What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Purgatory and Paradise


Meryl Meisler

Although photographer Meryl Meisler is most famous for her Studio 54-era photos of New York’s gender-and-sexuality-fluid night life in the 1970s, she also became an unofficial historian of my favorite gay enclaves on earth, Fire Island. Since it’s pride week, and I’m missing my beloved FI community of Cherry Grove like crazy right now, I thought this was the perfect way to kick off Pride Week.

Many of Meisler’s most iconic gay 1970s New York photos appeared in her book, Purgatory & Paradise: Sassy ‘70s Suburbia & the City. You can follow Meryl Meisler on Instagram.

Epilogue: Ms. Meisler herself popped in to let us know where to buy her book!

“The cheapest place to buy my book SASSY ’70s is from:
The Strand (signed copies $45)
The Brooklyn Museum ($45, members $40)

Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

7 thoughts on “Purgatory and Paradise

  1. It is my opinion back in the 60s/70s we were a better people/nation than we are today. I think this country started its down hill slide when the “Watts Riots” in the LA area and it continues today. We never knew what was going to on around the world.There was no such thing as instant news. TV news was local. Don’t be mistaken, I love the Internet but I sure don’t like all the protests, wars and junk we have today. Black lives matter, what about all the native americans we killed. Don’t their lives matter? Is it necessary to wear a sign if you are gay? Just my two cents. Hal


    • Sorry today’s post triggered you. We will have to once again agree to disagree.

      Someone explained BLM this way, and I think it makes sense. Imagine your child has died. At their funeral, you say, my child was special. Then someone takes the mic from you and says “actually, all children are special.” Of course they are. But right now, we are talking about THIS child. It doesn’t mean all lives don’t matter. It means that these lives do. Hope that makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe my wording was not the best. In today’s world, you are one thousand percent correct. I agree with you. BUT I will always think everything was better in the 60/70s than they are today. BUT I also realize we can’t change today and I agree with you in today’s world, you are correct. Hal

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I always enjoy documentary photographs and the mix of candid and posed shots. The crotch bird made me chuckle. It must have been so critical to the well-being of this community to have these spaces in which they could just be themselves living their very best lives without fear of judgment and persecution. It’s a reminder of how far we have progressed and, since we still have much room for improvement, how vital it is that we not allow for legislation to roll back to past times. Every single LGBTQ+ person should be living their best lives and living them large every single day.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Dear Donna,

    I’m glad you like my FI work (play).

    The cheapest place to buy my book SASSY ’70s is from:
    The Strand (signed copies $45)
    The Brooklyn Museum ($45, members $40_-

    Wishing you a joyful Pride week (safe Joy during the pandemic).


    Meryl Meisler

    Liked by 1 person

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