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9 Memorable Images from the '90s

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Finally, today we move into the ‘90s. If you missed previous posts this week, the ‘60s can be found here, the ‘70s here, and the ‘80s down yonder. For me, the ‘90s were pretty exciting times--college, my first job in the Big Apple, The New York Times switching over from black and white photos on the cover to color, watching real estate prices skyrocket, buying my first personal computer and first cellphone, and, of course, the biggest deal for a guy who now makes his living online, the launch of the World Wide Web. Below are 9 images that sum up the decade for me. How about you all? What memories do you have that I missed? Hope you enjoyed this little visual trip down memory lane! I sure did reliving it as I was writing these posts.

1. April, 1990

After many delays, on April 24, 1990, the Hubble telescope finally launched into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, changing the face of astronomy forever.

2. January, 1991

Operation Desert Storm, a UN-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait began on January 17th, 1991.

3. December, 1991

On December 25, 1991, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formally dissolved.

4. August, 1991

On 6 August 1991, CERN, a pan European organization for particle research, publicized the new World Wide Web project. All Al Gore jokes aside, it’s, of course, impossible to nail down the exact birth date of the Web or the Internet, but it certainly took as all by storm in the early ‘90s!

5. September, 1993

Israeli PM, Yitzhak Rabin, U.S. Presiden Bill Clinton, and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Yasser Arafat shook hands at the Oslo Accords signing ceremony on 13 September 1993.

6. August, 1997

On August 31st, 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in a tragic car accident in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris, France.

7. January, 1998

President Bill Clinton was caught in a media-frenzied scandal involving inappropriate relations with a White House intern Monica Lewinsky, first announced on January 21st, 1998.

8. May, 1998

Seinfeld’s 9-season run ended with a 75-minute, final episode on May 14, 1998.

9. December, 1999

Y2K, thankfully, didn’t amount to much of anything outside a lot of stress and anxiety on December 31st, 1999.

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Lazy Cyclists Help Make These Massive Bike Graveyards in China
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STR/AFP/Getty Images

When bike share programs go right, they can make life easier for commuters while reducing a city’s impact on the environment at the same time. When they don't go exactly as planned, they can create sprawling bicycle graveyards like the one seen in these photos.

The eerie scenes, recently spotlighted by WIRED, can be found throughout the city of Hangzhou, China. Like many large cities, Hangzhou is home to an official bike share program. But there are also private bike share companies that give cyclists the option to pick up a bike and leave it wherever they please rather than return it to an official docking station. The result is thousands of bikes scattered around the city like junk.

In response to complaints, the city of Hangzhou has begun collecting these abandoned bikes and storing them in lots. These aerial images are a good indication of the sheer number of bikers the city has—and they also have a creepy, post-apocalyptic vibe. Check out the photos below.

Bike graveyard in China.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Bike graveyard in China.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

Bike graveyard in China.
STR/AFP/Getty Images

[h/t WIRED]

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7 Throwback Photos of 1980s NYC Subway Graffiti
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In May 1989, after a 15-year-long campaign of slowly eradicating New York City’s subway graffiti train-by-train, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority officially declared the city’s subways graffiti-free. There’s still subway graffiti in New York City today, but now it's confined to rail yards far away from the stations and tunnels. By the time the trains make it back onto the tracks, they’ve been cleaned of any markings.

There was a time, though, when graffiti artists had near-free rein to use the city’s subway trains as their canvases, as much as the transportation agency tried to stop them. A new book of photography, From the Platform 2: More NYC Subway Graffiti, 1983–1989, is an ode to that period.

A photo taken at night shows a subway train tagged

Its authors, Paul and Kenny Cavalieri, are two brothers from the Bronx who began taking photos of subway trains in 1983, during the heyday of New York City's graffiti art era. They themselves were also graffiti artists who went by the names Cav and Key, respectively. (Above is an example of Cav's work from 1988, and below is an example of Key's.) Their book is a visual tribute to their youth, New York's graffiti culture, and their fellow artists.

For anyone who rides the New York City subway today, the images paint a whole different picture of the system. Let yourself be transported back to the '80s in some of these photos: 

A subway car bears tags by
Some of Kenny (Key) Cavalieri's work, circa 1987.

Graffiti on a subway car reads

Blue letters tagged on the exterior of a subway car read “Comet.”

Pink and blue lettering reads “Bio” on the outside of a subway car.

A subway car reads “Pove” in green letters.

The book includes short commentaries and essays from other artists of the period remembering their experiences painting trains. It's a follow-up to Paul Cavalieri’s original 2011 collection From the Platform: Subway Graffiti, 1983-1989. He’s also the author of Under the Bridge: The East 238th Street Graffiti Hall Of Fame, a history of four decades of graffiti in the Bronx.

From the Platform 2 is $30 on Amazon.

[h/t The Guardian]

All images courtesy Paul and Kenny Cavalieri // Schiffer Publishing

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