Hundreds of never-before--seen images of New York in the 90s have been making the rounds online, all shot by an amateur photographer who, 20 years ago, had just moved to the city from Paris. Gregoire Alessandri was a young film student when he lived in the East Village near 12th Street and Avenue A, a building also occupied at the time by Allen Ginsberg and Richard Hell. He always carried a camera and shot tons of pictures, but for some reason, he "kept the old negatives and color slides in an old suitcase for almost 20 years."
He was a big fan of the city's nightclubs and says he used to go to Nell's (now called Up & Down) "especially on Thursdays and Sundays. It was chic, hip and yet relaxed and the music -- house -- was awesome. I also remember the Palladium (now an NYU dorm on 14th Street), but the Roxy was the first club I went to that made me understand that I had just moved to a crazy city! I also loved Mars with it's different floors and the nearby Florent where we would all have a great breakfast in the morning."
Greg also lived up in Harlem near Amsterdam and 138th Street. "There was a great atmosphere despite the drugs and violence which were really present and visible. I particularly loved Hamilton Place with its amazing brownstones. I spent so much time just talking with kids hanging in the street and my buddy from the corner bodega," he recalls.
He started working as a foreign correspondent for several French magazines and eventually moved back to Paris where he is currently an in-house video producer for Louis Vuitton. "I still miss NYC a lot, but every time I go back, I have a hard time recognizing the city and coping with the incredible changes of the last few years."
You can check out all of the incredible pictures here.