New York WeddiMoon: Day 4
… in which we repeat, over and over, “My God, this is taking forever.”
Chaos non calmo at the New York Marriage Bureau, where half the known world appears to have decided to get married today. You get issued a number and wait for it to pop up on a screen, just like in an Italian post office. Given that they make you register online before showing up to pay fees, it isn’t as though they didn’t know we were coming. Still, the line moves with painful, not to say sadistic, slowness.
The atmosphere is loud and mostly festive. It reminds me of an art gallery opening more than a party. Here and there are straight guys with their backs pushed up against the wall who are literally glowering at the male couples. It doesn’t feel unsafe because, honestly, there are a helluva lot more of us than there are of them, but the stink of homophobia is still palpable. Still, you know, fuck ’em.
After two hours we get out with our marriage license in hand. Tomorrow we have to come back, wait on yet another line in order to pay the fee for the wedding ceremony, and wait again a third time to get an actual official to perform the ceremony. Lesbians are clearly not in charge of the New York Marriage Bureau, and that’s alls I’m sayin’.
The rest of the day was a bit of a drag, as perhaps it couldn’t help but be. There are a certain amount of nerves about tomorrow, and we’re both a little pooped.
Still, we gamely headed uptown, where the Museum of Natural History disappointed hugely, which was as shocking as it was sad. Whereas the MNH once felt stately and timeless, it now has the air of a great, big Discovery Channel special — you know, science for people who not only don’t know anything about science but are mostly curious what would happen if you dropped an elephant off the Empire State Building. Almost all that great, old worldly 19th-century charm is gone in favor of exhibits that are are either hopelessly superficial (lions live in Africa) or hopelessly complex (discussions of toe evolution in ungulates). Of particular sadness to me: they’ve removed all but a tiny handful of the invertebrate fossils. Richard Fortey’s genius work on trilobites was done there, not to mention the seminal contributions of another dozen great invertebrate paleontologists, and today it’s all about the dinosaurs.
From there it was off to a late lunch/early dinner at Katz’s Deli. I’m sorry to say it – and I know there are people following this blog just for the deli reviews – but Mighty Katzy has struck out. We were served a very meh pastrami on rye and latkes that, frankly, mine are better. And I’m neither in the East Village nor Jewish. (Though I do always have matzoh meal on hand.) Even the cheesecake … they called it “New York Cheesecake,” but really it was more like Rhode Island Cheesecake at best. MAYBE Connecticut.
Somewhat dejected, we forced our way back onto the Brooklyn-bound train with a crowbar and were home by 8.
Tomorrow’s got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.