For about six months in 2010, I wrote series of stories for a great Mega-Blog called Queer New York, administered by Father Tony Adams, who really is a "father" in the ecclesiastical sense. The series was called "Lost Gay New York." It became very popular and got lots of comments as so many of us remembering New York in the days of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s wrote in to give me their ideas and their own memories.
In the series I wrote about Central Park West the 60s and 70s, when it was a prime cruising spot; the old East Village when you could see Allen Ginsberg walking on the street and holding hands with Peter Orlovsky; Riis Park, New York's very democratic gay beach, once known as "Screech Beach"; love at first sight at Julius's, the ancient Village bar that used to be a speakeasy; the old Sloan House YMCA on West 34th Street, one of the sexiest Ys in the world; and many other topics from days of yore in a New York before it was hit by gentrification, high prices, and much colder people.
You can find some of the Lost Gay New York series at these links. Please go there, and remember your own Lost Gay New York.
Allen Ginsberg and Peter Orlovsky, poets,
New York, December 30, 1963
Photo by Richard Avedon
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