Graduation Date

Fall 12-16-2019

Grading Professor

Susan Farkas

Subject Concentration

Urban Reporting

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


We’re both familiar with grief after the loss of family members over 75. This project is our way of giving back in a small way by listening, but also as a way of remembering the people we unexpectedly lost. Each person we’ve met on this journey has inspired us in their own way, with their stories of resilience through grief and aging. All of our collaborators on this project are constantly learning, taking risks, and moving forward through loss and pain. They aren’t defined by their age. Rather, they embrace it with a willingness to reinvent their approach to romance and intimacy. Their philosophy has pushed us to think outside the confines of age, and we hope it does the same for you.

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Steve and Eva sit on their 1959 pink Cadillac couch in their living room that is straight out of the 1950’s.

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Eva shows off one of her favorite Christmas decorations while Steve is engrossed in the television.

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Watching "Some Came Running" in the company of members of the Rat Pack.

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Makeup and high heels are de rigueur for Eva.

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Eva, an avid Betty Boop collector, sporting her favorite pajamas.

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The couple ends their day by relaxing in bed together. Eva usually is on her iPad, while Steve watches his shows.

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Sari Cooper video clip embedded in print piece

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Virginia Reath video clip embedded in print piece

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Harvey brings out his marionette, which matches his outfit. Behind them sit years of memories the two have shared.

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Marionettes of Harvey and Hellen, made by their friend Ricky Syers.

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Final cut of our short documentary, Aging Intimately

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Harvey’s mantra.

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Sharing a moment in bed. For Hellen, cuddling Harvey is her favorite thing in the world.

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The embrace.

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The kiss.

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Walking up the ramp outside the Jacob Riis Senior Center. The facility is part of the Queensbridge Houses, one of the largest NYCHA complexes in the city. Fortunately, the Smiths only live around the corner from the center.

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Frances and John in the reflection of their mirror. Their oldest daughter Antoinette sits to the right.

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Frances explains her family tree in a booklet dedicated to her ancestry that can be traced back to slavery.

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John’s family is much smaller. Here he shows pictures of his mother, sister, and aunt.

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John turns on their mini Christmas tree to get festive for the holidays, while Frances is engrossed in conversation with their daughter.

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After Frances insists on walking to the door instead of using her wheelchair, John gives an aggravated sigh as he raises his arms in frustration. After almost 80 years together, the two know when to pick their battles.

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Harvey and Hellen share a moment on the roof of their building as the sun sets.

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Maureen jokes around with her friend Rita at the Fort Hamilton Senior Center in Brooklyn

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Maureen sings along to the Avenue Q soundtrack at home in Bay Ridge



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