Sunday, August 15, 2021

Nights full of sex and dancing: the New York hot summer of 1967

'There was a hit song in the 1960s by the Lovin’ Spoonful called Summer in the City all about how the days were hot and gritty, everyone looking half-dead, but the nights passionate and fun, full of sex and dancing. That was certainly my experience of the summer of 1967, an especially hot one when New York became a tropical city full of cruising and drinking, of people sleeping without air conditioners on the cindered roofs of their buildings, sharing wine coolers out of Mason jars, and attending late-night horror movies...

When a gay bar would open, everyone would rush there until the police closed it; it wasn’t until 1969, two years later, and the beginning of gay liberation following the Stonewall uprising that gays could freely congregate. At bars like the Blue Bunny, when a plainclothes cop would enter, the overhead Christmas lights would start to twinkle and all the dancing couples would break apart' 

Summer in the city: Edmund White on sex and dancing in 60s New York (Guardian 14 August 2021)