My cousin finally tied the knot with his girlfriend of 7 years over the weekend. To say theirs was an elegant affair is an understatement. Yes, in the Bronx.
They got hitched at the New York Botanical Garden, right across the street from Fordham University where my cousin had a full acting scholarship (not surprisingly, they met in an acting workshop). Guess that had nothing to do with the choice in location. Sadly, we didn't get to see the grounds because of the heavy rains.
Only real downsides were the air conditioning (all the women were complaining that it was too cold) and the minister. We knew going in that this would not be a Christian wedding, but this lady wasted more time peppering statements that the couple made to her (that was nice) with quotes from Alice Walker, T.S. Eliot, War and Peace, the New York Phone Book, etc. (Okay, I made the last two up.) What a DAW. The ceremony (!) lasted almost as long as the full Mass that we had almost 11 years ago.
I didn't know whether they had a wedding party or Fordham's basketball teams. Seven groomsmen and bridesmaids and a junior groomsman.
The music was impressive: a chamber quartet for the ceremony, a jazz trio for the cocktail reception, and a 9- or 10-piece band for the main reception (which, to my mom's delight, played lots of swing music). And we could have filled up with the food that was served with the cocktails, much less the cod or filet mignon as the main course of the multi-course dinner. We weren't very hungry thereafter.
And? My cousin and his wife paid for the whole dang soiree themselves. Maybe they needed 7 years to save up all that money.
Who says there aren't big weddings anymore? Are they a thing of the past now?
- We stayed at a Hampton Inn in Noo Joisey, across the street from the Meadowlands Race Course and Gi'nts Stadium. In the parking lot was the Noo Joisey State Fair . . . or what passed for it. It was really a glorified carnival with no ag exhibits or anything of the sort, but plenty of obnoxious barkers. In other words, an underwhelming experience. To get our money's worth, we lingered long enough to watch the pig races.
- This marked the first time I'd ever driven on the Cross Bronx Expressway, I-95 in the Bronx. Wow. Those tunnels have to be the darkest I've ever seen, especially "under the apartments." And as I figured it would be, it was also s l o w.
- We took a different route out via the Mosholu and Hudson Parkways. That was a faster route than the Cross Bronx, but it cost us $2.25 on the Hudson for some reason. To get to the George Washington Bridge, we had to do a 1440 (or so it seemed) around a seemingly endless series of ramps.
- At Mass the next day in East Rutherford, we committed the Ultimate Sin: we took Someone Else's Pew. These regulars muttered about it all before church. (See also: Bingo night.) Didn't see their names engraved on the pew, however, so feh.
- The priest, a Franciscan, talked about the need for us to read our Bibles. Afterward, I tried the Kathleen Madigan line on him, "Catholics don't read the Bible; they read -- the Bulletin!" He replied, "They don't even read that!"