Tony is now my husband, and I'm his. And we're still pretty happy about that four days later. Hee hee.
Tony and I took a bus into the city on Wednesday afternoon. We'd meant to take a somewhat earlier bus, but in the car, on the way to the park-and-ride stop, not too far from home, I asked Tony whether he had tickets for the bus.1 He didn't, and I didn't, so I had to turn around and drive back home so he could run—well, this is Tony, so saunter—into the house to grab some. And he fixed the guest bathroom toilet, which we're both sure had shut off the last time Tony had used it but was now running.
The bus would have had to have been a few minutes late getting to Flemington and loading passengers for us to be able to catch it, and it obviously wasn't: We saw it coming toward us as we approached the driveway to the park-and-ride lot. The next bus, which we caught about an hour and a half later, was, naturally, almost 10 minutes late.
It wasn't a big deal, though. We had nothing planned for that day other than a 6 o'clock dinner at Craft. Which was as wonderful as always. This was the third consecutive year we've gone there for dinner for our anniversary.
Like last year, we both got the Beef Short Rib for our entree. I posted these photos of us at dinner ...
... on Facebook and raved about the short rib: "With apologies to my vegetarian and vegan friends, the beef short rib at Craft is life-changing. It was so good, I almost needed Tony to slap me back to reality. I was in tender, browned meat nirvana."
We split a side of bok choi. Tony said it tasted like bok choi we'd made before, and it did. It was gingery, and Tony guessed it was made with pickled ginger. Tony and I like to commend ourselves on dinners well-prepared at home by asserting an individual item or an entire plate of food was "restaurant quality." I said that our bok choi wasn't quite as good as Craft's in that Craft's wasn't cooked for even 5 seconds longer than necessary. We also, of course, don't have prep chefs chopping ingredients into precisely the right size pieces.
To start, I had a salad of gorgeous baby lettuces with a barely detectable (by which I mean to say there wasn't enough for me) Rhubarb Vinaigrette:
Tony had Roasted Foie Gras with green and red strawberries:
To drink, we had the fantastic 2012 Catherine & Pierre Breton Bourgueil Clos Sénéchal, which I selected:
We've been drinking a lot of Loire reds lately—Tony, especially, has gotten enamored with them—and, because they tend to be great bargains,2 I figured it was a good category to look for on a wine list in a spendy restaurant. This one was bright and herbal yet earthy and had a pleasant flavor note of, seriously, cooked tomatoes.
Tony had a glass of calvados after dinner, and I had dessert even though I was so damn full already: Cocoa Nib Sorbet and Mint and Strawberry ice creams:
Oh, and they also started us off with complimentary glasses of prosecco and, IIRC, sea bass ceviche amuse-bouches with slices of radish and blobs of lemony sauce. And at the end, as they did last year, they brought out a plate with two gummies on it—they were pineapple-coconut this year—and the words "Happy Anniversary!" written in icing, with hearts replacing the dots on the i and in the exclamation point. Aw. And *urp*. That was a lot of gatdam food!
Because we were still somewhat full from the night before, Tony and I had only carrot juice and decaf for breakfast in The Pembroke Room on the second floor of our hotel on our wedding day. The juice was so good—it had a texture that was damn near creamy—Tony said he could have it again for lunch. "And a sensible dinner," I quipped. Back in our room, I ate the two (sensible-sized) orange muffins, with hidden streusel, we'd been given by the host at Craft to take home.
Tony got his hair cut at his old barber in the West Vilage; I'm his new barber in Delaware Township.
Meanwhile, I started working on this blog post at the hotel. Then I met Tony and Mark H. from Charlottesville for lunch at our regular lunch spot, Lilli and Loo. I forgot to take a pic of the two fellas while we were eating, so here's one I snapped when we were all done, as evidenced by my crumpled napkin:
I know there must be a limit to how many descriptions of food even my loyal readers can wade through—and there's more food on the way, in the part of this post about the reception—so I'll mention only that one of the women on staff at the restaurant tried to stop me from taking another bite of my General Tso's Tofu. She'd noticed that I'd asked for it to be made gluten-free but it was on a round plate and, at L&L, GF dishes are served on square plates. Tony had already pointed out to me that my lunch must not have been made GF because he knew about that shape-of-the-plate dealie. I told the woman that I'd requested GF in case those two guys had wanted to try it but I didn't need it to be GF for me. She seemed relieved.
After lunch, we had a bit of time to kill before Tony and I needed to get dressed for the wedding, so we took a short walk in Central Park ...
... and then got pots of decaf coffee at the hotel.
Then we got dressed, made sure we had our marriage license and rings, took the F train to the West 4th Street stop, and walked to the Marlton Hotel, arriving about 6:30.3 Dad, Jean, Tracey, the 'phews, and some of our friends were already in the bar outside Margaux when we arrived.
The manager took us into the back room of the restaurant, and we discussed the logistics of serving the food and using my iPhone to play music inside the room. Tony and I filled in and/or signed our marriage license, wills, and living wills with Dad, Rich, Eugene, Stacy, and Jack acting as witnesses. Then we invited everyone in to start eating appetizers.
Here's a photo Jack took of a place setting with the evening's menu4 and part of a tray of bread and olives:
All of the plates were differently patterned, which lent a homey, informal air to the dinner.
After a few minutes, we requested the music be turned off, so Tony and I could get hitched, in a ceremony written by Tony and me and led by our good buddy Eugene.
Eugene started out by saying:
I’d like to welcome everyone here to the wedding of Tony and Bill. On this special day, which is the sixth anniversary of their first date, the guys wanted to be surrounded by the people they love and who love them, so thank you for coming and making that happen. They’re also grateful for the important people—and dogs—in their lives who couldn’t be here: who have passed on or who were unable to make the trip here today.
Then, as I mentioned in my previous post would happen, Eugene asked us to verify we were freely choosing to enter in marriage with each other. After we both said yes, he said, "And now, to demonstrate their commitment to each other, we’ll have the traditional exchange of rings and taking of vows that Bill and Tony have written." Then Tony, first, and I, second, recited the following vows and put the rings, which we had in our jacket pockets, on each other's fingers:
With this ring, I, Anthony Pizur/William Charles Hawley, take you, William Charles Hawley/Anthony Pizur, to be my husband.
You are my best friend and my beloved.
You make me laugh so often, on purpose, and you lift me up when I’m sad or self-doubting.
I want you in my life more than anyone else because you make me a better person.
You bring so much joy to my life, and I will always love you.
I cried briefly during the second sentence but perked back up at the "on purpose" line and held it together for the rest of the vows. I thought I heard Tony's voice catch during his vows, but he says he didn't choke up at all.
Eugene then said, "By virtue of the authority vested in me by the state of New York, I now pronounce you to be husband and husband," and Tony and I kissed for a second time. Because we'd already kissed immediately after the vows were done.
Dad and Rich signed the marriage license, I asked for the music to be turned back on, and then we all settled down to eating.
After a bit, while we were eating our first course, I saw a short, elderly woman I didn't know talking with Hanif at the end of the table near the entrance to our event room from the restaurant's dining room. "What could this be about?" I wondered. Moments later, she came up to me and my father, who was seated to my right, and congratulated us. (Dad later made a joke about him looking like a sugar daddy.) Everyone within earshot simultaneously corrected her and said that Tony, who was seated to my left, was my new husband. She moved down a little bit and congratulated us both and said, in a British accent, she didn't even mind that her food was late coming out because of our party. Tony and I were cordial, but I felt like asking her what made her think we should give a fuck what she, a total stranger, thinks on our wedding day. *SMDH*
I had requested a vegan dish—risotto with tomato and basil—for my second course because I figured, correctly, I'd be hitting the veal meatballs pretty hard during the first course. Since Stacy needed a vegan entree, the kitchen was already going to be making at least one serving of risotto.
Everyone raved about the quality of the food, from the delicious country bread to the mind-blowingly good chocolate budino (aka pudding). I had two glasses of red wine and, to honor Ignacio Zaragoza and the Mexican Army's victory over the French in 1862, a zippy Tijuana Zebra cocktail.
When we got back to our hotel, we found a plate of chocolate-covered strawberries and a half-bottle of wonderful (Nonvintage) Pol Roger Réserve Champagne for us in our room. (The women who checked us in had asked us what we were doing in New York while we were visiting, so they knew we were getting married.) The Champagne was terrific. Tony didn't get a headache from it, like he sometimes does from sparkling wines.
Because my phone was in the basement syncing up with the restaurant's sound system, I have no photos of my own from that evening. I've gotten some from Jack and will post them and pix from Stacy, our official photographer, in the days ahead. I'll also probably do a post on the tunes I included in my Wedding Songs playlist, some of which were simply songs Tony and/or I liked and some of which had extra meaning.
To end this post, here's a cute photo of Tony and me Stacy posted on Facebook:
1I had bought a strip of 10 tickets at the ticket agent in Flemington a little while ago. Buying them in bulk makes them reasonably priced. You can't buy tickets at the bus stop itself. I once saw a woman buy a ticket from the driver with cash, but I think she had the exact amount and that you must have the exact amount or no ticket for you.
2I have to stand on my tiptoes to reach the Loire reds on a top shelf at the wine store I frequent most often, Central Wine Merchants, in Flemington. And the bottles are always dusty. And we've enjoyed a great deal just about every one we've tried.
3On the way to the hotel, I saw on Facebook that Dan had checked in at Monster Bar and written "Arrived in the city early for Bill Hawley and Tony's wedding." I commented: "Wait! What?! I'm getting married today? *puts down tequila shot and takes off sombrero*" As I'm prone to doing, I later discussed the successfulness of my joke with Dan and Paul. I said I'd second-guessed myself and considered whether "margarita" would have worked better than "tequila shot." But Paul and I agreed "tequila shot" sounded more like a guy on a bender than "margarita." My final thought on this is that including an ordinal number, maybe "fourth," before "tequila shot," would have been a nice touch. And that's how you beat a joke to death!
4UPDATE on May 11: Even when you click on the photo to enlarge it, the menu is very hard to read, so I'm putting it here:
Country Bread, Sicilian Olive Oil,
Kriemhild Dairy Butter, Olives, Whipped Ricotta, Sea Salt
Raw Seasonal Vegetables, Buckwheat Crackers, Lemon Hummus
Lacinato Kale, Grated Parsnip, Serrano Chiles, Olive Oil, Lemon, Sunflower Seeds
Veal Meatballs, San Marzano Tomato Sauce, Ricotta
Grass-Fed Beef Short Rib, Red Wine Braise, Fresh Polenta
Rotisserie Chicken, Urfa Biber, Green Harissa
Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Chocolate Budino With Olive Oil, Sea Salt
Assorted Seasonal Sorbet