Night Fever: Revisiting New York Nightlife In The 1970s

Night Fever: Revisiting New York Nightlife In The 1970s

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Monday, 28 November 2016
Nightlife
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There’s been a recent obsession with the ’70s. After years of people representing minimalism, the pendulum has swung back to the era of disco and decadence. From American Hustle and Fargo to maximalist fashion by Gucci, there is a renewed interest in the era. Now with the new exhibit Night Fever: New York Disco 1977-1979 – The Bill Bernstein Photographs—at the Museum of Sex no less—where you can get a taste of the nightlife that embodied the culture of the decade.

There was a time of excess and exuberance that followed the cultural revolution of the ’60s and its concurrent political strife. Everything was grandiose, from the art and films to disco music, and it birthed the type of nightlife we’re familiar with today. But these late-night parties were also the embodiment of a change that was occurring. The venues served as places for unbridled joy and entertainment, but as the exhibit highlights, they were also destinations for diversity—reflecting all the various facets of New York’s ever-changing social landscape. These clubs welcomed everyone, and the prevalence of the black, gay, and Latino communities was a necessary step for progress in New York.

The exhibit display Night Fever: New York Disco 1977-1979 – The Bill Bernstein Photographs includes a pop-up bar with a retro cocktail menu and coinciding retro prices ($5 cocktails, $4 beers). Guest DJs will be on hand to spin some funky tunes in the space, which is decorated with disco balls and plush couches to transport visitors 40 years back. The display features 40 photos entailing everything from the glamour of Studio 54 to the gritty, sweaty nights at Paradise Garage. The subjects are diverse and quirky, and if it wasn’t for their killer style, they don’t look too different than the night owls of today. In that the photographs represent the progressive values that the city has always been committed to, and it comes at a time when people could use a reminder of the true identity of New York.

[Photos courtesy Museum of Sex]

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