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Amazing Pictures of New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s
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’s photographs documented it 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 with her medium format camera.

1. Unisex Beauty Salon, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, 1984.

2. Sherlock’s Shadow, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, 1984.

3. Jose and Classmate in Schoolyard Chillin’, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, June 1984.

4. Prom Queen Contender, Les Mouche, NY, NY, June 1978.

5. DJs Spin on Le Farfalle’s Opening Night, Le Farfalle, NY, NY, June 1978.

6. Elbows at Angles, Infinity, NY; August, 1977.

7. High Hat Hand Raised, Bushwick, Brooklyn, April 1982.

8. Andy Warhol and Friend with Open Mouths, Studio 54, 1977.

9. Roller Skates, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, circa 1984.

10. Star Wars Party, Fire Island Pines, NY, August 1977.

11. Awake! La Atalaya, May 1982.

12. Looking From and Into The Control Room, GG’s Barnum Room, NY, NY, December 1978.

13. The Village People Stepping Out, The Grand Ballroom, NY, NY, June 1978.

14. Grace Jones Arrives on Opening Night, La Farfalle, New York; June, 1978.

15. Rejected from Studio 54, NY, October 1978.

16. Boyz to Men, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, October 1982.

17. Last Wall, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, June 1982.

18. Handshake Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, September 1984.

19. Wild Wild West Cowgirl at Rest, Hurrah, Manhattan, March 1978.

20. Bella Abzug and Shirley Maclaine on Bella’s 57th Birthday, Studio 54, 1979.

21. Muscle Boy and The Little Rascals of Palmetto Street, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, May 1982.

22. Woman with Bouffant and Letters T and M, Studio 54, NY, July 1977.

23. Pink Twins, Bushick, Brooklyn, NY, Circa 1983.

24. Boy in a Tire, Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY, 1984.

25. Holding Head as Hair Flies While Dancing, Studio 54, NY, July 1977.

Labels: 1970s, 1980s, culture, life, New York, people, street

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22 Replies to “25 AMAZING PICTURES OF NEW YORK CITY IN THE LATE 1970S AND EARLY 1980S”

  1. Fabulous !….Brought back a lot of memories of old, broke,decaying, and filthy New York from the late 70's through the 80's. Plus…..Disco and Studio-54 in the late 70's!

  2. Thank you for including the Awake magazine. The Jehovah's Witness'where part of NYC up til just a few years ago and still maintain offices in the city. Great photos. A like coming your way.

  3. -That school yard scene @0:27 shoots me back to when we were teens in the 70's, parties in Bklyn, some in the Bronx, girls & some grown women, South 1st Street Bikers gang B'klyn, different crews, early break dancin', wasn't even called hip hop yet, smokin' weed, good days.

  4. These photos are from my book "A Tale of Two Cities Disco Era Bushwick". It is available through The Strand (the Amazon Dealer): http://www.strandbooks.com/signed/a%2Dtale%2Dof%2Dtwo%2Dcities%2Ddisco%2Dera%2Dbushwich/_/searchString/meryl%20meisler

  5. I was 17 in '77, and we were so much more diverse back then and non judgmental. Things have gotten SO CONSERVATIVE AND JUDGEY since then. I look at people my age and listen to them and wonder where their Archie Bunker attitudes came from. I miss that wild and crazy time.

  6. I USED TO BUY WEED ON PALMETTO & EVERGREEN , THAT BUILDING IN THE BUSHWICK WALL PIC LOOKS LIKE ONE OF THE FIRST BUILDINGS IN STARRETT CITY WHERE I GREW UP , AWESOME PICTURES , I PASS A LOT OF THESE PLACES EVERY DAY ! I LOVE OLD PICTURES ESPECIALLY ONES OF WHERE I LIVE !!

  7. Studio 54 was a really big deal.. I went to the Peppermint lounge I think that was before Studio 54…Also seen Jackie Gleason live making his TV show.. Had some great times in NY and Atlantic City… Wonderful memories…

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