(Two weeks back our Lit editor got married in New York City! Even
on his honeymoon, the trooper took a minute to share his thoughts
and observations on weddings, NYC, back with the home office. Congratulations
Eric and Andie!)
you ever had a great experience or adventure and you want to share it with every
one you know, but you just don't know where to begin? Well, that seems to be my
particular problem right now. I've been staring at my laptop for at least an hour
and I still can't seem to figure out where to start. I guess the story starts
with me driving 10 hours and pouring cold water on top of my head to stay awake.
had to work the day we left for New York. So we decided to leave that night. I
was going to take a nap before we left, but she left me a list of things to do,
like go to her bank, pay her car payment, and so forth. By the time we got on
the road it was 9 o'clock at night. I waved goodbye to Detroit as we left and
put the car on cruise control. By the time we hit Ohio, Andrea was asleep. Initially,
to stay awake, I mentally took stock of the car. I made sure I had my suit, her
dress, my underwear, her bras and panties, my toothbrush, her
in Pennsylvania right after I poured cold water on my head for the first time,
Andrea woke up to ask where we were. Once she was informed of our location and
an explanation of why my shirt was so wet, she squeezed my hand and said, "We're
getting married." And then she fell back asleep.
For the next 100
miles I thought about my upcoming marriage. I'm not sure whose idea it was to
get married in New York. Probably Andrea's, she had planned everything and I was
just along for the ride. I did, however, arrange the witnesses to our marriage.
Alex, my best friend, who lives in upstate New York, would be driving into the
city the same day we arrive. Zack, my roommate and good friend (like a brother,
you know - the friend you love and hate at the same time), was already in New
York. He flew out of Detroit a few hours before Andrea and I left. I was thrilled
that my two closest friends were going to attend my wedding, and I was thrilled
that Andrea was letting them attend. I poured more cold water on top of my head.
we got to New Jersey I stopped at a rest area and woke Andrea up. I told her that
we would be in New York soon and that I needed her to help me navigate. When she
got out of the car to go to the restroom she noticed brown stains on her pants.
Back in Pennsylvania I had stopped and got a Snickers bar and a Mountain Dew.
The brown stains were from little pieces of chocolate that fell into her seat
and melted during the drive. Needless to say this is not how one should begin
a marriage. She was so mad at me I thought she was going to call the whole thing
off. Once we were back on the road I squeezed her hand and said, "We're getting
married." She looked at the chocolate stains on her pants and grimaced. For
five or six miles the car had an unsettling tension in it until Andrea and I both
started talking about New Jersey. I said I was surprised at how beautiful the
state was and I don't know why it had such a bad reputation. She agreed and the
way she agreed reassured me that our wedding was still on, chocolate stains and
Driving into New York City for the first time has got to be one of
the most thrilling experiences a human being could possibly have. The city is
massive and the skyline, well, the skyline is simply breathtaking. It was midmorning
by the time we reached the city, so traffic was light. We took the Lincoln tunnel
into Manhattan. Andrea had booked us a room at The Wyman House which is located
in the Upper West Side of the city. I was totally prepared to pay 60 bucks a day
for parking, but as chance would have it we found street parking only a couple
blocks from where we were staying. Because we were driving Andrea's Honda we squeezed
it in between a car and a fire hydrant on 76th street. I turned the ignition off
and sighed. Andrea looked over at me and said "Don't get too comfortable,
our day is just beginning."
changed her cloths in the car, as she didn't want to walk around New York with
brown stains on her pants. Check in at The Wyman House wasn't until 2 pm. Once
we left the car we decided to get breakfast. We walked a couple of blocks and
found a cozy little diner. The diner wasn't exceptional or nasty. It was typical,
except for the bathroom. It was located in the basement and the stairs were very,
very steep. Andrea was wearing heels and couldn't manage the stairs. So after
an egg and bacon breakfast we embarked on a quest for a more suitable toilet.
But first I suggested we walk back to the car so she could change her shoes, but
she just scoffed at my rational thinking.
hate Starbucks' coffee, but in New York my hate turned into a warm fuzzy kind
of love. A couple blocks from the diner, Andie and I walked into a Starbucks.
While she waited for the bathroom, I got myself a latte. The café was filled
with people doing what people do at a café. They were studying and working
and talking and ... I wanted to know where the bullet proof glass was. Ok - I've
never been to either of the Starbucks in Detroit, but somehow I picture them like
most of the pizza joints - complete with bulletproof glass. In fact during our
entire stay in New York, no matter how seedy some of the streets looked, I never
saw any bulletproof glass. Andie came out of the bathroom and asked me what was
wrong. I said, "I'm thinking about robbing the place."
To get married in New York we had to go to the City Clerk's office
downtown and get a marriage license and then wait twenty-four hours before having
a ceremony. After we left Starbucks we began looking for a cab to drive us downtown.
It must have been the time or something, because flagging down a cab was not exactly
easy. So we kept walking aimlessly. We could have tried to use the subway, but
the last big city (Chicago) we visited - we were less than successful in using
it. Finally out of nowhere an old town car pulled up while I was attempting to
flag down a different cab. We got in the back and told him "City Hall".
The driver didn't really speak the English language too well, so Andrea went into
a detailed explanation on where we were headed. By some small miracle he finally
understood (I think it was Andie's ability to talk "stupid"). The driver
took an outside highway downtown, which we really enjoyed. It was like getting
an overview of the city with out looking at the map. When we passed Canal Street,
Andrea said, "Oh my God! We have to go." I was exhausted and really
just wanted to go get our license and go check in at our hotel. But I knew better
than to stand between a woman and her getting a Louis Vuitton knockoff, so I kept
my mouth shut. Around this time Andie started complaining about her shoes. Her
feet hurt. I told her we could find her cheap shoes as soon as we were downtown.
And wouldn't you know it, on Chambers Street there must have been ten cheap shoe
stores. I sighed and drifted off into thought.
Hall was really nice. I mean really nice. As we walked towards the front of the
building Andrea and I noticed the steps to the court house down the block. I said
"Hey the steps to the court house, where we see McCoy standing all the time."
By making a Law and Order reference, I pointed out the obvious fact that I was
a tourist. A couple of "suits" (probably lawyers) looked back at me
and laughed. I didn't care, but I thought Andie might have been. But she just
squeezed my hand and said, "That is so cool."
Once we showed our
identification and went through metal detectors to get into the building, we went
up to the third floor to the marriage office. I was surprised that there was a
line of people getting married, but Andie said it wasn't as bad as she had expected.
Andrea filled out the application real nice and then asked me to sign it. I was
surprised to see my signature was even worse than it usually is. She frowned a
little when she saw it and I said, "Hey give me a break. I'm nervous."
We walked up to the window and they processed our application and gave us a copy
of our license to give to our officiant. That was it. A couple at a different
window wanted to get their picture taken. But there was a sign that said "No
pictures." I don't know why, but there are a lot of weird signs in New York
like "$350 penalty for honking." Once we got outside, I gave Andie a
storybook kiss. I was excited to marry her and I couldn't help myself. I took
a quick look around right after the kiss to make sure there wasn't a "No
A block down the street from city
hall was a nice little shoe store. It was so tiny there was only room for the
shoes on display. I wanted to know where they kept all the rest of the shoes.
So I was really excited when Andrea picked a couple of styles to try on. The sales
clerk asked her young stock boy for the sizes. I watched carefully as he went
behind the register and then disappeared. A few minutes later he reappeared. As
Andie was trying on her shoes I looked behind the register and saw a little hole
in the floor. The shoes were stored in the basement. I said "How cool!"
Andie was in better sorts after she got some decent shoes to wear.
I was exhausted, but we still had time before we could check in. So we went shopping.
Canal Street is infamous; it has every knockoff watch, purse, and pirated DVD
in the world available to you. You want the new "XXX" movie before it's
released in theatres - go to Canal Street. I won't bore you with the details of
what "we" bought. But I will tell you about the cute Asian girl that
was selling purses, but not on the street. She had us follow her to a rundown
looking building a block a way and then go up an elevator that should have been
condemned. On the third floor she walked us through a "massage" parlor
of sorts and then opened a door to a little 10 by 12 foot room filled with purses.
Once inside she locked the door. I was creeped out. All Andie saw was a huge selection
of what I call "PRETTY-SHINY-THINGS." Ten minutes later Andie still
hadn't chosen a purse and I was sweating bullets. The girl left the room, but
locked us in. Five minutes later an Asian guy came in and started stocking purses.
Finally Andie chose a purse and the guy said some ridiculous price, I started
to argue, but thought better of it. As we walked out the door of the closet I
said to the guy. "This place is like a sweat shop!" I was referring
to the heat, but I didn't realize my faux pas until Andrea and I were a block
We wanted to check in on time so we started toward
the Upper West Side. Andie and I wanted to conserve some money so we opted to
take the subway instead. Ten minutes after descending into the New York underground
we submerged again. We hopped on the wrong train, which was headed for Brooklyn.
Right outside the subway stairs we caught a cab. But not just any cab. Sure it
looked like a normal cab. But this cab leapt small buildings in a single bound
and drove faster then any locomotive. Our driver was INSANE. He thought that sidewalks
were roads and I think he assumed people were figments of his imagination. He
also must not have read the "no honking sign" because it was a constant
noise we heard during the ride. That and the occasional "F^*& YOU!"
When we got to The Wyman House, I thanked the driver and gave him a very big tip.
The Wyman House is an old but very
classic home. It has six rooms to stay in, all of which have a kitchen. Andie
did good. Real good. We were on the third floor. Our room was clean and classic
in style and even had a small library of books. When we go back to New York we
will stay there again I hope. Once we checked out our room we headed to the car
and carried our stuff back. It took a couple of trips. By the time we got settled
and my head hit the pillow it was 5 o'clock.
a short nap I really wanted a coffee and I wanted to take a walk. Andie and I
strolled down to Broadway and found a nice market with great produce and a few
nice breakfast cafes. My new favorite place Starbucks was just around the corner
as well. Once we got back to the room I wanted to take a bath and OH WHAT A BATH
IT WAS! Andie fiddled with her wedding dress while she listened to me moan from
warm water soothing my aching body. I think the feeling I had was exactly what
they meant when they say, "Rode hard and put up wet." As soon as I was
done with my bath, I drew Andie a fresh one. As she soaked and moaned a lot like
I had done I watched Law and Order on TNT. We both fell asleep shortly after she
came to bed.
I would give you a more detailed account
of our second day in New York, but it was basically the same as the first. It
was still just as exciting for us. We just visited different locales. I had eggs
benedict and Andie had a wonderful veggie omelet at a café on Broadway.
We went to the sex museum in Midtown and made out on the steps. We bought an umbrella
on the sidewalk that fit both of us underneath it. We successfully used the subway
twice. I waited outside of Forever 21, forever, while "we" shopped.
We bought books at Barnes and Nobles. And as we walked in the rain we saw a woman
come out of her apartment on 76th and smile. I looked across the street to see
what she was smiling at. But there was nothing. I asked Andie what she thought
the woman was smiling at. Andie smiled and said "at the rain."
Andie and I were going to meet up with Zack and Alex our second night to have
our bachelor/bachelorette parties together. But she wanted to rest up and get
things ready for our wedding the following day. So I went it alone. I met up with
the guys at 10 o'clock at the Pussycat Lounge on Greenwich. I had to take the
subway all the way from uptown to downtown. I really enjoyed the ride. I guess
because I like people, which is a weird thing for me to say. Anyway, the Pussy
Cat ended up being worse than the Booby Trap on 8 mile, back home in Detroit.
I got there a little early so I talked to the bartender, who used to be a stripper,
about classic Russian authors and Hemingway.
By midnight I was trashed.
By 1am Zack put me in a cab and told the drive where to take me. I loved Zack
for doing that. It showed a lot of class. Let me not forget that Alex made sure
to cut me off at the bar earlier that night. It's just I expect Alex to do stuff
like that. Zack seemed a little out of character. But maybe it's when you're at
your worst Zack is at his best. So, thankfully I got home early enough, due to
my friends, to sleep off my drinking binge.
woke up sick. Andie was already up. She was looking out the window and becoming
very agitated that it was raining outside. I went to the toilet and threw up.
While I was hugging the toilet and Andie was bitching about the rain I called
out to her "Hey, we're getting married today!" I think she replied "that's
not funny." I thought it was.
By 12 o'clock the rain had stopped and
the sun came out. Andie and I did a little last minute shopping on Broadway at
Lord of the Fleas. She also got her hair styled at a local hair salon. I was getting
nervous. Back at the Wyman House I got dressed and noticed Andrea was a little
anxious. I teased her about being nervous. She denied it, but she was. After getting
dressed I went downstairs and waited for her. I called a cab at 2:15 at 2:20 Andie
came down looking
WOW! She had a Vera Wang dress on that her friends had
helped her purchase off of EBAY and her hair was done up with a silk sash. She
looked like a woman right out of the 1920's. And all you gentlemen out there you
should know that the 1920's were a great era for good women (Gertrude Stein, Dorothy
We headed for Central Park in the cab right on time. Everything
was perfect except for the smell in the car. I asked Andie, "What is that?"
She answered "I don't know," making a face. I whispered to her, "It's
the driver." She giggled.
Andrea and I planned on getting married in
Shakespeare Gardens in Central Park. And we did, but finding it was a pain in
the ass. Andie took off her glasses for the wedding, so she held onto my arm while
we walked into the park off of 81st Street. She kept commenting that the park
looked like a Monet painting. I wondered if that's why Monet painted the way he
did, because he had horrible eyesight. Everyone we passed in the park either congratulated
us or told Andie how beautiful she looked. I think this is a good time to mention
that New York was not what I expected. Everyone there was so nice and helpful
either with directions or holding the door for you wherever you went. Andrea and
I were both pleasantly surprised. We were having problems finding Shakespeare
Gardens so I called our officiant Diane for help. She was already there waiting
and gave us great directions over the phone. Five minutes later we were shaking
her hand. Alex was already there as well. I love this about Alex. He'll hate that
I said this, but he reminds me of me. Zack was nowhere to be found. But we waited.
The officiant filled out our marriage license and I picked a spot in the gardens
to have the ceremony. I found a spot on the stone overlook with some of the city
skyline behind us. It was perfect. The day was perfect, except no Zack. The officiant
said we could marry with only one witness. But a few minutes later Zack showed
up. I gave him a big hug. Only Zack could pull off being fashionably late and
still look like everything is cool. Then the license was signed by me and Andie
and our witnesses.
got married at 3:00 pm on May 1st, 2005.
the ceremony everyone that passed by made sure to walk around us. After Andrea
and I said our "I Do's" and sealed our marriage with a kiss did I realize
that we drew a crowd. We got a round of applause from twenty or thirty onlookers.
I thought it's moments like these that God created Man.
While walking out
of the park, there were crowds of people demonstrating against the war in Iraq.
Andie had heard them announce it on the news earlier and was convinced it was
meant to be that there were demonstrations going on during our wedding day. We
walked past a group who congratulated us on our marriage and Andie asked if she
could join in the demonstration because, "I just got married and I can't
stand George W." She grabbed a sign, raised it high, and everyone took pictures.
wedding brunch was less than exceptional. Andie wanted to eat at the Boat house
at 72nd. But we didn't find it in time. The restaurant stopped serving lunch at
4pm and didn't open for dinner till 6pm. So we had to walk out of the park and
into the city and find a place. Zack and I had a hot dog while we looked. We both
noticed that there was no substance to the hot dog and thought it felt like air.
We finally found a place called "3 Guys." It was like twenty bucks a
plate, but still there was ketchup on the table. Go figure. Andie and I had fun
anyway, because Zack and Alex were there. All four of us took turns saying horrible
things about the place when the waiter would walk by. We would be embarrassed
for a minute and then laugh about it. I laughed out loud when Zack ordered the
Ultimate Burger. Andie had mentioned that she got my ring engraved. While we ate
I took it off and read it. It says "POR TOUS JOURS" and it also had
my initials. I asked Andie what it meant. She said "Forever, for all days."
dinner I paid the check and then got reprimanded by Alex and Zack for doing so.
So I made them give me cash and that seemed to shut 'em up. Outside we said our
goodbyes to each other and then while I was taking their picture a fireman walked
into the restaurant. We laughed and found it fitting.
On our wedding night
I walked down to the Fairway market on Broadway and bought fresh fruit, gourmet
cheeses, crackers, and chocolate mousse cake. Back at The Wyman House in our room
we shared an exceptional plate of food in bed. It was the best Wedding dinner
ever. We enjoyed every crumb.
DAY 4 and 5 and 6
written seven pages and Andie and I are just now leaving New York. Well, we packed
up and left. It really wasn't that simple and we had a little fun before we left.
While we were leaving the city, I said, "I really don't want to go."
Andie smiled and said, "I know." She squeezed my hand and then said,
"I love you." We drove the rest of the day towards our honeymoon house
in Florida. Delaware was more like DeleWHY? Maryland kind of sucked and so did
the drivers. In Virginia we decided to give it a new state slogan "F&@#
VIRGINIA!" But in North Carolina we started to have fun again. It looked
bleak at first. I needed to stop so I pulled off the freeway because I saw a billboard
for a vineyard/winery. I figured the next day we could go. But the room I chose
was less then exceptional. Ok. It sucked. Andie refused to let her feet touch
the floor. I guess this is married life.
Luckily Chris Rock was on Comedy Central and we were able to forget
about how horrible the room was. The next day, we went to a discount
store and got a lot of cool stuff. Andie said we could spend the money
seeing as how we saved so much on the hotel. We went to the winery
(Hinnant Family Vineyards)
and did a wine tasting. I actually found a bottle I liked and we got
a bottle for Zack as a souvenir. Then we got gas and hopped back on
Later that day we were trying to figure out where to have dinner
when we saw a sign for Savannah. Andie and I both have always wanted to go to
Savannah. Now there are two different Savannahs. The art college in the downtown
district and the touristy waterfront. Luckily we started with the downtown artsy
side. In one of the parks we saw a crazy old woman talking to herself just like
in the book "Midnight of Garden and Evil," then we had dinner in a strange
Moroccan restaurant. It had a hot belly dancer and the food was exceptional, but
our waiter had a twin brother working there and that was kind of freaky. Then
we went down to the waterfront on a whim and walk for a while. We got some salt
water taffy and a chocolate covered pretzel to share. Then as soon as I was getting
comfortable we had to hop back on the road.
I drove the rest of the way
to Florida non-stop. I didn't even have to use cold water to stay awake. I guess
I was buzzed. Around 3 am we pulled into the driveway of my boss's house (thanks
Captain Bob) in Stuart, Florida. We went in and got settled around 5 am we went
to bed and then woke up at 9 am and went for supplies for the house. All in all,
it's not a bad place to spend your honeymoon.
Fortunately, there's a Starbucks
down the street . . .