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 apartment and the city was hot, sweaty and humid. Joan and her girlfriend Carol would ride the subway for an hour and half to Riis Park. Riis Park was and still is an easily accessible queer beach in New York.
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, activist and editor, and a scholar of butch-femme history and theory. In 1974 she co-founded the Lesbian Herstory Archives – and the archives were housed in her apt for years. You can read more of Joan’s work on her blog.