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Posts Tagged ‘wedding’

Think Globally, Wed Locally

Posted by evankessler on October 6, 2009


The merry peal of wedding bells echoed along the tree-lined streets and off the distinguished brownstone facades of Park Slope this past weekend.  Friday night brought the long awaited nuptials of my good friends Matt and Jenny.  As far as I’m concerned, Matt and Jenny have been married since I’ve known them, which is to say I don’t know anything other than them existing as a couple.  They’re also one of the more pleasant couples to be around  as they’ve never given an off that overly attached vibe.  While they complete each other, they’re also equally as wonderful in an individual sense.  I suppose that last fact makes their union even more charmed, as you couldn’t wish a better mate for two lovelier people.

I remember the day several months back at Rope in Fort Greene when Matt announced to me and Arby his honorable intentions.  He was so sure of himself and so excited to be reaching this grown up chapter in his life.  It was as if he developed tunnel vision staring directly at his wedding day, knowing exactly what it would be like down to every last detail on the wedding ring.

I was a little taken aback by the short span of their engagement since usually you get more time to digest these stages, but I suppose when a couple has been together as long as the couple in question, throwing a year in between calling yourself engaged or husband and wife is just additional time best left for other things.

As I walked towards the Brooklyn Botanic Garden on an absolutely beautiful Friday evening in the fall, I had the feeling that I was walking into a storybook.  The perfect couple, the perfect place on a perfect night.  Unfortunately, I forgot to pick the perfect place to enter the ceremonial grounds.

Minutes before shipping myself off to the wedding site, I had been offered a ride with Arby, Megan, Robert and Courtney to the grounds.  I declined figuring it was the perfect night to walk and I’d really only have to walk between five to ten minutes down the road.  Passing by the Grand Army Arch and Brooklyn Public Library along Eastern Parkway, I came to the entrance of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.  There were several ticket windows open.  I walked up to one of them and notified the worker that I was there for the wedding.  The worker waved me in neglecting to tell me that the wedding was on an entirely different side of the park.  I spent the next ten minutes or so aimlessly wandering the premises trying to figure out where everyone was.  Part of me figured that I must be early, while the other part of me knew that I was a long way from witnessing any wedded bliss.

After a spate of back and forth calls with Arby, I came to the realization that I had used an entrance on another side of the Garden.  I quickly reversed field leaving from whence I came and walking a shorter distance than expected to the Washington Avenue entrance to the brilliantly welcoming garden grounds.  Upon my entry I was immediately directed to the whereabouts of the reception.  I was ensured that I was in the correct place when Jeff G emerged from the area where the ceremony would be taking place with a brief flash of the finger guns.

Just like that I was immersed in a sea of friendly faces dressed to the nines for the special occasion.  Arby, Robert, Courtney, Abbi, Zak, Emma, Andrew P, Alix, and many others were enjoying their first sweet taste of wedding bliss as shaped by a champagne flute.  Rather than jump directly into the land of alcoholic indulgence I decided to pace myself with a splash of sparkling water.  I didn’t want to get myself in trouble too early.  It had been a few days since I’d tempted a rise in my blood alcohol content on account of an illness the result of either a 48 hour bug or food poisoning seemingly kicked only  minutes before departure.

Somewhere during my glass of Pellegrino the wedding planner beckoned the guests t0 please take their seats as Matt’s bandmate Rich coolly played some Steely Dan songs throughout the process of getting everyone situated.  Arby and I took to the back row as we had many times before in Music industry classes back in Syracuse University, though this time we were not armed with pencils and crosswords, just a desire to not be too front and center.

The wedding party entry seemed to happen rather fast.  Matt seemed to cruise non chalantly down to the wonderful willow tree reserved as scenic mark of matrimony, the “I do” spot if you will (and you will).  Next came Marie (from what I can recall), the maid of honor and Jenny with her father to give her away.

Here Comes The Bride

Here Comes The Bride

Lovely Setting For A Wedding

Lovely Setting For A Wedding

Doing the officiating was their friend Dan, who though not a religious minister of any sort had gone through the necessary pains to be ordained and have authority invested in him by the state of New York.  Dan read from a thankfully non-religious, but nonetheless lovely nuptial script, though a good deal of his dialogue and the couple’s mimicry of his orders got lost in the sounds of whipping autumn wind through the trees.  Adding to the proceedings, Matt’s sister Brooke read a poem, as did Jeff G.  Jeff’s poem struck me funny as it was mostly romantic, but the first line of “now you are mine” was read in almost a terroristic sense, like a film villain declaring that he’s finally got his arch nemesis exactly where he wants him.

The Newlyweds Make Their Way Up The Aisle As Man and Wife

The Newlyweds Make Their Way Up The Aisle As Man and Wife

Nothing, however, could mar the setting and the reason we were there though as two excellent people that I think the world of ultimately tethered themselves to one another with the bond of marriage.  Once that was done, all bets were off.  It was time to celebrate.

It still took me a while to morph into celebration mode.  Still feeling a bit uneasy about my physical state I first cautiously nipped at the hors d’oeuvres with ginger ale in hand before upping the ante to champagne.  Caution thrown into the wind, and the wind certainly blowing the night got off to a more relaxed than rollicking start.  After moving the festivities to the lovely reception room the food was delivered in rapid fire succession in the midst of a few speeches and first dances.  Matt didn’t let his first dance with his new bride go by without one of his trademark leg kicks. That was followed by the best man speech delivered by Pete and a Maid of Honor speech delivered by Marie.

First Dance Pre Leg Kick

First Dance Pre Leg Kick

Just after the former and before the latter I was making a comment to slight bag of nerves that was Marie as she was about to get up to give her speech.  While erratically grabbing my champagne glass I managed to fumble my drink sending a wave of bubbly over my face and some splashing on the soon to be speaking maid of honor.  The entire absurdity of the brief happening seemed to loosen Marie up and pave the way for a more than memorable speech.  Not to shine a light on my clumsiness, but I was glad I could help.


Jenny Dances With Her Dad

Matt As Mama's Boy

Matt As Mama's Boy

After a good period of culinary fulfillment featuring the likes of Cornish Game Hen  conversation with my stellar tablemates  about the artistic musical format known as the LP gave way to an all out 80’s dance party, with a few classic oldies thrown in for good measure.  The youthful contingent jumped onto the dancefloor and made sure the evening was a lively one.  I assume Matt had a big hand in putting the music playlist together because there was not a bad song in the lot.  Megan and I had a nice, yet mournful slow dance moment as we paid tribute to the fallen Patrick Swayze during Unchained Melody.

Marie and Aleks in the Throes of Dance Party 2009!

Marie and Aleks in the Throes of Dance Party 2009!

One unfortunate hiccup befell the party during this jolly portion of the evening.  Marie notified the crowd that the karaoke guy that had been secured for the post-reception entertainment had to cancel due to a death in the family.  While we understood, we were also extremely disappointed.

Negative news aside, there was a welcome break from the frenetic dance pace as  Matt helped answer the somewhat existential question of…”if you have a band…and you get married, does your band play at the wedding?”  The answer…Yes.  Matt and his bandmates in Mahogany took to the floor and banged out several stellar songs much to the delight of the audience.  Ever the showman, he groom did his share of on his knees writhing so as to ensure the audience that this indeed was still  his day.

Mahogany: All Dressed Up

Mahogany: All Dressed Up

While Mahogany’s performance seemed to spell the near end of the festivities the party was to rage on downstairs at Union Hall.  Splitting several cars to the bar on Union Street, we all met ready to continue our merrymaking ways, but with little in the way of organized entertainment.  While Karaoke would’ve given us our second wind, the party without it seemed to be a futile slog through the evening save for an extremely lovely tribute to the couple Arby edited together that we were able to show on the screen of the venue.

Having refrained from hardcore boozing for a large portion of the night, I wasn’t quite where everyone was.  People were very tipsy to say the least.  I could tell the night was winding down solely on the lack of balance displayed by some of the revellers.  This was the sign of a successful wedding.  Smiling faces and a worrisome wobble.  The night would soon come to an end and I wandered the few blocks home after a pleasant evening experiencing another blissful union.

The rest of the weekend wasn’t so eventful.  I ditched out on a baby shower on Saturday on account of feeling under the weather and I watched football Sunday.  I didn’t feel like I missed anything either.  Nothing would’ve compared to such a perfect Friday evening.

Posted in Weddings, Weekend Recap | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

D.C. Follies

Posted by evankessler on October 9, 2007

It was another eventful weekend in the annals of evankessler.com history and probably the final installment in our Wedded Bliss 2007 series. Prior to that occurrence we said a hearty welcome back to one of our good friends who made his long awaited return to the city of New York. Friday night saw the return of one Andy S, who spent the past several months on a boat in New England doing his manly duty at sea. There was probably lots of business with masts and sails and rigs and whatnot. I’m not well versed in that fishy ocean business. I’m a man of the land who stays anchored to the sand so I won’t pretend to have that knowledge at hand and I’ll say nothing of the supposed mysteries of “shore leave” if you know what I mean. All I know is that a few of us met up at Lorelay on the Lower East side for our share of Bier and German fare. Joining in on the occasion were Ken S, Jason S, Kayvalyn, Ahmad, Dmitry, Lauren, Miller and myself. I know I’m probably leaving someone out or adding an extra person but my memory doesn’t always serve me perfectly…though sometimes that works in favor of the story, like if I were to tell you a giant dragon suddenly showed up and breathed fire on an unsuspecting crowd before I slew the beast with my erection because I have a hard on for violence and heroism. However, that did not happen. We just had a genuinely pleasant get together with huge German biers in honor of Oktoberfest and smiled and laughed much to the chagrin of some of the surrounding crowd, whom beckoned us to quiet down.

After receiving a surprisingly large bill we settled up and I made for the Lighthouse Tavern with both Andy and Jason in tow. Kayvalyn and Ahmad had left earlier in favor of hanging out with some of their high school friends from back in Thailand. We got a nice seat in the outdoor space as the inside was packed with Red Sox fans cheering on their team who was in the process of defeating the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles (which is an absolutely retarded team name). Ken joined us after biking over from Manhattan for a drink and some wings. Heather was at the bar and Thea joined us in back but Andy, Jason, and Ken left soon after and it pretty much ended up being Me, Thea, and Heather for a bit. However, I could not stay out too late but I had a few more drinks before heading home as I had to wake up the next morning to meet Suli in Williamsburg so we could drive down to D.C. I think I went to sleep a little bit after 1:30am.

My alarm rang on Saturday morning at 8:30am and as tempted as I was to snooze it, I sprang out of bed and hit the shower. I had to pack my bags and be in the ‘Burg by 11am. While that sounds like a reasonable amount of time, I had to take into account the unreasonable length of the intraborough commute which included three separate subway lines, the stubbornly inconsistent F, G, and L trains. Toting my suit housed in it’s dry cleaning uniform, with a smaller travel bag in my other hand I plodded towards the F train station at 7th Avenue and 9th Street stopping for a bagel and my beloved Ito En Jasmine Green Tea (the more I mention it the closer I am to getting endorsements). It took about 7 minutes for the F train to come and the transfer to the G was simple enough in that I didn’t have to walk anywhere seeing as it stops at the same platform I exited onto at the Smith and 9th Street station. From there it was another couple of minutes until I reached the Metropolitan -Lorimer stop and transfered to the L train. This required a slight underground trek but I wouldn’t exactly describe it as lengthy. Perhaps the most comforting thing about the L train is the fact that there are signs on the platform that tell you when the next train is coming. As I looked up I saw it read 3 minutes and I was sufficiently pleased with this knowledge. Much to my surprise it arrived in 2 minutes completely shattering my faith in the timing system but getting me to the Graham stop a full minute earlier than expected.

I walked out to a familiar scene as I had exited at that stop many a time though admittedly not in the morning. I used to frequently take the L to Graham when Rich, Dmitry, Ahmad, Miller, Victor, and whoever the crap used to live at 709 Grand lived there. Now Suli had taken up residence a mere block away in the familiar neighborhood which houses a store that sells diving gear, though I don’t suspect they sell a great deal of diving gear. Suli welcomed to me to his relatively new abode with the unfortunate news that Lina would not be joining us on our jaunt to D.C. for our friend Matt’s wedding as she had badly injured her ankle the day before and would probably be very uncomfortable couped up in a car or dancing the hora.

With heavy hearts Suli and I jumped in his vehicle and headed for the nation’s capital. Our last such road trip was way back in 2003 when we, along with Joe D made for The Big Easy after thanksgiving. This trip would be about one fifth as short since the drive to D.C. was only going to take us upwards of around 4 hours…give or take. We did hit a bit of a snag getting to the Holland tunnell but our route was marked by mostly smooth sailing. Although we encountered little highway resistance there were some things worth noting. While driving through New Jersey, we passed tour bus that was for none other than James Taylor Curtis and the Silver Eagle Band. At first we thought that it might be “Fire and Rain” and “Sweet Baby James” Taylor but it took us about a second to realize that that guy didn’t need to add Curtis onto his last name. Not being familiar with any of their work, I decided that James Taylor Curtis and the Silver Eagle Band had only one song that they played over and over again and they changed lyrics in accordance with whatever they were doing at the time. At this particular moment the song lyrics went:

“James Taylor Curtis and The Silver Eagle Band…Driving through New Jersey with a guitar in our hand”.

Had they been at a diner at that moment the lyric “driving through New Jersey” would be replaced with “eating at a diner“…and so on and so forth. By then end of our drive this melody was bouncing around our heads all weekend and still hasn’t excaped due to its catchiness. The roads were also packed with horible drivers. At one point we could not escape a red minivan with three bicycles on the back. I decided that this vehicle would made an ideal getaway car because one could not clearly view the license plate. Sure it had three bicycles on the back but you could either drive away and sink the car in the river and ride off on the bicycles or ditch the bicycles in the woods and use the vehicle as Detroit intended with no one having seen your license plate as you sped away from the robbery.

Behold…The Perfect Getaway Vehicle

Suli and I eventually stopped at the Clara Barton rest area, the last one in New Jersey. We needed to eat but we more or less stopped out of curiosity over who Clara Barton exactly was and why she warranted her own rest stop, which is precisely why we didn’t stop at the Thomas Alva Edison and Vince Lombardi rest stops. I was pretty sure ‘ol CB had something to do with Nursing but I didn’t think she founded the Red Cross because I thought that was Florence
Nightingale. I hope there would be a plaque trumpeting her achievements but instead just found a TCBY, Pizza Hut, Burger King, Travel Mart, and Cinnabon. I’d have to wait to the actual wedding when my friend Dana R cleared up that she did indeed found the Red Cross. That certainly warrants having your own rest stop though I don’t necessarily Ms. Barton would be proud of the greasy, sugar-saturated goings on inside. I didn’t stop at any of the fast food shops. Suli had gotten a coffee from Cinnabon and I had a particularly strange encounter at the travel mart. When I presented my water to the clerk, she asked if I wanted anything to eat with that as if she was about to produce a suitable meal from a non-existent grill under the gum racks. Really, if I had wanted something to eat, wouldn’t she be under the impression that I would’ve brought it to the counter to pay for. I guess it must be a rare occurrence in this country that people just buy a bottle of water without getting something to make them fatter to go with it.

The rest of the ride down was pretty uneventful. We drove through Delaware and Maryland before being greeted by the Washington Monument towering above some generic office buildings. Our directions called for a minor detour through the Capital city on our way to our hotel in Arlington, Va.

We arrived at around 3:30pm, an hour and twenty minutes before we were to catch the shuttle bus to the Ronald Reagan Center for International Trade. This gave us enough time to head up to our room and cycle through the TV channels while getting dressed. Turns out we would use most of that time fixing our ties as we both moronically struggled with attaining the perfect knot. Our epic battle with our neck-cessories ended at around 4:30 pm when we decided to hang out in the lobby waiting for our friend Eric L. and his girlfriend Gina to make the scene and join us on the bus. However, the shuttle soon came and feeling bored in the lobby we decided to sit on the bus and wait. At around 4:45 our friends joined us and the bus was all but ready to go though we waited 15 more minutes for no one else to show just to be safe and so we could sweat more in the sauna like shuttle bus.

We arrived at the Capt. Ron Reagan Center after a brief drive. I was disappointed that there were no giant memorial statues to pose in front of. I wanted a 60 foot wax statue or a slew of movie posters highlighted by 1951’s Bedtime for Bonzo.
Despite my disappointment over the lack of Reagan paraphernalia, I was delighted to know that Homeland Security would be watching over this wedding as I stepped through a metal detector en route to the elevator. Once upstairs I saw that very few folks were hanging out. We were amongst the first to arrive and we quickly formed our own little clique area. Soon we were joined by Eve and Jess D, as well as their parents and Joe D’s girlfriend Jaysarah. We talked for a bit before making our way into the room where the ceremony was to be held.
Suli and I sat in the 4th or 5th row next to Eric and Gina.

We sat quietly but there was no sign of anything so I inexplicably started chanting “dudes…dudes…dudes” to myself as I’m wont to do when I’m surrounded by a bunch of dudes. Suli mistook it as me saying “untz…untz…untz” like a house beat and mimicked it. At that moment the dude in front of use turned around and asked if we liked house music. He then went to tell us he’s a house DJ in Miami and that he’s best friends with one of the best DJ’s in the world as if we would care. We didn’t really feign interest but he kept going on and on about house music and some party his friend was throwing. He then asked where we were from and started talking about how he’s from Massapequa and was with some band we should be familiar with and how he got his start in DJing….none of which was information we solicited.

Finally the wedding started and Housedouche turned around. The ceremony itself was very nice. It was funny to see Rich, Joe, and Mike S as groomsmen. I sort of felt left out but not really. It was weird to see our friend Matt get married. I’m really happy for him though. When you meet people in Junior High you never think about knowing them til the day they get married and then when it happens you sort of realize how much your life is in shambles and how much other people have their shit together. Ah well, I suppose I can continue on…the evening certainly did.

After the ceremony the newly crowned King and Queen of weddingdom walked out to an orchestral version of Coldplay’s “Clocks” at which point housedouche turned around to notify us and ask if we had heard a certain remix version of said song. Ugh.

The cocktail hour was a good time. I hadn’t seen some of the people there before the ceremony and in some time. Dana R was in from Arizona where I believe she is working on her doctorate. She is always fun to hang out with. Her sister Jodi was supposed to be there but was sick after picking up something in the Ukraine. Mike S made the rounds but mostly Dana, Joe, Suli, Rich, Jaysarah, Eve D, Jessica D, Mona, Jay, Jaysarah, Eric, Gina and I made conversation while sampling the alcoholic offerings along with the tasty array of finger foods.

The Last First Dance of Wedded Bliss ’07

Soon it was time for the party to begin and how does a wedding usually begin…with the first dance. This moment was a little awkward because I don’t think either Matt or Lindsay are the people in this world most fond of dancing. It sort of seemed like it too though I didn’t really expect Matt to get down so much as he’s usually one of the more laid back people I know. Besides weddings with Jews usually get going when it’s time for THE HORA!!! However, once the DJ signaled it’s beginning by playing of appropriate song, no one really did anything. People stood in a circle, and seeing as half of them weren’t Jewish, they weren’t exactly sure what to do. I tried to goad Joe’s parents into starting the dancing and they were trying but no one was going along with it, not even the bride and groom who stood unmoved at the side of the center of the circle. At this moment I looked at Joe and said that we should do something. I think Mike felt the same way too and a group consisting mainly of Matt’s friends got in the middle and started dancing in our attempt to breathe some life into the gathering. We pulled out two chairs and put the newlyweds on the chairs and hoisted them in the air as is tradition (sort of ironic that our efforts to uphold Jewish tradition needed the aid of a Paksitani and a chinese friend) but we didn’t have enough people participating and the situation was unstable to say the least. After a brief stint being hoisted skyward the duo was soon let down. None of the siblings or parents followed. I could understand their trepidation though.

Soon after the strange sustenance of a traditional showing of wedded bliss we were all beckoned to our seats. The meal courses were served in rapid succession with barely any dancing in between. Though that left plenty of time for conversation which is actually my favorite part of attending weddings. I usually wish there wasn’t some obnoxiously loud band playing “Hey Ya!” in the background while I’m trying to catch up with friends. I had more quality conversations with folks at tables 12 and 14. In between two of the courses we were also witness to do heartfelt, albeit brief best man and maid of honor speeches made by the couple’s respective siblings.

Probably one of the oddest parts about the wedding was the fact that there was no wedding cake. I don’t mention it to take issue with it…I’ve just never heard of that before. Instead there was a candy ceremony, which I liked because it was very different and sometimes different is good. Plus, it doesn’t involve knives and knives can be involved in accidents whereas candy can be delicious. Also, candy has lots of sugar so when dancing actually happens you have plenty of energy before crashing.


Dancin’ with the Bride

Eric and Gina Do Their White People Dance Thing

I Suppose This is What Me Having A Good Time Looks Like

It seemed like a majority of the guests left after the candy ceremony leaving the Reaganomics Arena to friends of the bride and groom. That was fine with us as we continued to drink and dance until the last shuttle bus left for our hotel at 11:30pm.

Once back at the hotel, we changed clothes and gathered together at Joe’s room. Not everyone was present as it was just Suli, Joe D, Jaysarah, Eve D, Rich, and I. We spent the rest of the evening looking through pictures and exploring the wonders of abbreviated language, overusing the phrases, “totes” (ofish) , “ofish” (official), and “natch” (naturally), amongst others. We even rewatched a youtube-worthy video of one of our friends dancing about 35 times. While I don’t have it and don’t think I’d be able to post it without tremendous fallout or getting sued It was indescribably funny, though if I were to describe the video in 2 words I would call it “male tittyshake”. You’re probably not getting the right mental picture but perhaps one day I’ll be able to show you.

That basically put an end to our weekend. The next morning we woke up at about 9:30am. Suli and I hung out in the hotel room for a bit before leaving to meet Rich in the lobby since we were taking him home to Rockland. We said our goodbyes to Eric L, Gina, and Eve D in the lobby before hitting the road a little after noon. I was somewhat distressed that I was missing the Giants-Jets game but got regular updates from Arby via text message. The trip back took us longer than we expected since we missed a couple of steps on the directions back. However, as long as we got on I-95 north we were headed in the right direction. The trip back was certainly less eventful but with seemingly more traffic. There was no James Taylor Curtis and The Silver Eagle Band driving back through New Jersey with a guitar in their hand. It was just Suli, Rich and I high tailing it back to the Empire State.

We did make one stop at the John Fenwick service area. Upon pulling in we once again tried to figure out who John Fenwick might be but to no avail. Suli confused him with James Fenimore Cooper, the author of “The Last of The Mohicans” but according to wikipedia he was an English Jacobite conspirator in the 1600’s which doesn’t at all seem relevant to the part of Souther New Jersey we were in. Coincidentally, the next rest stop ended up being the James Fenimore Cooper service area. We didn’t stop there though, because we knew who he was and we had more important tasks at hand, namely finally getting the hell home.

I finally arrived back at my apartment in Brooklyn at 7:20 PM, ready to break free from a lengthy day couped up in a Toyota Rav 4. Upon my arrival I sat down with my roommates who had just cooked a homemade dinner and recounted the weekend, before heading into Bassett’s room to watch the Rock of Love reunion special. I subsequently made a trip down to the Lighthouse and drank with Arby, Heather, and Thea until the wee hours because I’m an alcoholic. A weekend well spent if you ask me.

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The Story of The Last Couple of Weeks

Posted by evankessler on September 17, 2007

Judging by the lone comment on the last post, this recap is going to bring great relief to some folks…or at least to one person. I haven’t had a full on recap since before labor day and a lot has happened since then. I can take you all the way back to August 31st when I was preparing to go all the way north to Ithaca, New York for the wedding of our close family friend Eric W to Bryna, his girlfriend of eleven years. Seeing as I had to go home on Saturday, September 1st to drive up to Central New York, I was none too keen on going out late the night before. However, I had been invited to a party by my brother, hosted by my former colleagues at XYZ.TV. They had founded a new venture called Naked Ping Pong Club which they run out of their loft. It’s every Friday, and I’m not really sure what the guidelines are for an invitation.In any case, I arrived with a 6-pack of beer and arrived not sure exactly what to expect, though I envisioned a party filled with lots of attractive model-type girls and trendy downtown folks. Upon arriving, my notions would prove to be correct. I slid in and made the rounds with the folks I knew. The one thing I didn’t actually expect was the seriousness of the Ping Pong. Apparently some of the best players in the country were on hand.

I watched on as serious table tennis was being played and wandered aimlessly a bit until I happened upon my brother who was hanging out with a few models. I think I assimilated into the scene rather well and had an easy time conversing. I normally don’t feel at home in such situations but there was a level of familiarity with the hosts and people seemed to have a genuine interest in what I had to say. Franck, one of the hosts, and one of the fampions of the Costner blog had asked me how the blog was going. He tried to encourage me to move on from Costner since he had already emailed me, though at this point I had not received any pictures. I assured him I would not until we achieved our goal since that was the entire point of the blog. I think Franck’s girlfriend was trying to give me ideas for posts as well. I had also came up with an idea for a book in the previous two days so that was on my mind. I was really excited to talk about it. I won’t talk about it here until I actually decide to write it. Either way, I was fitting in with the beautiful people and drinking my fair share. There’s really not much more to this tale other than the fact that we all drank and had a good time and my brother took plenty of sweet pictures of me. Like the one below with Madeline. I’m pretty sure that’s her name, it’s been a couple of weeks and I’m feeling forgetful, though she was an absolute delight to talk to.

The next morning I awoke in a hungover state but I high tailed it over to the Port Authority as I’d be meeting my brother to take the bus to Suffern, New York, where we’d be picked up by my mother en route to Ithaca, New York.

The car ride to Ithaca was a bit torturous. We seemed to stop every hour on the hour. There seemed to be no interest of making good time. Our first stop was The Roscoe Diner. The Roscoe Diner is famous for being a diner on the way to many a New York college. Whenever I’ve driven north on Route 17 with my mother, she always recommends we stop at the Roscoe Diner at about exit 93. However, when I’m alone I’ve always preferred the Wendy’s at exit 84 in Deposit, NY. In any case, my lunch was horrible and it was back in the car. Nothing will make you feel like you’re 7 years old again like riding in the backseat with your family on a road trip. My mother allowed me to play my music, however at a barely audible level. I almost had to imagine the playlist I had made. Our 2nd stop was 9 exits later at the aforementioned Deposit exit so my brother could use the bathroom at the aforementioned Wendy’s. Our trip was moving at a snail’s pace.

Rather than head straight to Ithaca, my mother and stepfather wanted to drive to Corning Glass Museum. This meant more time in the car. My brother and I were going stir crazy in the back and we stopped in Horseheads, New York where there was a monument to a General James Clinton and General John Sullivan who had fought of some “savage Indians”just so we could stretch out.

From Horseheads it was off too Corning where we parked our car and took a shuttle bus 3 feet to Corning Glass Museum. The museum itself was okay, but having felt a bit hung over, I wasn’t really in the mood to stare at glass sculptures with my mom. I wandered away on my own while my mom and Irwin stared at the contemporary tiffany glass fixtures. I was more interested in the more historic samples. I looked at a display of an ancient Egyptian glass kiln.
As I browsed through the glass time line I was alerted to the fact that Christ was born in 6 B.C. I’m not exactly sure how that’s possible but seeing as it was on a timeline at a museum , I took it as fact. Someday someone will have to explain that to me though I have my own theory.

After an hour looking at glass, it was time to look through glass again as we got back in the car and completed our drive to Ithaca. We arrived in time for the rehearsal dinner BBQ and photo DVD viewing. There were also several good speeches. There were plenty of familiar faces that I’m not going to name off here but the groom was there, his brothers and their wives, his parents, and many other familiar faces from Rockland County.

After the festivities as all of the young folk waited to hit the Cornell bars, the old folk whooped it up on the piano singing golden oldies. My mom belted out the hits of her youth with a slew of other newly minted senior citizens (that sounds mean but it’s not meant to be). We young folk watched on amazement as they were whisked back to a simpler time when they wondered if they would meet someone really keen at the sockhop.

While they continued their trip down memory lane, my brother and I hopped in some dude’s Porsche for trip to the college booze strip. There we met up with the other youngish wedding revelers and hit up 3 Cornell bars before hopping a cab back home. We probably were out until at least 2am.

The Brothers Kessler Reveling In The Ithaca Evening

The next day I was wiped out and spent the majority of my morning missing breakfast with my eyes closed and my head on my pillow. We had some time to kill before the wedding so myself and the family went for some local food and a walk around some campus stores before heading to the art museum and one of those gorges that Ithaca is so well known for.

When we arrived back at the hotel it was time for a little nap before the wedding. I guess I can skip that detail since the most important part is the wedding. I would describe it but I’m not much for describing pretty things on account of the fact that I’m not sure if I possess a heart. It was very lovely though and there was a bit of comedy when the too young flower girl wouldn’t do her duty properly. Her mother had to go get her and carry her down the aisle. Other than that the ceremony went off without a hitch. The bride and groom both said “I do’s” or in this case their “with this ring you are consecrated unto me’s” and then it was off to the party.

Eric and Bryna- Wedded Bliss in Action
(photo taken by Greg Kessler)

There was drinking, dancing, hanging out. I spent a good deal of time talking to my friend Craig K who’s wedding I had attended in July. I ate a steak but not a lobster tail. My brother was entirely too drunk and at the end of the party was running around with flowers he had taken off the tables and throwing them everywhere. Afterwards we hung out in the Tennis cabana and drank and when we went back to our room my brother was going on one of those super drunk “how amazing everything is” rants that is pretty foreign to our relationship. I was pretty frightened.

The next morning we woke up hell bent on eating breakfast and getting back to New York City as soon as possible. The ride back was pretty irritating since I had felt like I had been stuck in a car all weekend which was partially true. We stopped off at a 50’s diner in Monticello, New York near the race track, which was thankfully the only time we stopped on the ride back. I was back home in Brooklyn by 5 or 6pm. When I arrived home my roommates were having a small labor day Barbecue during which I kept taking several trips upstairs to check my Fantasy team score. At around 7:30pm I decided to check my yahoo mail. Sitting at the top of my inbox was an email from a name I didn’t recognize. I would’ve normally just deleted it as spam, but at the last second I spied the subject line which read:

Pictures of your site with Kevin

Upon first glance I just thought it was someone who read the “If I Blog It They Will Come” site and was going to tell me that we hoped we could achieve our goal. However, I noticed that there was a rather large attachment. Upon further inspection, my heart began to race and a wide grin was tattoed on my countenance. We had done it. The site that began over 7 months ago as an idea that was just so stupid it could work, had achieved it’s goal. I went over to Andrew Morton who was sitting on my back deck and prodded at him as he was in conversation. I said something along the lines of “congratulations” and “guess while I’m smiling”. It took a while for me to spell it out for him but as soon as I did, I showed him the photos and we were as giddy as could be. I brought down my computer and showed my roommates who were all extremely excited. From there Andrew and I, with the help of Dana G got to work on our “SUCCESS!!!” post. This was quite the momentous occasion. We were overwhelmed so it took a little bit to get the post just right. When it was done Andrew went home and I went out to Union Hall with Arby to celebrate with one drink.

The next morning I woke up feeling fantastic. I had a 11 o’clock call time for work, so I woke up at 8am and posted the pictures on our blog. I also sent out a couple of emails to a couple of blogs to spread the word of our success. I didn’t have a chance to see it hit the blogosphere until later. There was a 4 hour break from shoots and I finally settled down at a internet cafe on Bleecker Street. I checked my stats and saw that the hits were somewhere in the 4,000 range for the day. Since then the site has garnered about 35,500 hits. That’s about 2 and a half times the amount of hits this site has gotten in three and a half years. The last two weeks kind of seem like a blur after that. A Brazillian blog asked to interview me and for me to send a picture of myself looking at their blog. I complied but I’m not sure if they ever got around to posting it. Oh well, I can’t read Portugese anyway. I wouldn’t mind being big in Brazil though. I’ve always wanted to go there.

Other than all of the hubbub with the website my life has been immersed in a fog comprised of reality TV shoots, fashion week, and writing notes pertaining to those events. I had a scant few minutes to myself leading into the weekend that followed Labor day. Friday night I had a late shoot and ended up at the Park Slope Ale House where I met Marty, Mac, Dell, Rob, Austin and several other people for Mac and Del’s moving away party. I really needed a drink at that point. The next day was a little out of hand as I met up with Mike S, Joe D, Rich M, Andrew G, and Matt D, along with one other person for Matt C’s bachelor party. That night consisted of a major amount of gluttony and a minor amount of unrequited lust. The result was a little bit of a hangover and a substantial dent in my bank account. It’s crazy how much money I’ve spent this summer on other people’s weddings in terms of gifts, bachelor parties and hotel rooms. At this rate I’m not sure I’ll ever get married so I’d like to petition every couple whose wedding I’ve attended this summer to give me a $300 gift for my birthday this year…preferably cash, that way I can buy a new macbook and maybe a fancy new iPod.

Married People….My Birthday is November 4th

The day after the bachelor party was a momentous occasion as it was the first Sunday of the 2007 football season. Arby and I wandered on down to the Lighthouse Tavern to catch all the action. Being members of the Lighthouse Tavern fantasy league we were privy to drink and wing specials. There was a hoard of people outside the bar when we arrived but no line. When the bar opened 5 minutes before kickoff, we slipped in and grabbed two seats at the bar. We watched the Pats destroy the Jets and the Packers conquer the Eagles. Ah, Football was upon us. After the early games, I went home to rest before the big Sunday evening event, which was the Giants vs. The Cowboys on Sunday Night Football. Arby and I reconvened with special guest Filler. We watched Eli Manning light up the Cowboys defense. Unfortunately, Tony Romo lit up the Giants defense even more so in a high scoring 45-35 Dallas Cowboy victory. I hate those last three words.

Just like that the week was upon us again. Work was in high gear from Monday to Wednesday. However, our show wrapped on Wednesday and as a result I am currently unemployed. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t busy. I was about 4 days behind on my work notes so I worked diligently to catch up. The wrap party for our show was Friday and plenty of fun was had as cast and crew alike got their drink on.

Making a dumb drunk face with Cameraman Steve S.

Gavin is shocked that it’s all over.

We were wrapping up production to the wee hours of the morning. We eventually got some beers at a deli and walked over to our production coordinator Joyce’s where the revelry continued. And our friend Joe passed out so we took pictures. We stopped just shy of writing on his face with sharpies but we’re nicer than that.A few of us caught a cab to Brooklyn together and called it a night sometime around 3am,

Joe was so excited he fell asleep.

The next day I was hurting a tad bit. It took all I had to rally myself to finish my final edit notes for the show. I spent most of the day in bed. However, it was a special Saturday since we had a visitor in town at my Union Street abode. The visitor in question was my link to my current home, Maureen H, former VH1 co-worker and in my top 5 of most favorite people ever. I eventually made it out of my room to say hello to my long lost LA transplanted pal. She was in town for her brother’s wedding the following weekend so we would have plenty of time to catch up, but nonetheless we engaged in some immediate catching up as myself, Bassett, Andrew Morton, and Maureen went to Stone Park for dinner. Maureen was a little loopy from being jet lagged and was in top comedic form. In ways it felt like she’d never been gone as she didn’t miss a beat. Upon entering the hostess seemed like she didn’t want to seat us on account of they needed our table by 8pm. It was 6pm when we walked in so they really had nothing to worry about. They sat us near the back and we had a merry time back there. We were going to try to make our meal last as close to 8pm just to make them sweat but we couldn’t, and we didn’t really want to. So after a great meal and some excellent dessert we headed out the door.

Just as we headed out the door a child no taller than two and a half feet tall came running down 5th Avenue towards us. Maureen let out a scream as if he were a 7 foot tall, knife wielding maniac…the result was immediate fit of laughter from our entire party. We began to walk towards Union Hall but we had to stop so Maureen could regain her composure.

Maureen regaining her composure

We went to Union Hall in the hopes of getting some Bocce in but the courts were taken. Instead we settled for making forced conversation as though we were on a reality show such The Hills. Each sentence would begin with the stating of a potential plot point…”So Maureen, I heard you’re in a fight with Andrew, what’s going on with that?”. We laughed and laughed and then I left because I had to recharge my batteries for an evening on the Manhattan town.

I headed into Manhattan at around 10:15 on Saturday night for Jess S and Katie K’s birthday party at Iggy’s. The bar itself was packed. I think a good majority of the people there were there for the party. It was a friendly yet tight gathering. I spent the majority of the evening speaking with Carrie and Sarah M and there were cameo appearances from familiar faces from the VH1 days, such as Gino T, Jennie F, and Tom R. It was a pretty good time and I think we closed down the bar. I got home at 5am and went straight to bed.With Birthday Girl Jess S and Sarah M.

I pretty much spent my entire Sunday recovering in bed and watching the Giants get pummeled by the Green Bay Packers. It’s gonna be a long season New York Football. Luckily, my Fantasy Football team won today. Alright, all caught up…happy now? I sure am.

Posted in drinking, Football, Kevin Costner, old friends | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Places to Go, Persson To See

Posted by evankessler on August 9, 2007

Monday nights during the summer are not particularly known for their excitement. They’re usually part of the two day recovery process between the active part of my weekend and Tuesday. However, when I received an email from Jason S on Monday morning listing a bunch of shows that he was interested in going to and attempting to gage other people’s interest in said shows, my Monday immediately became eventful. The first potential concert on the list was A Camp at Union Hall.

Earlier last week I had brought up to Arby that A Camp was playing at either the Mercury Lounge or the Knitting Factory and that I wanted to see them. Despite my initial interest, my original impulse was forgotten by both Arby and myself. This new email rekindled my desire to see some good music. For those who don’t know, A Camp is the side project for Nina Persson of The Cardigans fame. She’s one of the most delightfully attractive ladies in music since her face was plastered all over MTV circa 1996 when “Lovefool” was all over the charts as the most omnipresent single off of the Romeo and Juliet Soundtrack as well as their breakthrough album First Band On The Moon.

The Video for My Favorite Song Off Of First Band On The Moon (videos are fun)

Since that time, while somewhat less visible The Cardigans have continued to make great music. I own all of their albums since First Band On The Moon and fully enjoy Ms. Persson’s lyrical and vocal capabilities (Hooray for me. Aren’t I great?). Several years back while working on VH1’s Top 20 Video Countdown we would go out to record stores and have record clerks review a new CD. I befriended one of the record clerks and one day he recommended I pickup a copy of the A Camp album. I think he might have even made me a copy of the album but I never again returned to said store. Years later when I passed the store I wondered if that album was still waiting for me somewhere behind the counter.

Occasionally, while perusing record stores I would search for the album and would only find it in the Imports section so I shied away from spending $30 for an album unreleased in the U.S. My desire to hear A Camp remained tucked in the back of my memory until last week…and again hid from me for several more days before resurfacing thanks to Jason’s email.

Upon having my interest in attending the A Camp show piqued once again, I IM’d Arby asking him if he was interested in the show. He told me he was already going with Marie L. I felt semi-betrayed but not really. I went to ticketweb to get my own ticket, but much to my chagrin the tickets were sold out. I showed real determination by calling Union Hall to see if there were tickets available at the door. Luckily for me, there were 20 to be had so I arrived at Union Hall at 7pm to make sure I could snatch one up for myself. Unfortunately doors wouldn’t open until 7:30 so I left the bar and wandered aimlessly and made phone calls for a couple of minutes.

I returned at around 7:23 and resigned myself to waiting downstairs. When I arrived there were 2 guys waiting for tickets. One a weird 40-ish bugeyed guy with glasses that made it look as though one of his eyes was about to pop out. I couldn’t look at him without thinking that his eye was actually going to pop out so I refrained from looking at him. The other guy waiting was another 40-ish male who seemed normal enough but went on a bit too long about his Swedish ancestry as he made small talk with an Australian guy who joined the ticket line and when one of the guys in the band came out. Soon a cute blond girl joined us on the line and I didn’t feel like so much anymore like the audience would consist of a bunch of dorky older guys who thought Nina was hot in 1996, though I’m not saying that’s why they were there, they seemed to be music fans.

Soon enough we all got our tickets and I headed home to kill some time before A Camp’s set, which was to start a little after 10pm. I met Arby on the corner of 7th and Union at 8:50 and we headed back to Union Hall where we enjoyed a beer or two before Marie met us and we went downstairs for the show.

The biggest knock on Union Hall as a venue is the sight lines. There are none unless you are in front.The stage is about 8 inches off the floor, so if you’re short like me and tall people are in front of you (which they inevitably are) you really have to get on your tippytoes or crane your neck to get a good view. I somehow managed to do a decent job of seeing the stage and straining my neck. The show itself was a delight. Marie said it was “a cute show”. I was only familiar with one of the songs as it was a cover of Daniel Johnston’s “Walking The Cow” which I first heard on a Pearl Jam bootleg a while back. The band was tight and Ms. Persson has a beautiful voice as well as a pleasant stage demeanor. Her between song banter certainly added a bit of charm to a set which I was wholly unfamiliar with the material. While introducing the band she called herself “Nina P in the NYC on the M-I-C”. The music itself didn’t sound so much further from the more recent records from The Cardigans and the majority of the songs left me thinking,” I really want to get their album”. My favorites were probably “Algebra” and “Song For The Leftovers”.

Throughout the show I kept attempting to take good pictures despite my height disadvantage and my inability to get a crystal clear view of the stage. Instead of waiting for an open shot I reached about the head of the guy in front of me and tried my luck. Here’s the best picture I came away with.

I think we should concluded from that that I need a better camera with a higher pixel count. To compensate for my poor camera I grabbed a better picture from brooklynvegan.com. So here that is:

Notice the way that photo catches the light. Well, maybe if I had a better spot I could’ve gotten a better picture. Oh well. All in all the show wasn’t much longer than an hour. Afterwards Arby and I went to the Lighthouse and grabbed a few drinks before going home and calling it a night.

Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty quiet. I had a few drinks with a friend at Buttermilk on Tuesday and Wednesday went out to St. Dymphas Pub for Dan F’s birthday but neither night was too drink heavy. I only had one beer at Dan’s. As for the rest of the week…It’s time to get the hell out of the city. Yet another wedding is upon me, so I’m going to Rockland today (thursday) to get my car and drive up to Vermont so I can see my old roommate Kim O become Kim Baisinger. She’ll never have trouble getting a dinner reservation again.

Here are a few videos of the A Camp show I added after the fact…. The first is a clip of “I Can Buy You”

The second is a clip from their cover of Daniel Johnston’s “Walking The Cow”

Posted in Birthday, drinking, Photography | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Geneva Convention

Posted by evankessler on November 1, 2005

Happy November everyone! Sorry for the delay in posting, but I have a good excuse. While everyone was whooping it up all weekend, and celebrating Halloween, I was away in Geneva, New York, enjoying a different kind of celebration, a celebration of the matrimonial bond between one Lacey Peck and one Scott Jackson. Lacey was one of the first friends I made at Syracuse University and also one of my seven female roommates from senior year. I hadn’t seen her in 2 years or so, though we had kept in touch but I had never met her fiancée, Scott. I received the invitation several months ago and Arby and I had been talking up this long weekend road trip ever since.

With the bride. Married chicks try to kiss me all the time.

Friday Morning at 11:30am Rich arrived at my apartment to begin the journey. We headed for the path train to Hoboken, New Jersey. From Hoboken we took New Jersey transit to Suffern, New York where we picked up my car, which my mom had left at the train station. From Suffern it was off to the highway. From the moment we hit route 17 it was all about the scenery. The drive could not have been easier and the scenic foliage made for a pleasant background to the winding mountainous terrain of Upstate New York. Rich and I were in disbelief that we were going to our friend Lacey’s wedding but were excited at the same time. There was a definite sense of relief about being out of the city in our natural surroundings.

Perhaps the thing Rich and I were most excited about on this trip was the potential for a stop in Syracuse. The trip directions called for us to basically drive straight up to Syracuse and make a left to get to Geneva, and depending on our schedule we were going to make a pit stop at our personal Mecca of Dinosaur Barbecue. Lucky for us, we made outstanding time and it took us 3 and a-half hours to make to Syracuse from Suffern. At 5:30 PM we rolled in to town and after taking a lap around the campus of our youth in the car, we navigated ourselves downtown. We got to our favorite Honky-tonk rib joint and there was only a half hour wait but we were in a race against time. Lacey and family were having a rehearsal dinner with soup and sandwiches between 7 and 9 and we were an hour away and we didn’t want risk being too late and completely missing it, but we also had been too long missing the sumptuous taste of Dinosaur BBQ mashed potatoes and therefore had our priorities in order. We would risk it all for the Dinosaur. Wouldn’t you know it, our gamble paid dividends. Rich and I sat down at our table, didn’t even glance at our menus and placed them at the edge of the table to alert our waitress of our immediate readiness to order. We both got a 1/4 rack of ribs and 2 sides. We were contemplating the half-rack but out of respect for the rehearsal dinner we figured we ought to leave some room in our stomachs. Also, I didn’t want to be in a food coma upon seeing some of my friends for the first time in years. That being said, our Dinosaur detour was like clock work. It was an easy in, easy out operation. Soon after, we hit the highway with the heavenly taste of the Dinosaur ribs and mashed potatoes fresh on our taste buds. Within, the hour, we were at Lacey’s parents’ house in North Rose, New York.

Upon entering their home I was greeted by Lacey, her sister Karley, and my former roommates, Lindsay, Jill, and Kim all of whom I hadn’t seen in at least 2 years. I was also introduced to Kim’s boyfriend Josh who she lives with in Vermont. I was extremely happy to see Lacey’s parents Lori and Gregory Peck; who are definitely high on the list for favorite friends’ parents ever. I also like saying, “I hung out with Gregory Peck this weekend”. Turns out our timing was perfect, Lacey had barely any time to talk to us as she was busy entertaining family and other friends, so about an hour after our arrival, Rich, Lindsay, Jill, Kim, Josh, and I took our respective cars towards Geneva and met up at the Ramada where most of us would be staying that evening.

After we were all checked in, we all met at the hotel bar, also joined by Amy Alsfeld, another senior year roommate of mine at the 211 Clarendon house. The 7 of us proceeded to drink lots of alcohol and catch up with one another. After a few beers it seemed as though no time had passed at all. We were all having a good time in each other’s company as we had 4 and half plus years prior. I can’t tell if the friendly bartenders Shawn and Alisha were annoyed or enamored with us. I would think they liked us, we were having a good time and we tipped well considering the fact that drinks were exponentially cheaper in Geneva than where we all live. One of the funniest parts of Friday evening was when Amy went up to her room to get some CD’s that had songs she wanted to hear. She made the bartender Shawn manually cycle through the CD’s until he got to the songs she liked. 8 beers or so later, I was pretty drunk and it was time to turn in.

I woke up the next morning with a decent hangover but the drive to gather the group together for some breakfast. At around Noon the 7 of us headed to the Waffle Works, after first getting some coffee and/or tea at the hotel, for Geneva’s finest breakfast. I had a Belgian waffle with some weird imitation strawberries but I think everyone else enjoyed their meal to the fullest. Then it was back to the hotel to get ready for the wedding.

Prior to leaving our group was joined by Janet Turley who came up from NYC on Saturday. We left the hotel at around 3:15pm in separate cars. Rich and I traveled together, and I think the majority of everyone else went in two cars. Halfway through our car ride to the church in North Rose, we got a message from Jill, Amy, Lindsay, and Janet saying that they were lost and they went the wrong way. I tried to give them directions but they just insisted on going a different way and said they’d meet us at the Church. Rich and I on the other hand were well on our way to the ceremony, though we were having trouble finding the church. I think we stopped at 3 churches within one block of each other in an absolutely minute sized town. Finally, we figured out where to go and made it two minutes before Lacey walked down the aisle. Kim and Josh arrived just as we did, and once inside we saw our friends Carrie and Monica. Jill, Amy, Lindsay, and Janet were nowhere in sight. Neither was our old roommate Heather, who was supposed to be coming in from Massachusetts (or Rhode Island?). The directionally challenged arrived 2 minutes into the vows and sat behind us for what was to be probably one of the quickest wedding ceremonies in history. I think it took 12 minutes. I think the actual piling out of the church took longer than the ceremony. I don’t know if I’ve ever been to a wedding where each row has to wait for the usher to dismiss it. Jews usually just get up in no organized manner after the couple and their immediate family have left the room and head straight for the cocktail hour. The gentiles run things differently as each row got to go through the receiving line and congratulate and then the next row would be dismissed when the line was short enough. I’m not criticizing, I just was used to getting up and heading to the cocktail hour and a longer ceremony in general. While in the receiving line, Lacey’s dad, told Rich and I that the ceremony and short and sweet just the way he likes it.

Having a dance with Amy Alsfeld.

After the ceremony it was back to the hotel for the reception, which meant more drunken fun with friends and my senior year roommate Heather and her fiancee Dennis showed up, nearly completing the 211 Clarendon cast from the 2000-2001 school year (one roommate Samantha couldn’t make it). The setup was a bit weird as there was an alternating open bar and cash bar. For an hour and a half there would be an open bar, then the next hour would be cash bar, and so on. When there was an open bar, nobody was in the ballroom, and when the cash bar was up, everyone was in the ballroom. That policy sort of backfired because all of the traditional wedding moments seemed to be during the open bar and I think a good majority of the guests missed them. I could be wrong, just us drunken lushes missed them. That being said, the party was a lot of fun, we were all dancing, drinking, and taking pictures with each other. Amy even went up to get her CD’s again so the DJ would play Kanye West’s Gold Digger. Apparently, Lindsay, a dental student was drunkenly lecturing everyone on the importance of flossing. After the party was over, a large portion of us went to the hotel bar to continue the evening. We all slowly dropped off one by one though until I was eventually left to foot the bill for the bottle of champagne we bought, which wasn’t a big deal anyway, as it was only an $18 bottle and if that’s all you’re spending on a weekend night, then you’ve had a relatively cheap night.

From left: Jill, Amy(hidden) Kim, Lacey, Lindsay, and Janet. 5 of these girls have seen me in pajamas.

After the bar, I had a beer with Janet in her room as her and Jill had gotten some beer for everyone to partake in after the wedding was over, but Janet and I were the only ones who partook. Janet promptly passed out after some good conversation and a beer and I was ready to fall down so I headed to my room.

The next morning we all woke up to get brunch in the hotel and ran across Lacey’s parents and thanked them for the weekend, as well as the happy couple. I have to say though, it’s weird when you don’t know the person that your friend is marrying. You don’t really know what to say to them. I must have repeatedly had the same awkward moment with Scott, Lacey’s husband. I kept saying, “Congratulations. It’s really nice meeting you. Good luck.” I wish there was a more natural situation in which we could’ve met so I can develop and honest liking towards him, though I have nothing against him from what I could tell he seemed like a nice guy. Maybe they’ll come down to the city soon.

Anyway, during breakfast Rich and I were formulating our escape from Geneva. The big plan was to high tail it out of the Ramada and make it to Syracuse in time to watch the Giants vs. Redskins at 1pm at a bar on campus. We nearly achieved this goal to complete satisfaction save for the fact that we spent 20 minutes looking for parking. Campus was pretty crowded due to it being parents weekend. Actually it wasn’t that bad. We only missed the first 11 minutes of the first quarter of play. I didn’t mind though, I got to see the majority of the Giants 36-0 thrashing of the Washington Redskins. I’m beginning to think that my favorite team has a fighting chance to be one of the better teams in the National Football League this year.

When the game ended Rich and I were at a loss for things to do on a Sunday in Syracuse so we resorted to our original Plan A…Dinosuar BBQ. After all, what’s better than one trip to heaven? How about 2 trips to Heaven? This time we had all the time in the world so we could get what we wanted. Our friends Paul and Lydia met us at Dinosaur for dinner. It was really great to see them. It had been a few years, and to be honest I haven’t thought of them that much but I was really glad that Rich called them. We had a spunky waitress named Annie who gave us extra chili and wanted to Jager shots with us at the end of our meal but alas we had settled into a food coma after a half rack of ribs and various sides. We parted with Paul and Lydia after the meal and went to rest a bit at hour hotel room before completing our tour of favorite Syracuse spots.

I fell asleep in my unbelievably soft hotel bed at the Sheraton during the 3rd quarter of the Eagles-Broncos game and when I woke up it was over. At about 8pm Rich and I ventured out to the Marshall street area to get an early start on Senior Sunday at Faegan’s. Unfortunately, when we arrived there it was an hour until it opened. So we went back to the Regatta bar in the Sheraton which had been renamed Rachel’s or something. We watched the beginning of the Pats-Bills game there and when 9pm struck we headed towards Faegan’s. There were about 4 people in the bar that were actual patrons and there were seemingly 10 people working there. There was one familiar face in Ted the bartender who had been my trivial pursuit partner during a party at Terra Harper’s house senior year. I think we may have won that game. I had 3 or 4 drinks in 3 and a- half hours give or take as all of the good food I had eaten over the weekend left precious little room in my stomach for beer. I was fighting the urge to just go to the hotel and go to bed for most of those three and a half hours. Rich kept me afloat by saying that we were at Faegan’s and when was the next time we would be at Faegan’s. Touche, Rich. Touche. That being said, Ted had told us that the crowd’s at Faegan’s weren’t as good as they used to be. Especially, for senior Sundays, which was really sad seeing as we frequented that bar on all nights except for maybe Monday. Oh how the times have changed.

This morning we woke up with three things to do before leaving. The first thing we had to do was get Syracuse bottle openers at Manny’s. The second must on our list was to take a quick stroll to the quad and Newhouse, and third and certainly the most important to see if longtime supermarket employee and former floor mate Mark Cohen still worked at the local supermarket Peter’s (is for people). The first two were taken care of with ease but when we pulled up to the site of Peter’s (is for people). We were amazed to see a change. Peter’s(is for people) was no longer Peter’s(is for people) but now a P&C Foods (not for people). This cast doubt on my prediction of Cohen’s lifetime fate of Supermarket worker and my doubt was proven when I did not see him behind the fabled glass counter, for there was no glass counter to stand behind. My trip to Syracuse was complete and it was time to come home.

The drive home was relatively painless. Though we must’ve driven by eight cops and my caution level was increased causing a slight decline in my driving speed. That being said, save for the stop at Wendy’s in Deposit, New York we still made pretty good time. We hopped on the 4:18 train from Suffern to Hoboken and I was back in my apartment by 5:30pm where I found out that my hot water isn’t working. It’s good to be home.

Posted in Football, marriage, old friends | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

You Can’t Spell Fun Without U or N

Posted by evankessler on August 8, 2005

I suppose that much is obvious. There’s not really much meaning to the title except there was a lot of fun had over the past few days, though that’s not to say the letters U and N aren’t involved. Many of the worlds I’ll be using will have the letters U or N in them and some of them may have both. I’ll even mention the actual U.N. I suppose it all began on Thursday, I seem to be having one of those blurry flashbacks taking me back to August 4th and I’m starting to recall what occurred. Ah, yes, Thursday was the day of the wedding of my friends John and Zerna at Supreme Trading on North 8th Street in Williamsburg. I don’t even know where to start with this event. There were a ton of good friends (and Boy George) there. I can’t possibly list them all. The best I could do is just throw in some pictures in after describing the event.

Kayvalyn and Ken chow down on some bbq.

It was definitely not a traditional wedding by any means. There was an open bar, a jazz-blues band called The Crooners, barbecue caterers (some of the best barbecue I’ve had) as well as a Mister Softee truck outside giving out free ice cream. Everyone was enjoying themselves immensely all night long. The party slowed down a bit by midnight in order for John and Zerna to exchange vows. A woman from the U.N. (there’s the U.N. mention) officiated over the ceremony. Everyone was silent for the most part save for when our recently departed friend Jasky was mentioned. People started shouting out private jokes honoring his memory. Everyone remained in high spirits as we sipped champagne and celebrated the union of our two friends. The party raged on for hours after that. I didn’t get home until after 5am. It was a hell of a way to spend a Thursday night.

Wanna lick? Psyche.
Me With Pimped out Groom John Karian
Party Til’ You Drop. What a stupid caption.

I didn’t think I could face another night out when Friday arrived. I spent most of the day replenishing my damaged cells with green tea and other anti-oxidants. Plenty of rest was the order of the day. I loafed around the apartment and did some reading. If I was going to be ready for Friday activities I was going to have to do plenty of nothing beforehand. That last sentence seems somewhat redundant.

Before I knew it the time was 6pm and my scheduled plans were sneaking up on me. I didn’t actually have much time to do the aforementioned “plenty of nothing” since I had woken up at 1pm. At around 6:15 I headed up to Social on 48th and 8th to meet Adam Starling and the VH1 gang for drinks celebrating Adam’s birthday for the 2nd time in the span of 4 days. I began to imbibe alcohol upon my arrival but found it completely ineffective towards enhancing my mood. My brain felt completely blank. I couldn’t even think of any words to start a conversation. I just stood there drinking and occasionally interjecting a few words. There was medium turnout from the folks at work and I spent time talking to Betsy, Noelle, Matt Bier, Karla Hidalgo, Emily Anderson, and Starling. I know I left out some people I also ran into Heidi Padauer who I knew from Syracuse at the bar. She was there for her friend’s birthday.

After leaving Social a bunch of us jumped into a cab and headed downtown. We met a bunch of Adam’s friends at a place called Bua, which was actually pretty cool and I stayed for a drink. I had to rush out afterwards to catch a Bloody Panda show at Scenic on Avenue B. On my way out of Bua I ran into Kristin Ertel and Jill Mercadante who were on their way into the bar. I told them I’d call them after the show. On my way over to Scenic I got a phone call from Stacey Fryer who had her brother in town. They said they’d meet me at Scenic. When I got to Scenic I saw, Katie, Reva, Rachel Myers, and Chris Mellen. I’m not sure who else was there it was such a short show that I wasn’t really there for too long but the band was good. Stacey had shown up midway through the show and afterwards we left and met up with Kristin, her boyfriend Dave, and Jill for a drink.

My Friday had quickly turned into a complete whirlwind; running into people, getting phone calls left and right. You’d start to think I was actually popular and the good news was, it wasn’t over just yet. After Niagara, Stacy and her brother left, Jill was gone and I went to catch up with Kristin and her boyfriend at a bar on 7th and C. I completely forgot the name of the bar. When I arrived at the cross-streets I was on the phone with Bess Sobota whom I had drunkenly called to see what she was up to, as well as being waved at by Marisa Patt who was coincidentally at the same street corner I was on with her friends. I think I abruptly hung up on Bess after running into Marisa (according to Bess). I don’t think I said goodbye. Marisa and I went into the bar and had drinks and danced to 80’s new wave-ish music. It would be my final stop in a bizarre night of coincidences. Despite having been all over the east village all evening I had had a hell of a night.

Saturday morning arrived and I was completely out of steam, more so than the previous morning. My couch was privy to more slovenly behavior. I watched the Met game and did some reading until Saturday’s evening activity rolled around. Marisa (from the previous evening or several hours prior) had a going away/birthday party on her rooftop on the lower east side. I arrived at around 7:45pm completely lacking energy. The last two days had taken quite a toll. That being said, Marisa had put together quite the array of drinks and party food that was easy on the taste buds. I actually felt really guilty though since the only thing I brought was cheap beer. I am a selfish asshole. Well, I’m not totally selfish I didn’t really intend to drink the beer it was for other people. I didn’t really intend to drink anything. I had no desire to be friendly with the drink that night and while I was slightly friendly, I wasn’t friendly to the point where it would cause me to make obnoxious phone calls. I left the party with Bess, Knoah, and Deena at around 12:15am. I didn’t plan on a late night but I didn’t fall asleep as early as I had hoped based on my early exit.

The weekend finale was in Long Beach, Long Island as we had a good ole BBQ family friend get together hosted by Melanie & Steve Sirof, and attended by myself, my brother, Andrew Paskoff Jamie and Dan Maccarone, Russell and Pernilla Datz,, and Stacy and Marc Barenberg. I don’t really have many interesting details. I was so out of it the entire time that I don’t think I said very much the all day. It was fun to watch everyone’s kids running around and Steve made some good food. Overall, it was good to see everyone and a nice relaxing way to cap off the weekend. It’s nice to get out of the city every once in awhile. We headed back on the 6:48 train from Long Beach. The first stop on the way back my friend Krissy that I know from MTV got on the train and I waved at her from afar since the train was so crowded but it was another funny coincidence in a weekend that had many.

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