New York Paradise Lost: Bushwick Era Disco by Meryl Meisler

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272 Pages 

Parallel Pictures Press proudly presents New York Paradise Lost Bushwick Era Disco, Meryl Meisler’s scintillating new book that launched with exhibits at ClampArt and The Center for Photography at Woodstock. New York Paradise Lost Bushwick Era Disco is an intimate journey to the pandemonium and paradise of the 1970s through early 1990s New York City. Meryl documented a tumultuous time in NYC’s history – epidemics of arson, crime, crack, and AIDS, intensified by a paralyzing blackout, political and fiscal crisis. Frequenting Manhattan’s legendary discos that arose amongst disorder, she captured hedonistic havens, celebrities, and revelers of the night. In contrast, daylight revealed the beauty of those who loved and thrived in burnt-out Bushwick, where she was a public school art teacher who photographed what she saw.

Her effervescent images are personal memoir – love letters filled with compassion and humor mixed with angst, kept secret for decades until she retired from teaching. Meryl was headed to Studio54 the night of the ‘77 Blackout; the next day, she and the world heard of Bushwick, a hellish neighborhood where fires and looting erupted. In 2013, at BIZARRE, a Bushwick Drag / Burlesque Nightclub, she noticed a disco ball in the restroom, another over the dance floor. OMG – an epiphany! Bushwick was now THE sizzling club scene. The disparate worlds of Bushwick and Disco collided, becoming intertwining strands of NYC’s story and her journey. She realized the two bodies of work belonged together.


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