Here we are, in New York City. One week from today we will be on a flight for Italy and our life’s great adventure begins. We spent today running back and forth between the City Clerk’s office, the County Clerk’s office, the Secretary of State and my brother’s apartment. We got up and got an early start, afraid since it was Good Friday that perhaps offices might close early and go home. So by 9am we were standing in line at the City Clerk’s office trying to get our birth certificates certified so that we could obtain the “apostile”, the final certification that trumps all the others. The first thing we were told was that our birth certificates were received too long ago (August 2004) and that in order to get the Clerk’s certification we would have to submit a new request for a birth certificate and that would take two to three weeks to get unless we could show our airline tickets and prove that there was some urgency to our request. Since we are planning on leaving a week from today, we certainly felt a sense of urgency! Fortunately, the tickets were in our luggage in my brother’s apartment, but unfortunately that was across town! We jumped in a cab and zoomed back to the apartment, gathered everything we thought pertinent and hailed another cab to take us back. By this time it was almost 11:30 and the line was much longer than it had been earlier in the day. We filled out the necessary papers and paid the necessary fees and then decided we should go and see if we could have some luck with the Marriage License (which of course was at a different government office). Here we met with a modicum of success and had the certificate stamped and certified by the County Clerk (only step one in this process). We then had to proceed to the State Notary to have the signatures notarized and certified. We decided to see if she could also do this for the Birth Certificates we had received previously and miracle of miracles, she didn’t bat an eye and notarized everything – the Marriage License along with both of our Birth Certificates! We were thrilled! But not done yet. We still had to go back to the Secretary of State’s office where they looked everything over and applied the elusive “apostile” to each of our papers and sent us happily on our way. It was then 3pm! Lunch consisted of a salted pretzel from a street vendor and a black and white cookie.
By this time we were totally exhausted and came back to the apartment and crashed for two hours.
Tonight we celebrated at a little seafood restaurant close to the apartment, stopped and picked up a few groceries at the market, along with a bunch of flowers, and are enjoying the opportunity to live like locals. New York is quite a place. The high-rises, the history, the beautiful and majestic old buildings, the ornate and the modern, all the great little restaurants and shops, the theatres and museums, it just keeps going. The people and the cars in constant motion, it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy. This morning we were right in the thick of it, rushing along with everyone else, stressed and harried. But tonight we have slowed it way down. We’re opening a bottle of wine and taking it easy. Tomorrow we’ll be getting on the Long Island Railroad and heading out to Bellmore for the day to have dinner with my Uncle Fred and cousins Celeste and Clo and their families. It should be a nice day.
Sunday we may try to catch the Easter Parade on 5th Avenue. Won’t that be cool?
Rosemary & Bob