~souvenir (to remember)~

October 23rd, 2008

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Lovely elevators to all alternate realities of the past and future, including marriage license offices.

What has become increasingly clear is that time–with all is gorgeous people, places, feelings–is not lost and further (made so clear by the restless traveling we will have done over fifteen days: neuchatel-geneva-brooklyn-los angeles-new york-amsterdam-neuchatel), parallel realities exist and can be dipped into at will–if you step into the right airplane or elevator. Going Past? Future? Local? Or Express?

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We arrive back in NYC with three days until the wedding and in this time we take care of remaining business, such as sizing rings with our jeweler friend, and heading down to City Hall for the license, which is a surprisingly interesting experience. The building is gorgeous, with path-worn marble floors and vaulted ceilings and magical elevators. The air in the license office itself is a strange blend of DMV ennui meets giddy joy–we chatted with the people behind us in line, who like us, had been living together for eons and just decided to make it legal.

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Note the wedding dry cleaning hanging from belt.

Our guests then began to descend upon the town as well–Michelle, David, Karen and Don and Karen from the West Coast; Carola, Christian, Heike and Stefan from Germany. The meeting of our past worlds in our not really current world, but the world that brought us together.

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Our Boys and Girls Night Out was quite raucous, mostly unfit to print, beginning as it did narrated by Carol Channing, which is to say, in that bastion of post-war decadence, Bemelmans Bar.

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The man on piano played Moon River, next door Woody Allen played clarinet, and our ladies settled into leather banquettes with expertly muddled cocktails (this lady had a Gin-Gin Mule) and attempted to make penis jokes, because isn’t that the idea?

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Gaelen attempts her best penis joke. The conclusion: redundant! Ha!

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All around us murals of frolicking animals painted by bar namesake and former Carlyle Hotel resident Ludwig Bemelmans (who refused payment for his handiwork, but accepted living quarters instead) brought to my mind his book series Madeline, and the recording I had as a child of La Channing reading in that unmistakable lilt:

In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
They left the house at half past nine, the smallest one was Ma-de-line!

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Later, the gals joined the fellas at the Bar at the Four Seasons in the Seagram Building, built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in 1958. The kids enjoyed the International Style aesthetics including the Richard Lippold hanging sculpture and liquid, breathing metal curtains.

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The last revelers ensconced themselves in Chelsea Diner for champagne and grilled cheese before bugging Mom–ever charming and glamorous–at 2am.

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Then it was time for beauty sleep–all four hours of it–before the Big Day.

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