.
But far more crucial to the latest wave of wine bar openings has been the soaring cost of opening a restaurant in New York City.
I would never recommend it as a foodie, but we can’t help mentioning it, since Pizza Hut’s Hawaii Pizza was among the most popular foods in the 90’s in United States. Other food junk included Lunchables, Sun Dried Tomatoes. Surprised? They where everywhere in the 90’s. The best place where to buy them today in New York is at Eataly, located in the Flatiron building which is one of the most stunning monuments in Midtown, so take some time to take a look from afar before entering the Italian store. Also hazelnut coffee was very popular: try to ask downstairs from the Friends building – the most representative series of the 90’s – if The Little Owl (where Central Perk would have been) serves some of it.
Pop Rocks were also famous – little frizzy candies that would tickle your palate. You don’t know them? Head to kids’ (and adults, if it’s me we are talking about) heaven: Economy Candy in Lower East Side, a shop which stocks all sorts of candies – including Coffee Heat Bar Crunch, very 90’s too.
The Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel is a trip back to the 90’s set in one of the most iconic building in the Big Apple. Some rooms of the Hotel Wales really take you back to the TV series that we all watched back then.
Fan of Saved by the Bell and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air? Stop the nostalgia with Mr. Throwback vintage clothing store in the East Village. Some example? Levi’s acid-wash jean jackets ($65) and unisex Pendleton flannels ($50–$60).
Searching for furniture back from those days? The place to be is Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, West 39th Street between 9th & 10th Avenues, Manhattan, Sat. and Sun., 9am-5pm (weather permitting), here you can get all your mid-century modern items.
Have you been dying for some jumping music, lit-up dance floors, slick deejays, fog machines and laser rays? Well, Culture Club is the place for you. 3 Floors of retro-neon madness will send you back to a time when you were at your best – no matter the decade…
If you are looking to relive the 90s vibes that the music scene of New York embraced, one of the best spots to go to is Blue Note Jazz Club in Greenwich Village.
Maybe it’s not that 90’s, but back then cocktails were huge. So why not head to Apotheke, one of the best speak-easy of the city? In Chinatown, this bar was inspired by the history and rise of the apothecary in Europe as well as the artistic influence of absinthe dens in 19th century Paris. . The entire experience from wandering down a hidden street to find the entrance, to tasting the first sip of a specialty cocktail made with exotic herbs and fruits is a must do.