3.21.2011

"Most of us aren't from here originally, and we came out here for a reason, it was a certain culture going on here ...

and that was communal culture."



"If a single photo could capture 1970s Northern California culture, this might be it. The hair; the clothes; the round oak table; the funky old apartment with painted-over wainscoting; the giant bowl of sangria. I ought to know, I was there. In fact, there I am, at the left, at my brother's Santa Cruz place with his wife (lower left) and their friends in October 1973. My brother's Ektachrome slide."

Once again, from Shorpy.

When I see this picture I think of my parents' lives shortly before my birth, the time and place they were in, and am just plain jealous. I have this sense of the West Coast in the late 60s and 70s as the place people who didn't fit went to fit together, and that's pretty cool.

And I love this picture for another reason -- it suggests the most beautiful centerpiece to an informal dinner party: a big bowl of sangria. Genius. I know what I'm doing this summer. The clothes, the furniture, the styling in general -- so on point, and absurdly close to an aesthetic that's been washing through design circles the last few years.

The quote I used as the title is from interviews with the makers of Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives, a wonderfully understated documentary that paints of portrait of the lives of dozens of gay people of all walks of life, centered mostly on the West Coast. It was filmed in 1977, and feels incredibly fresh -- I recommend it even if the subject matter is of less interest to you. It's so well made, a beautifully composed record; the first of its kind, and to my mind unparalleled.

4 comments:

Dominique K said...

j'ai connu cette période, mais très différemment en France. Pourtant je me sens incroyablement riche de ces années, de ces expériences si différentes, si instantanées qui nourrissent encore une part de qui je suis devenue. J'ai regardé récemment "hôtel Woodstock"
et j'ai senti que cet univers là était totalement vivant en moi, maintenant.
je comprends que vous soyez jaloux. j'enregistre la proposition de regarder "Word is Out: Stories of Some of Our Lives".. à suivre !

Hoynotmanana said...

Great photo, my parents lived in Italy in 1974. I always wonder what it was like for them. They talk about that time and place as if it were the best part of they're youth. Seems magical. :)

Nick Heywood said...

Dominique, vous aurez à me faire savoir ce que vous pensez de "mot est lâché, et à quel point il se rapporte à ce qui se passait en France. Je m'excuse pour le mauvais français, mais je ne le parle pas! Bravo pour Google Translate.

And Hoynotmanana, living in Italy in the 1970s would be the highlight of my life, too -- unfair!

Dominique K said...

"mot est lâché, etc.... " c'est la traduction google translate français-français qui déforme totalement le sens.
ça se rapporte à "world is out ....."
simplement, je dis que je suis OK pour regarder ce documentaire que vous proposez.
Je ne parle pas anglais non + et je dis aussi merci à google ... mais parfois, c'est un peu compliqué.... pourtant, on y arrive et ça fait plaisir.

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