Nothing makes me happier than to spend a day with archives and collections. I was exploring the Manuscripts and Archives Division of the New York Public Library this summer. (Thank you very much, Thomas Lannon and Tal Nadan.) Among other things, I went through some of the Francis J. Schneider records of marriages, who “was known as the ‘marrying parson’ for the nearly 20,000 marriages he performed from 1869 to 1906.”
Apparently he’d marry anyone, no questions asked, so I was looking to see who’d pop up, like an interracial marriage perhaps. I’ve only looked at a few volumes so far, but I saw that it was pretty rare for a man to marry someone older in those days, and maybe the only reason this guy did was because his profession (undertaker) may have made it harder to attract a spouse? But of course he could have been marrying for love! Notice how they have a space to list the profession for the man but not the woman.
The shot below is of the diary of Elizabeth DeHart Bleecker, aka Mrs. Alexander L. McDonald, and the entries go from January 1, 1799 to January 11, 1806. There’s a description of the shooting and subsequent funeral of Alexander Hamilton. “Thursday, July 12th, A Fine day — General Hamilton is still alive, but no hope of his recovery … about 2 o’clock the great Hamilton died.” There’s more but I’m having a hard time with her handwriting (always a problem with these things).
(The collections at the New York Public Library are IMMENSE, you might start here. I always like to to look at the list of what they’ve recently added.)
First, I understand being attracted to people within a specific age group. We don’t chose who we are attracted to. I prefer men around my age, I love the shared history/popular culture. Here’s what I don’t get. On the dating site I use, something like 90% of the men (or more) say they are interested in women 20 years younger than themselves, but will only go as high as a year or two older, if that. A 60 year old will typically say he’s looking for women 40 – 60.
So they’re saying a woman should give a guy 20 years older than herself a shot, when a woman a year or two older is out of the question for them, never mind someone 20 years older. She should date someone they wouldn’t consider dating, basically.
Oh wait. I just realized women do this to men regarding height. I have to out myself in fact, I don’t want to pretend I’m a better person than I am, I have similar, unfair height preferences. I want to date people my height or a little less, but they can be much taller. It’s a similar bias, isn’t it, so who am I to talk??
PS: Another dating profile pet peeve. Don’t say you look young or your friends say you look young. Either you do and we’ll see that in your pictures, or you don’t (and you’re don’t know that you don’t) and then you just look sad. Besides, it’s okay to look your age. Unless you’re hoping to date someone 20 years younger, I guess, but my advice still stands.
I bought these stairs to help my poor arthritic Finney (who doesn’t prefer the younger generations) climb up on the couch. The other day I saw Bleecker in this odd sleeping position, draped down the stairs. So cute. That’s Finney in the lower left, looking up and thinking, “WTF?”
Time Warner has changed their interface again. As usual, for the worse. It used to be to delete a show you’d highlight it, hit delete, and when asked if you really wanted to delete it you’d select “yes” and you were done. Then they changed their interface and added more steps. They just did yet another re-design and now here is what you need to do to delete a show.
– Highlight the show.
– You’re taken to another screen where you need to highlight the show again.
– Then you have to scroll over to the right and choose delete show.
– Then you have to highlight the show AGAIN. (Seriously?)
– Then you have to scroll back over to the right and choose “delete selected.”
– Now you’re asked if you really mean it and you can select “yes”.
Time Warner is just messing with us, right? Why Time Warner, why?? That said, I am looking forward to the Roadrunner speed upgrade.
Here is Michael Cerveris (I still miss Fringe) at the Loser’s Lounge last night singing Baby’s on Fire. I have an old camera which is actually a great camera in many respects (a Canon G9) but it does not do well indoors or at night or in any kind of low-light situation. Cerveris is very charming. He did an amusing little pyrotechnics theatre involving babies and fire.
I passed by another shoot the other day, this time for a new tv show called Public Morals. It’s set in 1967, which should be a lot of fun, it’s such an interesting time period, and it’s about the NYPD’s Public Morals Division. I don’t know anything about that division but based on the name I’m guessing it was an ineffective and corrupt division. That decade was not the NYPD’s finest hour, and the idea of any police department enforcing public morality is just a bad, bad idea on so many levels. In the right hands it could be fascinating, if they dealt with the subject honestly.
I wonder when tv shows specifically about the 60’s are going to start appearing. Talk about a dramatic period. All the turmoil and struggles that went on then, for civil rights, against the war, women’s rights, and all the groups like SDS, the NAACP, NOW, the Black Panthers, hippies, yippies, Freedom Riders, (and many others). And of course all the people who emerged, both heros and villains. Many are still alive of course, and in some respects it will always feel too soon, perhaps.
The shot that follows this one shows one of the actors in a period costume.
When I walked up and saw this actor dressed as a cop I totally guessed wrong about the time period. “Is this set in the 40’s or 50’s?” I couldn’t tell at all.