THE SUNDAY SHOW was back the night of February 15th and I felt like there wasn’t going to be enough room for everyone who wanted to come. Should I only allow petite people in? Jockeys? Thin people? Single people? People who don’t mind sitting on the floor, or on the lap of a stranger? I mean, we know a thing or two about laps by now, don’t we? We love them! Everything worked out perfectly, though!
That show fell among a few significant days – Friday the 13th, Valentine’s Day and President’s Day. Well it seemed that just was not enough for us to celebrate! So, in the spirit of Obama and love and feminism and by the power vested in me, the SS included some very special guests: the wedding party of Jessica Chesnutt and Natalie Sauro of Brooklyn, who became the first same-sex couple ever to exchange vows atop the Empire State Building. I am incredibly honored the couple celebrated this landmark event with us.
We are, after all, talking about my very favorite building of all time. An Affair to Remember. Sleepless In Seattle. Throwing pennies. Different colors. After a road trip, the beacon in the distance proving you’re almost home. What I find most interesting, that in May of 1979 Elvita Adams jumped from the 86th floor, only to be blown back in through an open window onto the 85th floor.
From the first moment I laid eyes upon it, I fantasized about the Empire State Building. Saving the experience for “something special”, I drew pictures of it, stared at it through the car window, admired it and photographed it every chance I had. I was really building up…this building. However after the events of 9/11/01, I was afraid something could happen to it and that I would never actually make it up there. I was living in Greenwich Village on a tiny street in a tiny apartment, and my roommate at that time, Missy, had an actor friend by the name of Tony who often called from Los Angeles. Sometimes he would call, she wouldn’t be home, and I would end up talking to him at length while sitting on the roof or soaking in the tub. I also recall sending him, through the mail, fallen leaves from different New York sidewalks.
So, two months after the World Trade Center was destroyed, Tony came to New York City and we met for the first time in person on the Empire State Building’s observation deck. I have since lost all of those pictures, captured on a disposable camera of two strangers, in the chill of autumn, 86 floors up high on ideals. When the world around me was literally collapsing, being up there, in all its anticipation and glory, was fantastic. That feeling never leaves me; I feel it every time I see it. There I can touch the heavens, and at night it lights my path. At midnight, when it goes dark, the single red light atop its tower slowly blinks me to sleep. Everything about that building fascinates me, and now I can vicariously get married atop it, too. Because really, as much as I love that building, I don’t think I’ll be getting married there.
Fast-forward to this past New Year’s Eve when I co-conspired with Jason Fraticelli, my new friend and bass player for Matisyahu, and helped him propose to his longtime girlfriend, Lila Sanscoucie. I always wanted to attend the Mummer’s Parade on New Year’s Day in Philadelphia, especially after seeing producer Max Raab’s documentary on the parade, “STRUT!” I really like Philadelphia, and even briefly entertained the idea of getting married one day at the Mummer’s Parade. So “Operation Jason and Lila’s Engagement” took two days in New York and one day in Philadelphia for me to execute, and we all attended the Mummer’s Parade on New Year’s Day together, in Philadelphia, “The City of Brotherly Love”. It was one of the most magical beginnings to any year I can remember, and the sunny day was spent celebrating among the Mummer’s and the happy couple, so in love. But after being there, I experienced love at the Mummer’s vicariously through Jason and Lila. They remind me of why it is important to always have friendly, healthy couples around. I feel like that is encouraging, especially when so many people I know are bitter, miserable and negative about love.
Finally, my old roommate Missy changed her Facebook status to “Engaged”, announcing to the social networking universe that she’s no longer “Single”. Missy is also a writer, an inspiring woman and the friend I would make pacts with. Like the one about waiting three months when hanging out with a guy before having sex with him. Missy surprised me when she said she didn’t cry, but throughout the entire proposal her beau did. Isn’t that sweet? I find all of this interesting, as it all came together just in time for Valentine’s Day. And the Sunday Show. What’s love got to do with it? Everything.