Today, I went to The Paley Center for Media.
When you enter the Paley, you pay $10, and given a list of things that they are showing in their theaters. Also, on the ground floor, they have a room for rotating exhibitions.
The ground floor room contained two exhibits: a Paley Center tribute to comics on television (with a lot of clips of routines of comedians on the Tonight Show) and an exhibit on photography in the Crimea.
That room was... jarring. The two screens showcasing the comics were nestled amidst images from the Crimea. Unlike peanut butter cups, there were not two tastes that taste great together. I'm not saying that either one was bad, just that I couldn't really get into them because the juxtaposition just didn't work. Whoever put this room together was CLEARLY not thinking.
Then I went to the theater, where I saw the last fifteen minutes or so of a tribute to the teenage years on TV. I came in when they were talking about graduating high school.
While the clips were amusing (and they stretched from the early days in TV until the early 2000s), I get tired of hearing about how wonderful high school was and how graduation was so bitter sweet.
Because in my experience, not so much.
The thing is, when I was actually IN high school, I couldn't have told you why I was so miserable there (besides the whole "gay fat geek in a mill town" thing, and honestly while I knew I was gay, I hadn't really admitted it to myself yet.).
Then I went to the Pre-College program at CMU between my junior and senior years of high school. Then I understood. BEtween not fitting in and my mother (and earlier, my grandmother) working at my schools, I had very little freedom. Everything I did was watched over VERY closely. It was a very oppressive environment.
At CMU, I had lots of freedom.
Of course, after that, I returned to high school. My senior year? Super miserable because I KNEW why I hated it there.
Anyway, I don't think of graduation as a bittersweet thing. It was totally sweet. I've never looked back.
After that, they showed another Paley Center-produced show, this one on women in comedy in television. This was the third Paley Center production they showed (the comics and the teenage ones were also Paley productions). It felt kind of masturbatory.
I'm not saying that they were bad.. they were actually quite good. Just... well... they have a massive library of things, why not show those things, and not clip shows?
The women in Comedy show went from Grace Allen to (sigh) Debbie Allen, who can be in all these specials as long as she never, ever choreographs another Oscar Show ever. It included clips from shows from the 50's up to the nineties, when this was produced.
I mean, Jasmine Guy was on this show... JASMINE GUY. When was the last time anyone thought of her?
After this, they showed a documentary about the early TV performances of Elvis Presley. It was okay... I mean, left about fifteen minutes in: the seats were a little too close together and got uncomfortable after a while.
From there, I decided to go to Madison Square Park. Why? It has an area for kids and lots of families go there. Also, people walk there dogs through the place. Prime people watching. Also, the four corners of the park have statues:
1) Admiral David Farragut, hero of the Battle of Mobile Bay
2) Chester Alan Arthur, the 21st President of the United States
3) William H. Seward, Secretary of State under Lincoln and Johnson. Seward bought Alaska, "Seward's Folly"
4) Representative and Senator Roscoe Conkling, who collapsed in a blizzard at that very spot.
Then I came home.
Tomorrow? I'm figuring on going to The Roehrich Museum and maybe one or two other places in that neighborhood.