Happy: July 2007 Archives


This guy in the Battery Park City lotus pool is about eighteen inches long, and what you see here is the actual color.


These two Painted Ladies were very busy in the 28th Street flower market this afternoon. They ignored me entirely, but I can totally understand the reason for their concentration: They have only two weeks to live and to reproduce, once they acquire those fabulous wings.

looking cool

After yesterday's post, I suppose even I might have been able to predict this one.

The (five-year-old) roof garden outside our apartment is a great joy, even in the winter. But it's so hard to get living things to survive an environment which doesn't get any direct sun, ever. Some of what you see here are perennials, some annuals, some house plants summering outside for a few months, and some were purchased recently (flowers already open).

Kerwin Matthews, "flesh-and-blood Sinbad"

Why didn't somebody tell us?

Kerwin Matthews, the actor who played Sinbad in the 1958 film, "The 7th Voyage of Sinbad", died July 5 in his home in San Francisco. The NYTimes obituary says that his death "was confirmed by his lover of 46 years, Tom Nicoll".

Yes, the film was aimed at a young audience, but we weren't too young to fall in love with the beautiful and dashing hairy-chested Sinbad. Who could possibly have imagined that he wasn't as straight as everyone else (everyone except me, of course, and all the other queers of whose existence I would have no suspicion until years later)?

My favorite part of the short item in this morning's paper is this sweet memory recalled by his partner:

Except as Sinbad and Gulliver, Mr. Nicoll said, Mr. Mathews was never satisfied with merely playing action roles.

“He always wanted to do light comedy, or something more weighty,” he said.

Then, in 1963, Mr. Mathews was cast as Johann Strauss Jr. in the Disney television production “The Waltz King.”

“He was most proud to play Strauss,” Mr. Nicoll said, “and that he had to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic. Whether they actually followed him I don’t know, but he tried very hard.”

More from the San Francisco Chronicle, and one more visual treat, a publicity shot for "The 3 Worlds of Gulliver" (1960):

Matthews as Dr. Lemuel Gulliver

[the first image from play.com, the second from briansdriveintheater]


I'd heard about a bit about her before, but when I arrived at page 38 of today's Newsday and saw that beautiful face turned to the camera the name Harriet Quimby somehow came to life for the first time. It was an illustration for the paper's regular half-page feature, "IT HAPPENED ON LONG ISLAND". This morning it carried the headline, "1911: America's First Licensed Woman Pilot". The picture shows Quimby seated inside her Moisant monoplane*, probably the one on which she learned to fly.

Her life makes a terrific story, and while it wasn't to last very long that bright face still winks at us today.

I did a quick Google search to find more images of Quimby and this is the one which really inspired this post:


The shot may be a bit fuzzy but almost a hundred years after her death it shows that the woman who always wore her self-designed plum-colored, satin flying suit (the pant legs converted into a walking skirt) when she was anywhere near a plane, was much more than a pretty face.

Finally, a breathtaking image of Quimby and her 50-horsepower Moisant in flight, to suggest the thrill , the danger and, yes, the sometime beauty and gracefulness of air travel in 1912:


It appears that the paper has it wrong, describing the plane as a Bleriot XI; the Moisant was actually designed and built by the Moisant bothers, aviation pioneers along with their sister Matilde at Hempstead on Long Island, Newsday's backyard.

[the first image is from Newsday, the second from the Library of Congress, the third via Lance]

lithe youths on light bikes, turning out of Rivington Street last Saturday

Brandon Kelley

I'm not much of an advertisement for an energetic homosexual at this moment so I was curious about "Where do Homosexuals Get All Their Energy?", this piece in last week's The Onion. I read it straight through to the end. This was unusual for me, because I normally find the paper's headlines much funnier than the full satirical narratives. Hey, I'm busy.

Sometimes I really am a very energetic homosexual, but right now I'm sitting at the breakfast room table at one in the afternoon, after a leisurely reading of the morning papers (and an old Onion). I'm about to leave the apartment with my partner (although there's no rush) for a visit to the Metropolitan on a beautiful afternoon, leaving it to someone else to clean and put everything in order at home while we're gone.

The satirical weekly's Brandon Kelley (the writer's pseudonym*) would describe my lifestyle differently. He starts out with a general comparison and continues with an elaboration on contrasting staight/gay competencies:

Boy, am I beat. And it's not like I have some crazy life where I'm working three jobs and going to night school. No, I just have one job and a small apartment. I don't even have a pet to look after. Even so, it seems that no matter what I do, there's always more. If they put another eight hours in the day, I might be able to catch up on the laundry list of chores I have, or even just my laundry, if I were lucky. But you know who really gets it done? Homosexuals.

I know what you're saying: Brandon, you're just perpetuating the stereotype that homosexuals are superhuman. That is totally not true. All I'm saying is, with their boundless energy and talents, they make us straight guys look bad.

I'll add an excerpt which brings this post back to one of this site's foci:
And don't remind me about those gallery openings. After a hard day of work, I was barely able to drag my ass down to the last one. I told myself, I'm not doing this again anytime soon! But it would never occur to homosexuals to think those things. The moment I walked in, there they were, dressed impeccably and criticizing the choice of wine.

I understand the portrait images used are those of the staff and their friends

[image from The Onion]

This page is an archive of entries in the Happy category from July 2007.

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