Tag Archives: lgbt

Lame Adventure 470: The Highlight of the 53rd New York Film Festival

Milton and I have spent much of the past two weeks at the New York Film Festival where we’ve seen quite a few low lights. Before attending a screening of Mountains May Depart, the latest film by the Chinese director and screenwriter, Jia Zhangke, we rubber necked the red carpet photo op. Here is Jia with his frequent leading lady, his wife, Zhao Tao.

Tao and Jia.

Tao and Jia.

Mountains is a drama set in the past, present and future about a woman who is loved by two men, one rich and the other, poor. She marries the rich guy and has a son he names Dollar. Even though Jia insists that his film is about 21st Century capitalism and the discontent felt by those that have benefitted from it, we found it trite. To quote Milton:

Milton: I didn’t buy any of it.

He also hated the q&a and grumbled:

Milton: I can’t believe I’m giving up food for this.

What I will remember most from that film is how much it made me crave dumplings.

While Milton was in the bathroom, I noticed the filmmaker, Michel Gondry, in the lobby, following a screening of his latest, Microbe & Gasoline, a whimsical tale about two French teenage boys that build a vehicle and set out on a road trip.

Michel Gondry.

Michel Gondry.

I found it entertaining fluff. Milton thought it had absolutely no business being in the festival and groused that that slot should have gone to Macbeth starring Michael Fassbinder and Marion Cotillard. I would have gladly argued that point with him, but I couldn’t. I was also disappointed that Macbeth wasn’t screened.

While I was busy at work, Milton emailed me that filmmaker Chantal Akerman had died in Paris on Monday, an apparent suicide. This was quite a shock. We had tickets to her latest film, No Home Movie, and we were looking forward to hearing her speak at the post-screening q&a. As news of her death spread, our screening became a very hot ticket. I raced straight from work in Long Island City to Alice Tully Hall. I was very surprised that the lobby was not busier and that I had arrived before Milton. As I waited for him, I noticed the filmmaker, Wes Anderson. I took this terrible gotcha shot and texted it to Milton.

Wes Anderson as a blue in brown shoes.

Wes Anderson as a blur in brown shoes.

At about the same time, I realized that I was at the wrong theater. I rocketed to the theater I needed to be at about a block away. When I arrived, it was the mob scene I had anticipated. Fortunately, Milton had gotten there first and had secured seats. As for Akerman’s final film, an experimental documentary about her dying, elderly mother, an Auschwitz survivor, I found it painfully dull and slept through most of the first quarter. Upon leaving, we ran into my friend, Lola, who said that she liked it. Milton asked:

Milton: What did you like about it?

This film was another misfire with us. I told Milton that it made me think about my father at the end, a difficult time in his life I never considered recording on film. Milton said:

Milton: It made me think about wanting dinner.

Even though these movies were misfires, these were all films we had wanted to see, so we don’t regret going. But the film we wanted to see most delivered. That film was Carol, a lesbian May-December romance set in the 1950s, a time when homosexuality was considered a mental illness. Phyllis Nagy brilliantly adapted Patricia Highsmith’s novel, which was essentially a road movie, for the screen. Cate Blanchett, who has never looked more alluring, plays the title character, a gorgeous but troubled cool blonde straight out of Alfred Hitchcock’s gorgeous cool blonde playbook. Rooney Mara is Therese, the shop girl and aspiring photographer, who is instantly smitten with this glamorous, charismatic, sophisticated woman twice her age. Shining just as brightly as his two perfectly cast female leads, is filmmaker, Todd Haynes. He has skillfully directed a masterpiece that is superbly shot by cinematographer, Ed Lachman, and scored by composer, Carter Burwell. Even though I had read the novel that Highsmith had published under the pseudonym, Claire Morgan, when it was originally titled The Price of Salt, almost 25 years ago, I knew the story well, but I was so elated at the film’s ending, it gave me chills. Carol is filmmaking at its finest. It is a great lesbian love story that packs an emotional wallop. It opens in the US on November 20th.

Carol q&a with from left to right, Cate Blanchett, producer Elizabeth Karlsen, Phyllis Nagy, Rooney Mara, Todd Haynes, Amy Taubin

Carol q&a (l to r), Cate Blanchett, producer Elizabeth Karlsen, Phyllis Nagy, Rooney Mara, Todd Haynes, moderator Amy Taubin

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Lame Adventure 465: Here comes the Pride

Last Friday morning, I was sitting at my desk at The Grind when I noticed an alert on my iPhone.

Wow!!!!

Wow!!!!

Even though I thought the odds were good that the Supreme Court would rule in favor of same sex marriage, it still seemed remarkable. The cynic in me, which coincidentally comprises 99.9% of my being, never thought that this day would happen in my lifetime. Much to my relief I still have a pulse.

This past Sunday, I attended the Gay Pride Parade on Fifth Avenue with my friend, Milton. The atmosphere, on the heels of this historic ruling, was euphoric. Posted below are some of the more than 1,100 photographs he and I shot of the celebration.

Well said ... even if the placard was corporate sponsored.

Well said … even if the placard was corporate sponsored.

Manly cake toppers.

Manly cake toppers.

Jubilant marcher all wrapped up in the rainbow flag.

Jubilant marcher all wrapped up in the rainbow flag.

Yes, it is!

Yes, it is!

Dancing in the street and left the baseball cap at home.

Dancing in the street and left the baseball cap at home.

Togetherness.

Togetherness.

Grand marshal Sir Derek Jacobi.

Grand marshal Sir Derek Jacobi.

Grand marshal Sir Ian McKellen.

Grand marshal Sir Ian McKellen.

Lea Delaria making a grand entrance to the delight of the crowd.

Lea Delaria making a grand entrance in a vintage gas guzzler to the delight of the crowd.

Bearadonna's back!

Bearadonna’s back!

Little kid marching.

Little kid marching.

Easy rider.

Easy rider.

Easiest rider.

Easiest rider.

The perfect place and occasion to don the gay apparel.

The perfect place and occasion to don the gay apparel.

What the hell is it pride.

What the hell is it pride.

Super charged dude who slipped and fell a split second after this picture was taken. He bounced right back up.

Super charged dude who slipped and fell a split second after this picture was taken. He bounced right back up.

Hello Carmen Miranda!

Hello Carmen Miranda!

Happy faces.

Happy faces.

Got makeup?

Got makeup?

Pride shades.

Pride shades.

Love rules husbands.

Love rules husbands.

Wife & wife.

Wife & wife.

New York Police band playing "Here Comes the Bride."

New York Police band playing “Here Comes the Bride.”

Impressive tattoo.

Impressive tattoo.

What the hell is this?

What the hell is this?

Good advice.

Good advice.

US of Pride.

US of Pride.

Time to wear the golden wings.

Time to wear the golden wings.

Euphoria.

Euphoria.

High energy.

High energy.

Pride pooch.

Pride pooch.

Everyone is welcome and bring the toucan.

Everyone is welcome and bring the toucan.

Nice smiles.

Nice smiles.

Corporate sponsor Chase and an exposed breast.

Corporate sponsor Chase and an exposed breast: together at last.

One size probably does not fit all.

One size probably does not fit all.

More what the hell is it?

More what the hell is it?

Flag tossing.

Flag tossing.

Proud couple.

Proud couple.

Hitching a ride.

Hitching a ride.

Dominatrix with cellphone pride.

Dominatrix with riding crop and cellphone pride.

Waving the flag of the Republic of China.

Waving the flag of the Republic of China.

Pucker up.

Pucker up.

That time of year to wear the rainbow kilt.

That time of year to wear the rainbow kilt.

What the hell is this now?

What the hell is this now?

No so basic black attire.

Not so basic black attire.

Statement cape.

Statement cape.

Riding in style.

Riding in style.

Marchers waving flags.

Marchers waving flags.

Gay dads and their wee one.

Gay dads and their wee one.

What you see is what you get: red headdress and stilt walkers.

What you see is what you get: red headdress and stilt walkers.

Japanese Kabuki fan pride.

Japanese Kabuki fan pride.

Novel way to wear football shoulder pads.

Novel way to wear football shoulder pads.

Pride hijinks.

Pride hijinks.

Dancing in the street.

Dancing in the street.

Seriously hitched.

Seriously hitched.

Pride and joy and iced tea.

Pride and joy and iced tea.

Proud couple.

Proud couple.

Then, when it was all over, Milton and I returned to our respective sanctum sanctorums. I began writing this post and he turned on the TV news where he saw who else, but us.

Bald guy and short woman to his right: Milton and me at Pride 2015.

Bald guy and short woman clad in black in center of frame: Milton and me at Pride 2015.

The Empire State Building celebrating Pride.

The Empire State Building celebrating Pride.

Lame Adventure 424: Gay Pride 2014

For the fifth year in a row I have attended Gay Pride with my dear friend, Milton. This celebration in lower Manhattan is the largest Gay Pride event in the country, and probably the world. Together, he and I photograph the march to share it with the Lame Adventures audience. Each year, Pride seems to have more corporate sponsors vying for the LGBT dollar, more politicians attending, signifying the value of the LGBT vote, and an ever growing crowd of marchers participating, many dressed in ordinary street clothes anemically waving a rainbow flag. Milton misses the old days when the majority of the participants were flamboyant. He has concluded that with more and more states allowing same sex marriage:

Milton: We’ve become as boring as everyone else.

Have we?

Glam Dyke on Bike at parade's start.

Glam Dyke on Bike at parade’s start.

Dyke on Bike getting spray misted by Tiny Tim lookalike.

Dyke on Bike getting spray misted by Tiny Tim lookalike.

Obviously, three nipples and one pink flamingo.

Obviously, three nipples and one pink flamingo.

Eagle Scout: the Boy Scouts had quite a presence in this year's festivities.

Eagle Scout: the Boy Scouts had quite a presence in this year’s festivities.

Angel in America.

Angel in America.

Bert and Ernie marching.

Bert and Ernie marching hand in hand.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio marching with his daughter, Chiara.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio marching with his daughter, Chiara.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a regular Pride attendee.

New York Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, a regular Pride attendee.

Grand Marshall actor Jonathan Groff.

Grand Marshall actor Jonathan Groff.

Grand Marshall Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Grand Marshall Rea Carey, Executive Director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

"Orange is the New Black" float, substitute image for third Grand Marshall, LaVerne Cox, a member of that show's cast.

“Orange is the New Black” float, substitute image for third Grand Marshall, Laverne Cox, a member of that TV show’s cast.

Masked Man with Fishnets Friend.

Masked Man with Fishnets Friend.

Masked Man's no heel shoes that Milton found particularly fascinating.

Masked Man’s no heel shoes that Milton found particularly fascinating.

Pretty girls.

Pretty girls. Focusing on them caused me to miss photographing Edie Windsor.

Laser beam stare.

Laser beam stare.

Yes, that is a live bird atop this green bearded bloke's head.

Yes, that is a live bird atop this green bearded bloke’s head.

Live cat atop this guy's head.

Live cat atop this guy’s head.

Getup purchased with a gold card?

Getup purchased with a gold card?

Doing as the Romans do in New York City.

Doing as the Romans do in New York City.

The gladiators are here.

The gladiators are here.

The gay crusader.

The gay crusader.

Gay Yankee ingenuity when you lack a rear pocket.

Gay Yankee ingenuity when you lack a rear pocket.

Rainbow fan girl.

Rainbow fan girl.

Hello!

Hello!

Lesbian and proud, or just stretching her arm.

Lesbian and proud, or just stretching her arm.

Man in yellow literally leaving little to the imagination.

Man in yellow literally leaving little to the imagination.

Hello sailor.

Hello sailor.

Joyous cop.

Joyous cop.

Fleet of foot flag waver.

Fleet of foot flag waver.

Marching incognito.

Marching incognito.

Peacock.

Peacock.

Peacock network banner and a sign of corporate sponsorship.

Peacock network banner and a sign of corporate sponsorship.

Rainbow flag gown. What will they think of next?

Rainbow flag gown. What will they think of next?

Next is here. Hello Beardonna.

Next is here. Hello Beardonna.

Corporate sponsor Mastercard.

Corporate sponsor Mastercard.

Mastering the possibilities.

Mastering the possibilities.

Twerking.

Twerking.

Power pumping the asphalts in pink pumps

Power pumping the asphalt in pink pumps.

Splits and pass us the Aleve.

Splits and pass us the Aleve.

Dancing in the street.

Dancing in the street.

Starred and labeled.

Starred and labeled.

Magnificent!

Magnificent!

Didn't see that coming!

Didn’t see that coming!

Shirtless fellows in rainbow socks.

Shirtless fellows in rainbow socks.

Old Blue and Lavender Hairs.

Old Blue and Lavender Hairs.

Pretty in pink.

Pretty in pink.

Serena Williams cross-bred Ronald McDonald.

Serena Williams cross-bred with Ronald McDonald.

Gay dads with kids.

Gay dads with kids.

Guys in red boxers gyrating on float.

Muscle Beach guys in red boxers gyrating on float.

Israel float and Michael Lucas.

Israel float and Michael Lucas.

Attitude Man.

Attitude Man.

Everyone say cheese and keep your wings still.

Everyone say cheese and keep your wings still.

Nice to know.

Nice to know.

Butterflies aren't free.

Butterflies aren’t free.

Apparently  Pride was watered its way down to Walmart.

Apparently Pride has watered its way down to Walmart.

Gotcha! Shooting the crowd!

Gotcha shooting the crowd.

 

Lame Adventure 419: The B Word

The b word I have in mind is birthday. Mine occurred on Sunday. This is the first birthday in forever that I am physically fit. On December 30th, I stopped eating like a starving hog and started riding a spin bike for 40 minutes four days a week. I’ve been a barnacle to my diet and exercise routine. As a result, I’ve shed a dozen pounds, went down a pant size and rediscovered my waistline. When I glimpse myself naked in the mirror my immediate thought is no longer:

Me: Ugh, I’ve gotta do something about that.

Now that I’ve returned to being lean, I wonder:

Me: Why are you still single?

Another dividend of de-flabbing is that I have much more energy and I feel much less cranky. On Saturday, I was walking down my block when I encountered a squirrel. We made meaningful eye contact. I dug my hand into my pocket. The squirrel looked hopeful. I took out my iPhone. The squirrel realized that I was a useless source for treats, scampered under a shrub and dug out a snack from its stash. The critter then hopped onto a ledge and struck a pose.

Last critter photographed at 54.

Last cute critter photograph at 54.

I snapped a shot. A woman approached:

Woman: What’s he eating?

The Old Me: How the hell do I know? Do I look like a squirrel-ologist?

Now that I’m mellow I’ve muted my snark. If she was lesbian and we had chemistry, this could have been a brilliant way to meet: bonding over a charming rodent nibbling God-knows-what.

As for my birthday, I’m not big on celebrating, but I appreciate low-key acknowledgment. My friends and family know that I’m not into gifts. My bud, Coco, once remarked in sheer exasperation:

Coco: You’re the hardest person in the world to get a black tee shirt for.

I welcome cards and my annual birthday cake at The Grind. This year, I wanted a pie, specifically an apple pie. My boss, Elspeth, opened her wallet, and my colleague, Godsend, ordered the exact pie I craved: crumb topped from Billy’s Bakery. Billy’s is known for their cakes, but note this fellow pie enthusiasts: Billy’s crumb topped apple pie is superb.

Birthday pie.

Birthday pie.

My birthday wouldn’t be complete without attending the theater with Milton. This weekend, we saw two plays on Broadway. As I power slept on Saturday he rose at daybreak to wait in line for $29 rush seat tickets to The Velocity of Autumn, a one act play starring Estelle Parsons and Stephen Spinella.

Pre-theater crowd waiting to enter.

Pre-theater crowd waiting to enter.

It’s a very moving, unsentimental story about a middle age son trying to talk his elderly mother out of blowing up her Brooklyn brownstone with one hundred Molotov cocktails she has scattered throughout her home in defiance of his siblings demand that she enter assisted living. It is not a comedy, but it is packed with hilarious jokes. It strikes many chords about aging whether you’re 85 or 55.

86-year-old Estelle Parsons delivered a knockout performance as the mother. She was nominated for the Best Actress Tony award last week. Ticket sales were slow so the producers closed the show on Sunday. Because time was running out to see it, Milton hightailed to the Booth Theatre’s box office in pursuit of the cheap seats. He scored third row orchestra, but was warned that they were partial view, proving the new adage that skinflints can’t be choosers. When we got to our row C seats that hugged the theater’s wall, Milton gasped in terror:

Milton: What an angle!

Angle.

Angle.

Fortunately, when the curtain lifted, the view was good. Milton declared:

Milton: I would gladly pay $29 to see every show on Broadway from this seat.

Stephen Spinella and Estelle Parson at curtain call.

Stephen Spinella and Estelle Parsons at curtain call.

On Sunday, my birthday proper, we saw Of Mice and Men starring James Franco and Chris O’Dowd. We bought those tickets in January. The theater was packed with young women, many probably attending a Broadway play for the first time. But they behaved. No one screamed or threw her underwear at the leading men.

Pre-theater crowd entering the Longacre Theater.

Pre-theater crowd outside the Longacre Theater.

Ben Brantley of the New York Times gave this inspired revival a bitchy review. He ridiculously compared James Franco to Yosemite Sam. Milton said that for film stars that had never performed on Broadway, both gave very solid performances. We thought it was entertaining. Furthermore, Milton never once complained about having to climb 51 stairs up to the balcony.

First pigeon photograph at 55.

First crummy pigeon photograph at 55.

This year is off to a great start.

Lame Adventure 391: Blue is the Longest Color

Au revoir 51st New York Film Festival.

Au revoir 51st New York Film Festival.

Milton and I have attended our last screening at the New York Film Festival, the highly anticipated and critically acclaimed 2 hour and 59 minute lesbian opus from France, Blue is the Warmest Color. Adapted from a graphic novel written by Julie Maroh and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, it stars Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. It won the prestigious Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival and the jury gaveExarchopoulos and Seydoux an Honorary Palme d’Or of their own. I had originally thought they shared a Best Actress award.

This is a coming of age story about the sexual awakening of a teenage girl named Adèle who experiences love at first sight when she sees Emma, an art student with blue hair, walking arm in arm with her girlfriend on the street. The hype surrounding it is a ten minute graphic sex scene that Kechiche shot with a handheld camera. I had hoped that this film would be on par with Brokeback Mountain in depth and quality, but  now that I have seen it, I declare it a straight guy’s wet dream about pretty girls who are the Energizer Bunnies of the boudoir.

Milton’s two-word review:

Milton: Major disappointment.

Thus far, critics have been praising this film all out of proportion which is baffling. This is certainly not the lesbian Citizen Kane. Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln ran 2 hours and 30 minutes, 29 minutes shorter than Blue. Is a slender tear-drenched and snot-soaked ode to first love on the same level as an historic epic about the man who freed the slaves Milton?

Milton: I hated most of the film. It was boring.

There just was not enough story to merit that length. A family dinner sequence showing the character, Adèle, ravenously eating spaghetti with her parents while all three are watching TV seemed shot in real time. I got the point that they were not members of the French aristocracy when Adèle licked her knife, but did I need to watch her scarf seconds to hammer home that she’s a girl with a voracious appetite?

Length aside, Kechiche took many liberties with Maroh’s story. He has used her characters as a springboard for his own version of who lesbians are, and that offended me so much. At a party sequence that made my skin crawl, men, undoubtedly representing Kechiche’s warped viewpoint about gay women, are opining about lesbianism and female orgasm. If only I had a mute button.

Sitting at left moderator Kent Jones with director Abdellatif Kechiche and actress Adèle Exarchopoulos.

Sitting at left moderator Kent Jones with director Abdellatif Kechiche and actress Adèle Exarchopoulos.

Maroh has expressed her dismay that she was excluded from the filmmaking process, but she has not condemned the film. I suspect she was paid well, so she is not going to kick a gift horse in the teeth. If the Koch Brothers want to buy my book for a chunk of change and turn it into a Tea Party manual, sold! Maroh might be anticipating a backlash from lesbians and anyone else that can see through this sham no matter their gender or which way their pendulums swing.

Maroh has spoken out about the notorious sex scene that occurs about halfway into the film. She has called that scene “unrealistic”. It was the Cirque du Soleil of scissoring and ass slapping set on a mattress. The sighs and groans the characters emitted were ear piercing. I emailed Milton:

Me: I enjoyed it voyeuristically while watching it, but at the same time, I have never in my life had sex like that. A lot of what they were doing was in these strange positions that my partners and I never do.

Milton: I’m glad you said that because, although I found the scene steamy, at times I didn’t know what the hell they were doing. That penetration without penetration thing? What the fuck was that?

As for our audience, men, presumably straight, exceeded the number of women in attendance. Milton said never before did he have to wait in a line of 500 guys to use the bathroom. He is going to monitor how this film does at the box office. It enters general release in the US, but not in Idaho where it is already banned, on October 25th. It is being released uncut and rated NC-17. I am sure that by showing it uncut that will guarantee increased box office revenue. Kechiche has announced that he wants to release a director’s cut that is forty minutes longer, presumably that will be the DVD. More go-to viewing for the undeclared target audience: drooling straight guys. Milton wonders if lesbian orgasms merit ten or fifteen million dollars at the box office over here in the land of the free, home of the bored. I anticipate that it will sell even better.

Lame Adventure 382: Big Apple Gay Pride Parade 2013

Sunday was the annual Gay Pride march in Manhattan. Milton and I attended with cameras in tow. It was an exuberant celebration on the heels of the Supreme Court’s recent decision overturning the Domestic Marriage Act as well as clearing the way for same sex couples to resume having the right to wed in California. The victorious DOMA plaintiff, 84-year-old Edie Windsor, was one of the parade’s three grand marshals. Seeing her was quite a high.

This is also a mayoral election year in New York City. Christine Quinn, the openly lesbian Speaker of the New York City Council, is a mayoral candidate who has recently received Edie’s endorsement. Quinn is leading in the polls today, but former Congressman Anthony Weiner is gaining on her and possibly Public Advocate Bill de Blasio has an outside chance, too. It’s a long way between June and November.

Aside from politicians avidly courting the LGBT voter, the parade was also heavy with product placement in hot pursuit of the LGBT dollar. Big corporations that participated include Delta Airlines, AT&T, Citibank and Coca Cola. Macy’s, Whole Foods and Kiehls had a strong presence, too. Vitamin Water had some poor schmuck or schmuck-ette dressed like a bottle of water march in the steam heat. Overall, the parade was primarily about LGBT people compelled to cheer their recent victories, strut their stuff and feel good about whom they are.

On a personal note, I am very pleased to announce that I experienced my own triumph this year. I did not suffer any further hearing loss, step in any fetid puddles or deep fry any body part, all mishaps I have suffered in past years while covering this annual event with Milton for Lame Adventures. Naturally, I half-expected to find myself swallowed by the sidewalk, but that didn’t happen, either. Therefore, I’ll let the pictures we shot tell the rest of the story.

Love is in the air.

Pride and victory are in the air.

Then, there is this woman who let it all hang out for the duration.

Then, there is this woman who let it all hang out for the duration.

Feeling pumped waiting for the march to start.

Feeling pumped waiting for the march to start.

Dykes on bikes kick it off!

Dykes on bikes kick it off!

The good hair day twins.

The good hair day twins.

The annual showing of balloons.

The annual showing of balloons.

Milton thought this chap's leotard was Dorothy Hamil-inspired.

Milton thought this chap’s leotard was Dorothy Hamil-inspired. His flower made me crave sunflower seeds.

Our award for Best Sign.

The Lame Adventures award for Best Sign.

Grand Marshall Harry Belafonte!

Grand Marshall Harry Belafonte!

Grand Marshall Edie Windsor in hat with red band.

Grand Marshall Edie Windsor in hat with red band.

A bloke we've seen every year at Pride.

A literally bird-brained bloke we’ve seen every year at Pride.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer.

Rainbow Brite.

Rainbow Brite.

Edie Windsor fans.

Edie Windsor fans literally and figuratively.

Product placement.

Product placement.

LGBT center float.

LGBT center float.

Mr. Short Shorts.

Mr. Short Shorts front and center.

Family guys i.e., Mr. Long Shorts.

Family guys i.e., Mr. Long Shorts.

Big cheers for Governor Cuomo!

Big cheers for Governor Cuomo!

Rainbow dress.

Rainbow dress.

Lesbian moms.

Lesbian moms.

Blonde ambition.

Blonde ambition.

Kiehls float.

Kiehls float.

Kiddie pride.

Kiddie pride.

Scooter and bare breast pride.

Together at last: scooter and bare bazoom pride.

Paddles and pads shriek, "NFL!"

Paddles and pads shriek, “NFL!”

Girl pride.

Girl pride.

Butch dyke pride.

Butch dyke pride.

Brokeback Mountain...The Neo-realist version.

Brokeback Mountain …The Neo-realist version.

Shouting pride.

Shouting pride.

Why walk when you can ride the recline-o-cycle.

Why walk when you can ride the recline-o-cycle.

Wilted sombrero pride.

Clapping wilted sombrero pride.

Milton calls this "What the fuck...?"

Milton calls this “What the fuck…?”

New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly.

New York City police commissioner Ray Kelly.

Gay cop color guard.

Gay cop color guard.

Gay firefighters and EMT's.

Gay firefighters and EMT’s.

Cop ordering phone booth perches to dismount,

Cop ordering phone booth perching pals to dismount.

Yes and yes.

Yes and yes.

Attitude.

Attitude.

Of course, Scout Troop 69!

Of course, Scout Troop 69!

Prancing with friend.

Prancing with friend.

The Flaggots are back!

The Flaggots are back!

Bi Request — offering something for just about everyone.

Bi Request — offering something for just about everyone.

Milton: "Not everyone should copy Tarzan."

Milton: “Not everyone should copy Tarzan.”

Pretty boys.

Back to regularly scheduled programming: pretty boys.

Russians are coming.

Russians are coming.

Latino pride.

Latino pride.

Eye-catching.

Eye-catching.

Feathered friends.

Feathered friends.

Exuberance!

Exuberance!

Just the place to find Harem Boy and Mad Hatter.

Just the place to find Harem Boy and Mad Hatter.

"Let's put on a show!"

“Let’s put on a show!”

Actions speak louder than words.

This magic moment.

Boy marching with Rainbow Girl.

Boy marching with Rainbow Girl.

Go Magazine: stick around — meow!

Go Magazine: stick around — meow!

The Big Gay Apple is here!

The Big Gay Apple is here!

Lady bugs!

Lady bugs!

Contrast in styles.

Contrast in styles.

In lieu of feathers, rainbow tube balloons.

In lieu of feathers, rainbow tube balloons.

Marching with who else? A live snake.

Marching with what else? A live snake.

Equality marchers.

Equality marchers.

Nice hat.

Nice hat.

Nice shoes.

Nice shoes.

Strike a pose.

Strike a pose.

Shake that thing!

Shake that thing!

Well accessorized.

Well accessorized.

Perfect day to wear a bikini and feathers.

Perfect day to wear a bikini and feathers.

The Golden Girls have arrived!

The Golden Girls have arrived!

Happy in tape and feathers.

Happy in tape and feathers.

Tribute to grandma.

Tribute to grandma.

Weiner!

Weiner!

Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner.

Mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner.

Drummer girl.

Drummer girl.

Indonesian pride.

Indonesian pride.

Happy together.

Happy together.

Rainbow flag ears? This guy's get-up irritated Milton.

Rainbow flag ears? This guy’s get-up irritated Milton.

Not housework attire: feathered mask and rainbow cape.

Not housework attire: feathered mask and rainbow cape.

Bustier.

Bustier.

Hold that pose.

Hold that pose.

Feathers.

Feathers.

Having it and flaunting it.

Having it and flaunting it.

Moving on from marriage to fracking?

Moving on from marriage to fracking?

Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill De Blasio.

Public Advocate and mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio.

Conversation can be very nice.

Thanks for sharing.

Madonna, watch out! Bearadonna's coming!

Madonna, watch out! Bearadonna’s here!

The Log Cabin Republicans are here — all three of them.

The Log Cabin Republicans are here — all three of them.

Hula hoop lady.

Hula hoop lady.

Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn in orange slacks with her spouse Kim Cattullo.

Mayoral candidate Christine Quinn in orange slacks with her spouse Kim Catullo.

Massive Quinn contingency or as Milton said, "It's like she's Madonna."

Massive showing of Quinn supporters or as Milton said, “It’s like she’s Madonna.”

Gotcha shot of Milton and me.

Gotcha shot of Milton and me.

Lame Adventure 371: Marriage Lame Adventures-style

When I launched Lame Adventures in January 2010, I saw my site as an outlet for sharing tales set in New York City from the perspective of a hapless minion of modest means. At first, it was fine with me if only my close circle of friends and my sister, Dovima, read my blog. I am by nature an anti-social networker. Eventually, bloggers began to discover me, and I realized that was okay, too. I now enjoy reading several fellow bloggers and I have gotten to know members of my cyberspace posse quite well. On more than one occasion I have even been fortunate enough to meet fellow bloggers when they’ve visited New York City.

The most rewarding experience I’ve had thus far with meeting a fellow blogger occurred last Thursday when I met one of my earliest followers, Kathy McCullogh over at Reinventing the Event Horizon. Instead of doing the usual, hanging out at a pub, Kathy emailed me and asked if I would serve as witness to the City Hall nuptials between she and Sara Coppler, her partner of seven years. On May 1, they would move to Cuenca, Ecuador. That was an offer I couldn’t refuse. My co-witness, Jackie over at Jackie Cangro, was on board to attend, too. I have since learned that Jackie is both an excellent sherpa and writer.

This year, Kathy and Sara’s lives have been in such a whirlwind I almost need a nap before I explain what’s been happening. They’ve sold their house in Kentucky and have been in the process of completely liquidating their life in the U.S. ever since. They chose to relocate to Ecuador for many reasons. Ecuador is on the East Coast’s time zone (except during daylight savings time), it’s a three and a half hour flight from Florida, the currency is the U.S. dollar, the price of oil is cheap ($1.48 a gallon), health care and housing are affordable, the overall cost of living is low, and the perpetual spring-like climate is a perfect compromise for both of them. Kathy hates heat and Sara hates cold. Gee, maybe Milton and I should stuff ourselves into their carry-on bags.

Before making this move, Kathy and Sara were advised that because marriage equality is on the rise in South America, it would behoove them to travel to a state in the U.S. where same sex marriage is legal. Getting married stateside before moving overseas would give their union more legitimacy in their adopted homeland. Hence, they chose New York to officially tie the knot.

As honored as I was to be included in this historic event in their lives, for a moment, a flash of terror shot through my entire being from the soles of my feet to the roots of my hair. No, this terror had nothing to do with my lifelong fear of commitment, but the thought of having to dress up twice in one week. They were marrying three days after Milton and I attended a black tie gala at Lincoln Center for Barbra Streisand! Kathy reassured me that it was going to be very casual.

For anyone considering getting married in New York’s City Hall, the ceremonies are actually held in the City Clerk’s office at 141 Worth Street in lower Manhattan. There is a 24-hour waiting period after a couple purchases a license, possibly to prevent couples from impulsively entering boneheaded unions, such as when Britney Spears got married in Las Vegas to, if I recall his name correctly, That Schmuck.

First thing first, fees.

First thing first, fees.

Kathy and Sara have been ready to make it legal for years, but like so many committed same sex couples, they were waiting for the laws to change.

Kathy and Sara in their final moments of waiting to wed.

Kathy (left) and Sara in their final moments of patiently waiting to wed.

On wedding day proper, April 25, the four of us agreed to meet at 9 a.m., but we all arrived at 8:45. Even though I am not an early riser nor am I a morning person at all, no way was I going to be The Jerk That Arrives Late for this special occasion.

New York City’s Marriage Bureau is a place where the vibe is warm and welcoming. All a couple has to do is show up and wait their turn. The bureau has flowers, a gift shop, even a backdrop with a photograph of the actual City Hall for brides and grooms to pose before. It’s run very efficiently. Check it out.

Flower selections.

Flower selections.

Cake toppers and ducks.

Cake toppers and ducks.

Reading material neither Kathy nor Sara needed during the 24-hour waiting period.

Reading material neither Kathy nor Sara needed during the 24-hour waiting period.

Camera-ready City Hall mural backdrop.

Camera-ready City Hall mural backdrop.

Kathy and Sara's ceremony number.

Kathy and Sara’s ceremony number.

Kathy and Sara filling out forms.

Kathy and Sara filling out forms.

Exchanging vows a.k.a. this is happening for real!

Exchanging vows a.k.a. this is happening for real!

Double ring ceremony.

Double ring ceremony.

Missed money shot due to delay in my camera's shutter speed.

Missed money shot due to delay in my camera’s shutter speed.

Just married! Finally!

Just married! Finally!

Backdrop looks complete now.

Backdrop looking complete now.

Kathy and Sara entered lawful wedded bliss by 9:59 a.m. When we stepped outside, we encountered a photographer named Braulio Cuenca. Apparently, he’s been a fixture outside the City Clerk’s office since 1994. If you’d like to read his story in the New York Times click this link. Coincidentally, Braulio is Ecuadorian and from — where else? Cuenca! He shot Kathy and Sara’s official wedding photo. We saw that as a good omen.

First step outside as spouse and spouse.

First step outside as a lawfully wedded couple.

Braulio showing Kathy official wedding photo.

Braulio showing Kathy official wedding photo.

Afterward, Jackie and I accompanied the brides on a few errands before heading over to Chinatown for a celebratory dim sum lunch at Ping’s on Mott Street. Our next stop was Ferrara’s in Little Italy for dessert Italian-style. Then, we parted ways. Jackie returned home to Brooklyn. I headed uptown. Kathy and Sara, caught a cab in the Big Apple detour in their journey.

Jubilant Kathy and Sara in taxi heading toward the next leg in their life together.

Jubilant Kathy and Sara in taxi heading toward the next leg in their life together.

Upon reflection, I realized that were it not for the blogosphere, I never would have met this very cool, very loving couple and made a new writer-friend in Brooklyn. This is an adventure that was far more lucky than it was lame. The Lame Adventures will return should this city slicker ever visit them in Ecuador.