28 May 2007

WW07 Part One of Three: Strip Club Island on the Hudson River.

As you know, for the past week I have been in New York and New Jersey for a hotly anticipated and much-hyped wedding: Mike and Sarah’s WW07 (Wedding Week ’07). I took the train up Tuesday evening and stayed with my friend Sarah (a different Sarah totally unrelated to the wedding). We had a lovely dinner at Patsy’s—a pizzeria in Midtown and then I crashed on her guest bed in Queens. (Thanks Sarah :) !!)

Wednesday morning I met up with my best friend, Kristin (KFo) at our hotel in midtown Manhattan (right next to the Waldorf Astoria. Schwing!). Kristin’s Dad (D-Fo) travels for work pretty much every week of the year and has accumulated a ridiculous amount of air miles and hotel points. So he graciously allowed us to use his “Royal Ambassador Hotel Status” to book a room for this trip. As part of the agreement, we were instructed to “behave yourselves and don’t disgrace my name.”

I believe in the literary world, that previous statement is what they call “foreshadowing.”

Wednesday went fine—went to the Met for the Costume Institute special exhibit, browsed a bit on Fifth Avenue, met Mike and Sarah back at the hotel and checked in and had our bags taken upstairs. At the special “Royal Ambassador” check-in desk, we were informed that as “Royal Ambassadors” we automatically received a 4pm check-out and COMPLIMENTARY MINIBAR.

This is when things started to get awesome.

Mike polished off every scotch and whiskey airplane bottle within the first hour of checking in. Kristin (who has a very low tolerance for alcohol) had no idea if her clothes even matched as we were leaving for dinner. And true to form, Sarah removed every Amstel Light can and Wine bottle from the minibar and hid them in her suitcase so that we could get a full re-stock when they came back to refill.

Sarah, Kristin and I had reservations at Nobu that evening. Mike and Joe (Mike’s brother/Best Man) decided to find a place nearby in Soho to eat so that we could all meet up at a bar afterwards. As we left Nobu, we called to find out where they ended up so we could meet them. Diva. They ended up at a restaurant called “Diva.” The rest of the evening was a bar hop of sorts from Soho to Midtown and a led to a very hungover morning—particularly for Kristin.

I was the itinerary nazi and made everyone get up in the morning so we could fit in the day’s activities. That included lunch at The Spotted Pig, shopping at Marc Jacobs, cupcakes at Magnolia, a trip to Sephora to get makeup for the wedding, and the last stop, which will here on be referred to as “Chinatown Pashmina Incident 2006.”

Our bridesmaid dresses were halters, so in order to cover our shoulders in the church, we decided to get matching pashminas for all the girls to wear during the ceremony. These run about four bucks a pop in Chinatown. However, after a day of walking all about downtown in 91-degree weather and rushing around in crowds, nearly all of us were about to snap—and we could not find 5 matching pashminas to save our lives. Finally, we got to a street stand where I am on my hands and knees pillaging as quickly as possible for a 5-matching-set of neutral/light pink/nude-colored wraps. For every color I found that worked, there only seemed to be 4 that matched. So I asked the lady at the stand if she had anymore that matched any of the many 4-sets we’d pulled out. She said that two of the sets matched. I said “no. they don’t.” Even though she seemed to disagree that the colors weren’t matching (THEY TOTALLY WEREN’T), she said “which color do you want me to find?” I said it didn’t matter as long as there were 5 of the same. Sarah (the Bride) said “at this point I would accept Gak Green if we could find 5 matches.”

The situation at this point is that I am standing there about to explode, while this little pissed-off Asian lady goes wandering around for a good 15 minutes to other stands trying to find a matching colored pashmina. I would have bet a million bucks she’d come back with the wrong color, but instead I just stood there impatiently, checking e-mail on my blackberry while waiting. She came back, I glanced up from my blackberry and looked and said totally non-chalantly: “That’s totally not the same color.” She said “Yes. It same.” I didn’t even look up. “No. not same. Totally different. They need to match exactly.”

“They same color!”

“NO! THEY NOT SAME COLOR! [still reading e-mail]. This is ridiculous. We’re going somewhere that knows how to match.”

The determination and fury that fueled our pashmina shopping for the next 5 minutes was unparalleled by any shopping phenomena I’ve ever witnessed. And in the end, we came out successful with five matching pashminas, a $20 tab and one relieving subway ride back to get ready for dinner and the bachelor/ette party.

For the bachelor/ette party, Joe and I booked a club that I’ve been to several times before: Ava Lounge on the penthouse floor of the Dream Hotel. The area reserved for us was directly overlooking Times Square and Kristin’s favorite Diddy (Sean John) billboard. This was the part of the weekend where all the groomsmen showed up—two of whom were majorly responsible for Shamra and I not remembering most of our senior year: Bob and Jeff—and we hadn’t seen them in three years. At this point, Shamra had also joined the group as well as two of the other groomsmen, Bruce and Greg. Bob’s sister was also there and a few other area friends. By 2am, management kicked us out of the main part of the lounge and onto the roofdeck. This is when and where we decided it was time to go to a strip club. So I started asking around the club for venue suggestions. The first strip club we ended up at had a cover that they wouldn’t waive for the ladies at the party, and before Jeff could get out money to cover the girls to get in (who all said “If I want to see boobs, I’ll just look in the mirror”), Bob’s sister suggested a place downtown. So we all got on the Subway and headed to Spring Street.

We walked around in circles downtown for about an hour and ended up at the Hudson River. 12th Avenue. As we were on the phone with another friend who was out, trying to tell her where to meet us, she said: “Does 12th Avenue even exist?” Indeed, it does.

I was fed up at this point and got in a cab with Sham, Sarah and Kfo back to midtown. The rest of the group followed us. I had the key and raced upstairs with Kristin because I had had to pee since the Subway ride. It was in the elevator that I am realizing that I’d lost my wallet. I knew I had it in the cab, because I paid the driver. But I am also inventorying the contents of the wallet: my ID, all my credit cards, all my cash and my ATM card...aaaaaaand I am having a panic attack. I sent Kristin downstairs to deal with the situation and find out what she could. What we found out was that apparently Sarah is autistic because she had memorized every number on that cab. This was very helpful, but still panicked, and thinking it wouldn’t be returned, I said: “I’d make out with that cab driver if he brought me my wallet back. Hell, I’D MAKE OUT WITH ANYONE WHO BROUGHT MY WALLET BACK!”

No sooner did I verbalize that than I hear cheering in the hallway and my panic quickly turns to jubilation. Jeff, who pulled up in the cab behind us, saw my wallet in the middle of 48th street and knew it had to be one of ours. This is me with my newly recovered wallet:

He however, was unable to collect his reward because Jeff, Bob and Bob’s sister had gone to find beer for the hotel room and sent the others up with my recovered wallet. Otherwise I probably would have jumped him. (I knew he wouldn't have a problem with that.) When they returned from the beer run there was beer leaking out everywhere because they had dropped it on the way. Beer all over the Royal Ambassador suite carpet. Awesome.

About an hour and a half later, around 5:30am, we kicked everyone out because we had received our first (but not last) noise violation of the week..

The next morning, Kristin found a slice of pizza behind the living room couch.

Kristin: “This better not go on DFo’s permanent record.”

At that, we headed to New Jersey for the rehearsal. That trip ended up getting us lost in the Bronx for about 10 minutes and a coining of the term “tool douche” as a general road rage expletive.

Coming up in part two: “Pants” and the bouquet toss.
Coming up in part three: Noise violation #2.

1 comment:

C said...

I can not believe you recovered your wallet. Did you rescue an orphan from a burning building or something to build up that kind of kamra?