Friday, June 22, 2007

Picture Post: My Sis' Wedding in The Big Apple

Sixteen floors up in our hotel I was introduced to the glory that is the New York skyline

Sorry I've been away for so long but the family & I took a trip to New York City last weekend for my sister's wedding and I'm just getting back up to speed following our return Tuesday.

First of all let me say that the wedding was INCREDIBLE. My sister Melissa, who works for NBC Sports, and her hubby Paul, who is a writer/producer for the Glenn Beck Show, are truly a match made in heaven as they share the same interests, talents, and goals, and the love they have for each other could be felt by all those around them.

Being in the entertainment industry they decided to go all out for their nuptials, the first plunge for each.

This included choosing a spectacular historical venue called the Angel Orensanz Center, which the rabbi informed us is the third oldest temple in the country and the security guard informed me that it has hosted events ranging from the wedding of SJP & Matthew Broderick, a concert by Kevin Bacon's band, and a porn convention.
The Rabbi was bucking for a TV called show 'The Rabbi'; he was like the Judge Seidlin of the temple. I kid you not.

Being in the entertainment industry, that's where tradition went out the stained glass window.

Meliss & Paul decided to buck regular wedding standards and go with the rapidly growing trend of non-traditional weddings, which take the conventional wedding themes and toss them on their stodgy ears, the highlight being the opening dance by the bride & groom.

The entire wedding party (of which myself & my son were included) walked out to movie & TV theme songs, such as the Love Boat and "Eye of the Tiger", and while the ceremony itself followed tradition, such as the couple being wed under the chupah (hoopah) and Paul crushing the glass to shouts of 'Mazal Tov' at the end, many other aspects of the event defied normal conventions.

After the cocktail hour and before dinner, Melissa and Paul had their first dance. Only it wasn't your typical stiff, awkward snoozer. Instead they made like Mr. & Mrs. Smith, engaging in a mini spy sketch, dancing stealthily around each other with finger guns blazing to the tune of "Nobody Does It Better" by Carly Simon.

The were the spies who loved each other.

It. Was. Awesome.

In fact, Melissa explained after the audience had been floored by the "Dancing with the Stars"-like production, they had been featured on an NBC Nightly News piece a few weeks ago covering the new craze that is sweeping the wedding nation. Here's the link featuring Paul & Melissa telling how they feel about what could be the death of the Chicken Dance as we know it.

Anyway, not much else went on that night, except my mom almost broke her ankle on a wicked set of steps, nearly everyone in attendance danced at some point or another, and six people, including yours truly, got up in front of everyone and toasted (or like my Uncle Tony said, more like "roasted) the happy couple, including Melissa's good friend Mary who went so far as to pen & sing a little ditty about love & TV.
Mary always knows how to make a room full of people laugh

All of that combined with seeing family members and friends that I hadn't seen in anywhere from 10-30 years made for an awesome, emotional experience, one that no one in attendance shall forget any time soon. We all walked away from it saying it was the best wedding we had ever been to, and to think there was no garter belt, no bouquet toss, and not even a cake!

That's my sis, always on the cutting edge!

The other great part of our trip was that my wife, son and I got to visit New York City for the first time. Being from Boston I'd always assumed that I'd hate the Big Apple, you know cause I friggin can't stand the Stanks and Mets and every one of their fans.

But surprisingly I (we) loved the city and our brief stay in it. One of the benefits of having family live there is they can help everything run smoothly.

We had a great hotel, the Shelburne Murray Hill, located 3 1/2 blocks from the Empire State Building and featuring a hip staff and scenic rooftop bar, and Melissa guided us to what we could & could not do according to our limited time frame.

In fact from quick airport trips to friendly cabbies & cops, the only time we had a bad moment was when it rained as soon as we got to the top of the Empire State Building (of course.)

Even that bit of disappointment wasn't enough to spoil our time, and although we didn't get to do a lot of things due to time constraints, we did & saw enough to enjoy the time we spent and want to go back again to do the rest.

Hey, I got an idea-why don't I shut up now and let some of the 557 pictures I took do the rest of the talking. Good idea.

It may have been overcast, but the view was still spectacular

This was the view from one side of the rooftop bar...

...and this was the view from the other

My son looked smashing in his first wedding tux...

...and my sis looked stunning in her gorgeous gown

We were all blown away by the rustic beauty of the historic Orensanz temple

That's me, the short bald one in the back

Here comes the bride with Mom & Jesse

I now pronounce you...

...husband and wife- hey Paul, watch the tongue!

Is it just me or did Paul's mom look scared to death on this chair ride?

My great Aunt Ruthie & Uncle Normie were the hits of the night

My wife & son cut a mean rug

My Uncle Tony & Aunt Nancy try not to wake my Uncle Phil

Me and my (not so little) cousins Gina & Lauren

My Aunt Annie and (little) cousin Greg, a hotel magnate in the making

Me and my Aunt Deb and Uncle Jimmy and cousin Courtney...

...and Courtney's brother Ryan, who's headed to UMass in the fall

I thought I'd better include some of Paul's family in these pix. I chose these sisters-in-law for no particular reason

As I stepped outside the venue for a breather...

...I noticed this building at the end of the street. Look very closely, that's an actual statue of a Russian dictator on the roof. Note the clock face and the street signs as well. Very odd.

The next day we walked the city from the hotel all the way to Times Square,

...spying some world famous landmarks along the way

My wife & son took it all in

We made it all the way to Central Park

Where Drew loved to climb the rocks

But even after taking in all the historical grandeur of the city...

...the highlight for me had to be meeting the one and only Rupert Gee!

Congrats Meliss & Paul and may you have a long & healthy marriage.

And as a native Bostonian I hate to say this but...

I loved New York!