Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Meryl Meisler's Lower East Side of the 1970s and 1980s

[On the Bowery in 1977]

NYC-based photographer Meryl Meisler's work will be on display starting tomorrow in an exhibit coinciding with Lower East Side History Month.

"LES YES!" showcases some of Meisler's photography taken on the Lower East Side during the 1970s and 1980s.

The opening reception is tomorrow night from 6-9 at the Storefront Project, 70 Orchard St. between Broome and Grand. The exhibit is up through June 3. Find more details here.

Meisler was born in the South Bronx and raised in North Massapequa, Long Island. After college in Wisconsin, she returned to NYC in 1975. Here's part of a recent feature on Meisler in the Times:

"I felt like I belonged," she said. "I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, even though I had a teaching degree. Maybe because the city itself was out of joint. I had just come out as a lesbian, but I felt like I belonged here. I felt safe.”

She eventually spent 31 years as a NYC public school art teacher.

Here's a sampling of the LES photos that will be on display...

[On East Houston]

[At the Henry Street Settlement]

[At Famous Sammy's Roumanian Steakhouse]

In a recent interview with Bedford + Bowery, she said that she still sees some of the old LES here despite all the changes. "It’s busy and alive and yet, there are still people on the street that are true New Yorkers. New York is always changing, but I still see the essence of it there."

All photos by Meryl Meisler ... and courtesy of The Storefront Project & Stephen Kasher Gallery. Reprinted with permission.

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