The magazine of the photo-essay
May/June 2023 issue
Castro to Christopher:  Gay Streets of America 1979–1986
A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous! Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film maker
by Nicholas Blair Introduction by Jim Farber
It will be hard for any gay person to look at these photos without a searing sense of loss. Even the streets themselves - in the Castro and the West Village - would no longer strike anyone as gay neighborhoods at all. But loss isn’t the only feeling these photos engender. When I look, I also feel warmth and wit, I feel invention and defiance, and, to quote Saint Donna (Summer), “I Feel Love.” —Jim Farber (from the introduction) Between 1979 and 1986 - after Stonewall and before the darkest days of the AIDS epidemic - there was a period of exuberant and burgeoning gay life in places even then known as “gay paradises.” There were others, but the best known were San Francisco’s Castro District, New York’s Christopher Street and Fire Island, and Provincetown, Massachusetts. The joy and pathos of these tragically lost worlds is beautifully and vibrantly documented in this collection of compelling portraits and street scenes photographed by Nicholas Blair. As a teenager lured to San Francisco from New York, via hitchhiking to Buenos Aires, Blair lived in a hippie-style arts commune just across town from the Castro. With a Leica rangefinder camera loaned to him by a childhood friend, Blair began honing his craft as a photographer amidst the explosion of LGBTQ life that was rapidly eclipsing the hippies as the most visible (and photographable) counter-culture movement of the day
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