Thursday, July 07, 2005

Going to the chapel...

City Hall. Actually, it’s the municipal building across the street from City Hall. But I like it’s (slightly run down) grandeur.

Here’s the way it works. You go through a metal detector. Take the elevator up to the 2nd hall and go to the left. You have to get your marriage license ($35, payable in money order only) at least 24 hours before you can get married. So he did that on Friday. The place was a mob scene on the Friday before the 4th of July weekend. You have to wait in three different lines. One to get a form, another to turn in the form, and a third to pay.

So on Tuesday we take the subway down to city hall for the wedding ($25, payable in money order only). The lines aren’t so bad. But we have no witness. Patrick, Zora’s dad, shows up first. So we put his name on the form and start the wheels of bureaucracy rolling.

Window number nine.

Religion costs extra.

The “chapel.”

Poor Zora hadn’t really slept the night before and was very tired.

So after you turn in your completed marriage license form, you get sent to the hallway to wait. Around this time Tamara and Karl show up. They call you into a room about four or five couples at a time. This room had good air conditioning. From this anteroom, you get called one party at a time into the actually ceremony room.

Room number one.

Getting our $25 worth! In the power vested in her by the State of New York, she pronounced us husband and wife!

The bride is kissed


It’s official.

Hey, they’re not married!

Peter and Zora. After the wedding.

I either look very drunk or very pleased with myself.

Meanwhile, before we got married, this couple needed a witness for their wedding. Zora was sitting next to them and agreed. They didn’t speak much English. As soon as the marriage woman started talking. He said, obviously well rehearsed if a little too eager, “I do!” He got to say it again when she finished.

You got one job as a witness, and it’s to keep your eyes open! Standards are pretty lax, to say the least.

Meanwhile, Jim and Daphne were picking up Vietnamese sandwiches, as instructed. Pork. Spicy. Delicious.

The shop doubles as a jewelry store.

The red bag coming down the hallway is filled with Bahn Mi (Vietnamese sandwiches) and is being carried by Jim, who was somewhat peeved that he missed the actually ceremony. But you can’t fight city hall.

Meanwhile. Karl got suckered into being this couples witness. So we had to wait for them as well. Luckily, we had sandwiches to eat. If there's an angry father coming after Karl, he might be in trouble. We had to pass a "no more witnessing" rule at this point.

This is truly one of the most diverse places you’ll see. Everybody who gets married in New York City has to come here (or one of the other locations—each borough has one). No exceptions. Rich, poor, white, black, native, foreign. They’re all here.

nice hat!

So we all went our separate way. We packed Zora’s dad, Patrick, on the A train to Howard Beach and JFK. Zora and I headed uptown. Uh, taking the subway back from my marriage. Is this what I agreed to?

We went to Penn Station and somehow met our friend Chris, who had no cell phone, no knowledge of where to go, and no plan for us meeting. I still don't quite understand how this worked. That’s her baby girl, Estelle, enjoying her first ride on the N Train.

We got home, the baby cried some, Zora slept some, and we all got ready for dinner.

This, by the way, is the first known picture of me Zora together. It is from college in the Fall of 1993.

1 comment:

Zora said...

Just for the record, the second charming couple we witnessed were named Oksana and Reggie. Of course they were.