Photograph by Meryl Meisler

Would you like a little bit of sassy with that suburbia?

Bushwick’s beloved photographer Meryl Meisler has announced a launch of her second photography book, Purgatory & Paradise: SASSY ’70s Suburbia & The City!

Meryl Meisler, used to teach art at a Bushwick public school in the 1980’s and 1990’s, always carrying a camera with her to document joys and pains of her surroundings. And she did so marvelously. Last year, Meryl in collaboration with Bizarre Publishing launched her first photography book, Disco Era Bushwick: A Tale of Two Cities where she juxtaposed the life of post-blackout Bushwick with the nightlife of Studio 54 and other legendary disco spots.  The book received international and critical acclaim making us all in Bushwick very proud of her.

Purgatory & Paradise: SASSY ’70s Suburbia & The City is a prequel to Disco Era Bushwick, “a photographic memoir of a uniquely American story, sweet and sassy with a pinch of mystery.”

In almost exclusively black and white photographs Meryl does what she’s does the best–she juxtaposes two very different, seemingly antagonistic environments–the one of her hometown in Long Island with gritty NYC streets and the nightlife.

“Quirky, nostalgic and a bit naughty, it’s a genuine cultural capsule of a decade that captivates today’s generation. The photos and stories illustrate Meryl’s coming of age: The South Bronx, suburbia, The Mystery Club, dance lessons, Girl Scouts, the Rockettes, the circus, school, mitzvahs, proms, weddings, gay Fire Island, the Hamptons, feminists, happy hookers, CBGB, Punks, Disco, After Hours and Go-Go Bars, Jewish and LGBT Pride, street life, home theatrics, holidays, friendship, family and love. She had to photograph it all to make sense of it, hold onto the time, release and now finally share it. The ’70s were sassy, but also sweet, and so was Meryl,”

reveals her press release.

Photos by Meryl Meisler


You’ll be glad to hear the first issue of Bushwick Notebook contains an in-depth interview with Meryl Meisler about her book conducted by her friend and creative partner, Bushwick born, Vanessa Martir.

Purgatory & Paradise: SASSY ’70s Suburbia & The City

Photography and text by Meryl Meisler

Introduction by Catherine Kirkpatrick

Design by Patricia Jean O’Brien

Writing by Esther Cohen, Dr. Ernest Drucker, Amy Leffler and Emanuel Xavier


Photography / the 1970s / NYC / Long Island / Suburbia / Streetlife / Nightlife


8.5 x 11 inches

256 pages, 241 B&W photographs

ISBN: 978-0-9910141-3-2

$45.00 USA/CAN

Purgatory & Paradise Party, Book Launch & Exhibit with Drag Queens & Kings, Go-Go Dancers, DJs. Dancing, Mystery, Mayhem & More, Friday, June 5, 7 pm – 4 am at Bizarre, 12 Jefferson St, Bushwick