A Photographer’s Love For 1970s New York

“It was like Stalingrad but with all the besiegers on the inside” – AA Gill

 

Eye Glasses on Opening Night, Xenon NY, June 1978

Eye Glasses on Opening Night, Xenon NY, June 1978

 

AA Gill looked on:

Where politer European cities might have had street mimes, New York has always had the Brechtian street theatre of pavement psychodrama. The city clanked and cracked with the stress of its own fear and anger. It lashed out at the unwary. The streets sagged and steamed with a subterranean fury. The fire escapes rattled like mad monkey cages. There was a metropolitan, decadent hysteria; it was all disco and glitter, big hair and Cuban heels, boys in make-up, eyelashes like nuked cockroaches, Armani suits with padded shoulders and sleeves pushed up to the elbow, hair that needed 20 minutes to get out of the house.

 

Jive Guy on Williamsburg Subway, Brooklyn NY, March 1978

Jive Guy on Williamsburg Subway, Brooklyn NY, March 1978

 

Meryl Meisler was there to take it in. Like all the best New Yorkers, she knew the rules and rolled with them:

“In the 1970s, I lived on 92 St., right off Central Park West. I’ve always been cautious about safety and would not walk or run in the park alone. The first time a flasher showed me his private parts in Central Park was the last time I ran there. Perhaps that was my excuse not to run in general.” – Meryl Meisler

 

Spreading Wings at the COYOTE Hookers Masquerade Ball, NY, February 1977

Spreading Wings at the COYOTE Hookers Masquerade Ball, NY, February 1977

Threesome Dance, GG's Barnum Room NY, December 1978

Threesome Dance, GG’s Barnum Room NY, December 1978

During the New York City blackout of 1977, Meryl Meisler captured this photo of a group of guys hanging out on the hood of a police car in New York City on July 13, 1977.

During the New York City blackout of 1977, Meryl Meisler captured this photo of a group of guys hanging out on the hood of a police car in New York City on July 13, 1977.

Elda (Gentile) Stilletto and Guitarist at CBGB NY, NY April 1978

Elda (Gentile) Stilletto and Guitarist at CBGB
NY, NY
April 1978

Clown Cart at the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus NY, NY April 1977

Clown Cart at the Ringling
Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus
NY, NY
April 1977

Cigarette Case, Studio 54, NY, NY, January 1978

Cigarette Case, Studio 54, NY, NY, January 1978

Two Blondes in a band at CBGB, NY, NY, March 1977

Two Blondes in a band at CBGB, NY, NY, March 1977

Peter Beard Smoking Cigarette at Easter Monday 
Hurrah, NY, NY, March 1979

Peter Beard Smoking Cigarette at Easter Monday 
Hurrah, NY, NY, March 1979

 

Buy Purgatory & Paradise SASSY ’70s Suburbia & The City. Discover more at www.merylmeisler.com.

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