In the summer of 1960, Joan Nestle was 20-years-old and in love. At the time, she lived in a Lower East Side tenement. The city was hot, sweaty and humid. Joan and her girlfriend Carol would ride the subway for an hour-and-a-half to Riis Park. Riis Park was, and still is, an easily accessible queer beach in New York City.
Joan wrote about these memories in her book, A Restricted Country. Beach-goer and producer Cassie Wagler brings us her adaptation of one of the essays found in Joan’s book, Lesbian Memories 1: Riis Park 1960. Poet Iris Cushing is the voice of Joan.
Joan Nestle is a femme, a lesbian, a writer, an activist, an editor and a scholar of butch-femme history & theory. In 1974, she co-founded the Lesbian Herstory Archives which was housed in her apartment for years. You can read more of Joan’s work on her blog.