Sassy 1970s New York City: The drama & excitement of NYC captured by Meryl Meisler

in Inspiration / Photography

New York City in the late 1970s and early '80s could best be described using Charles Dickens’ phrase: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times". Meryl Meisler – featured previously – moved to NYC in 1975, and carried her medium format camera everywhere, documenting the street and nightlife with compassion and humor.

As the city neared bankruptcy, crime rates rose, epidemics of arson and crack made the Big Apple seem like it was rotting to the core. In the midst of it all, a scintillating groundbreaking disco nightlife culture arose. Crossing the most exclusive clubs’ velvet gates, Meryl danced and photographed the nights away. Many viewed ‘70s NYC as hell, purgatory at best. With an open mind and heart, Meryl found paradise photographing the streets and nightlife of The City, many so wild she never dared to show them until now.

You can see her work in a new exhibition, Sassy '70s NYC, at Midoma Gallery until early January 2017. Or you can purchase her books – A Tale of Two Cities Disco Era Bushwick and Purgatory & Paradise SASSY '70s Suburbia & The City. Discover more at www.merylmeisler.com.

Thanks to Midoma for the words | All images ©Meryl Meisler

Main image: Eye Glasses on Opening Night, Xenon NY, June 1978 ©Meryl Meisler

The Village People Stepping out, The Grand Ballroom NY, June 1978 ©Meryl Meisler

The Village People Stepping out, The Grand Ballroom NY, June 1978 ©Meryl Meisler

Judith, Andy Warhol & Friends with Open Mouths, Studio 54 NY, June 1979 ©Meryl Meisler

Judith, Andy Warhol & Friends with Open Mouths, Studio 54 NY, June 1979 ©Meryl Meisler

Jive Guy on Williamsburg Subway, Brooklyn NY, March 1978 ©Meryl Meisler

Jive Guy on Williamsburg Subway, Brooklyn NY, March 1978 ©Meryl Meisler

Dance Trio, Studio 54 NY, July 1977 ©Meryl Meisler

Dance Trio, Studio 54 NY, July 1977 ©Meryl Meisler

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

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

Steve Rubell and Halston on Easter Monday, Hurrah NY, March 1978 ©Meryl Meisler

Steve Rubell and Halston on Easter Monday, Hurrah NY, March 1978 ©Meryl Meisler

Grace Jones Arrives on Opening Night, La Farfalle NY, June 1978 ©Meryl Meisler

Grace Jones Arrives on Opening Night, La Farfalle NY, June 1978 ©Meryl Meisler

Threesome Dance, GG's Barnum Room NY, December 1978 ©Meryl Meisler

Threesome Dance, GG's Barnum Room NY, December 1978 ©Meryl Meisler

Rejected from Studio 54 No No, Studio 54 NY, October 1978 ©Meryl Meisler

Rejected from Studio 54 No No, Studio 54 NY, October 1978 ©Meryl Meisler

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