“The sixties, unlike previous decades, seemed full of teenage money. No recession, no sense of danger. The young could run free, indulge themselves in whatever treats they wished. But now there is shortage once more, just as there was in the fifties. Attrition, continual pressure. So the new generation [of the seventies] takes few risks. It goes through high school, obedient; graduates, looks for a job, saves and plans. Endures. And once a week, on Saturday night, its one great moment of release, it explodes.”
Finally getting around to reading Nik Cohn’s iconic 1976 cover story for New York Magazine, “Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night,” on the growing disco scene in the outer-boroughs of New York.
Pretty much encompasses all my favorite longform journo angles into one: cultural thinkpieces, character studies, musings on a movement, etc.
“I think there’s a great nostalgia for life in New York City, especially in Greenwich Village in the period just after WWII. We were all so grateful to be there—it was like a reward for having fought the war. There was a sense of coming back to life, a terrific energy and curiosity, even a feeling of destiny arising out of the war that had just ended. The village, like New York itself, had an immense, beckoning sweetness. It was like Paris in the twenties—with the difference that this was our city. We weren’t strangers here, but familiars. The village was charming, shabby, intimate, accessible, almost like a street fair. We lived in the bard and on the benches of Washington Square. We shared the adventure of trying to be, starting to be, writers or painters.”
— “Kafka was the Rage” by Anatole Broyard
shout out to Rosanna