Tag Archives: nostalgia

Things that Were Hot in ’90s NYC

The lists on the I Went to High School in NYC in the ’90s Facebook page are crazy familiar. Mostly I just hung out in bookstores, but I could relate to almost everything on there, like:

Free Cribs: Even if your moms wasn’t rich you knew some kid whose parents went somewhere every weekend. Me and my crew used to spend whole weekends at different girls’ cribs.


Chilling outside of Unique on Broadway.

Canal St. Jeans pins. Continue reading


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Liz Phair: The Chicago Reader Takedown

A ’90s Woman wrote in: “as a companion to the new liz album, you must read the review by celebrated 90’s woman jessica hopper.”

So we did. And she was right. It’s a must-read. It’s WAY harsh, and I still haven’t listened to the album (because I’m scared I won’t like it),  but the article brings up a lot of stuff about the death of nostalgia, and also name drops Peaches and The Box.

Everyone go read it! Here’s an excerpt:

For much of the album, Phair’s lyrics are wrapped up in couldas: the career she coulda had, the money she coulda had, the acclaim she coulda won from the idiot marketplace. Not unlike recent albums from M.I.A. and Courtney Love, Funstyle is an iconic woman reckoning with her iconicness—detonating our idea of her, teasing out her awareness of her art as product, fucking with her place as cog in the corpo machine. But where Love and M.I.A. are sinister, Phair is sad.

Click here for the rest.

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The Sluttiness Question

"Slutty Hermione." I found this by image-searching "sluttiness question."

Kara, I totally thought your posts made total sense and were great! And I agree that this is worth talking about:

Do you regret being slutty in the 90s? Just kidding! I know you don’t. Wait, maybe not kidding. Whether or not we–and other 90swomen–regret the kinds of experiences that Flanagan seems to think we do or we should actually seems like a good subject.

I regret a lot of things in my life, but only a few have anything to do with sex. When it comes to ’90s sluttiness, for example, sometimes I slept with a guy who a friend really wanted, which was a shitty thing to do.

If I had it to do over, I wouldn’t have been so cavalier about those particular guys. (In one instance, my friend was doubly mad at me because I not only slept with the guy first, I also neglected to mention to her that he was terrible in bed. She had to find out on her own. Total ’90s sisterhood fail!)

But as far as whoring around? I wish now that I’d done it MORE. For me sex was tied up with adventure. I read a lot. I walked around the city. I traveled. Being enthusiastic about sex for me was part of being enthusiastic about new experiences of every kind. Not to be all Elizabeth Taylor-style dramatic, but having sex was about living LIFE.  Continue reading


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Let’s Talk About Sex

So, Ada, we had a great interview today with Dr. Elizabeth Keenan, who is working on a book about 90s nostalgia. One of our favorite topics! We ended up talking a lot about sex. One of our other favorite topics!

On that tip, I finally forced myself to read the Caitlin Flanagan article that neither of us could initially bear. It’s mainly about the dangers of today’s hookup culture, a subject that has really already been covered ad nauseam.  One of my problems with this piece is that much of it is based on adult paranoia, rather than what is really going on with teenagers. (This is something I wrote about for you once, back when Oprah was losing her mind over so-called “rainbow parties.”)

My even bigger problem with the piece is that Flanagan assumes that teenage girls don’t really experience sexual desire. Instead, they are natural romantics who have been “forced into a sexual knowingness.” She also says that: “Unlike the girls of my era, who looked forward to sex, not as a physical pleasure (although it would—eventually—become that for most of us), but as a way of becoming ever closer to our boyfriends, these girls are preparing themselves for acts and experiences that are frightening, embarrassing, uncomfortable at best, painful at worst. These girls aren’t embracing sex, all evidence to the contrary. They’re terrified of it.”

To all of this I say: speak for yourself, lady.

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90swomen G-Chat Taylor Swift

So, Ada, the other night was a FAIRYTALE (sorry–so feeling it right now!) when we got to see Taylor Swift in concert. And not just in concert! In concert on Long Island for the Fearless Tour.

We didn’t sit together, but it didn’t matter, because we spent the evening texting. Yours say things like: “I’m so happy for all these girls whose first concert it is” and “She should have cuter boys in her band.” (Srsly, Taylor. Work on that, please.)

Anyway, Taylor’s two-hour performance was amazing and even better was watching girls in sparkles and pink tutus screaming and singing along and waving their glowsticks. Pure joy. But let’s get to the analyzing.

Ada: feminism is alive and well. taylor swift is angry. girls today are awesome.

Kara: taylor swift is pissed! and you might not know it from just listening to her music on the radio. but the whole show was, as i think neal said, a revenge fantasy.

Ada: and he said it’s the best way to get revenge. by being smart and successful. and having friends. and making art.

Kara: she had that part where she is like “there are 2 kinds of love: fairy tale love and real love and real love doesn’t always turn out so well.” DARK.


Ada: totally! she is LEVELING with those eight year olds. listen kid. life kind of sucks. and boys kind of suck. don’t let them get away with anything. THEY SHOULDN’T DO BAD THINGS.

Kara: i had always thought the music was all romeo and juliet. but its kinda like: romeo and juliet die in the end.

Ada: i think this may be 2010: don’t let anyone get away with anything. don’t put up with it. no wallowing. just fuck them, move on. we are post-wallow.

Kara: we are definitely post-wallow. even beyonce. with “why dont you love me?” is still, like, “dude, im awesome, whats your prob?”

Ada: “be a dick to me? go for it. i will humiliate you in front of TEN MILLION tweens and their moms.”

Kara: also, at the same time as post-wallow, neal was like “this is like alanis’ ‘jagged little pill,'” which i get too. confrontational.

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Generation X and The New Traditionalism

NY Times/Nina Fineberg

Ha, I don’t think I’m having a mid-life crisis, unless Googling ex-boyfriends during lulls at work suggests otherwise.

I was going to post that same article, because it made me think a lot of things: 1. A.O. Scott is my age?!  (Turns out he was born in 1966, so he’s a decade older than us, but still qualifies as Gen-X.) 2. Weird how I feel like Greenberg and Hot Tub Time Machine and all that have nothing to do with my teen nostalgia, even if I may be up for seeing them. (Did men and women really have different experiences of the ’90s? Maybe co-ed teen life is really a 21st century thing.) 3. The Vows section of that same Sunday’s paper was really the most Gen-Xiest thing ever, way more instructive about the demographic than the article explicitly about it. Scared of marriage because of parental divorce? Check. Outwardly hipsterrific but secretly ultra-traditional? Yup. The clincher: “My dream is for us to work together, to share an office. That way I never have to miss her.” At what point in time would that ever be a normal thing for a guy to say of the lady he’d just wed in St. Patrick’s Cathedral?

P.S. Tony Scott, Generation X wasn’t that bad a band!

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People Talking Trash on Us. AKA, We’ve Arrived!

Hannah Mudge suggests in “’90s Nostalgia: Are We Ignoring the Prsent?” that a ’90s revival is going on and it is destructively nostalgic. And dude, we are totally in the article-montage of backward-lookingness.

She writes: “We have 90sWoman, the blog where Kara Jesella and Ada Calhoun discuss being female in the ’90s and just how awesome it was.”

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