At the turn of the 20th century, Central Park was a dismal place. The predominant political power, Tammany Hall, took no interest in it, and thus it became a place of unseeded lawns, party detritus, and men so hungry that officials worried they'd slaughter the sheep that grazed there. The Central Park of 2015 is much improved, a crown jewel filled with budding romances, green gardens and summer picnickers.
Goldyne Pizer sat in a parked car in Sun Valley, the sort of copycat California suburb Malvina Reynolds sang about in "Little Boxes." It was Halloween, 1957. Next to Pizer was Joan Rabel, a photographer, ex–hair salon employee, and lesbian from Philadelphia, or at least that's the birthplace she listed on a 1948 passenger manifest for a ship traveling from Honolulu to Los Angeles.