Listen up, kiddies of NYC, 20 years ago, all the places you wantonly roam around without a care in the world were once filled with hostile entities such as rats the size of cats (West Village) and giant, fake vomit puddles (at the 1993 Whitney Biennial). According to some, the whole city was a war zone.

Can't picture it? Call 1-855-FOR-1993 from any of Manhattan's 5,000 pay phones (we can thank the New Museum and Droga5 for putting them to good use in conjunction with the museum's exhibition "NYC 1993: Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star" featuring art made or shown in New York during 1993), and you'll hear what was happening on that block 20 years ago. As in, actual humans who were alive in 1993 will tell you a little story. Humans such as:

  • Sex goddess and queen of late-night cable access, Robin Byrd
  • Club kid James St. James (aka, Seth Green in Party Monster)
  • Dave Ortiz, streetwear mogul
  • Fernado Mateo, founder of gun exchange program Toys for Guns
  • Sister Miriam Kevin from the now-closed St. Vincent's Hospital

And 51 others.


For more information, pick up a pay phone (calls are toll-free, but you must be 18+), or go here. And while you're out and about, stop by the New Museum on Bowery and Prince to step inside 1993 (the exhibition closes May 26).


Below is a sampling of what you'll hear when you dial 1-855-FOR-1993. Do you have any great NYC 1993 stories? Share them in the comments.