rockinlibrarian: (roar)
So I'd been meaning to post pictures from other events this summer, but this time I must NOT let it slide. There is far too much to see. See who Maddie is pointing to?

That's right! Even the three-year-old knows the Statue of Liberty when she sees her!

We arrived Saturday and parked in Jersey to take a ferry to Ellis Island and around Liberty Island and so forth. My aunt immediately began making friends with as many people as possible, such as this group from India:
Peggy friends boat

Ellis Island is not exactly a small-child-friendly tourist location, so I mostly chased kids while the other adults attempted to learn things at a leisurely pace. I mean, it's not like the kids didn't have a fun day in general. The highlight for them was the boat ride!
Ferry wave

Then we stuttered through traffic to Flushing in Queens, location of my cousin's wedding and also of this:

Right! Real spaceships that must be defended from giant cockroaches! Or the '64 World's Fair. Whatever.
After a night of Real New-York-Sicilian Pizza and SLEEPING, we took the subway into Manhattan next day. Or, the mostly-above-ground-way. Heaven for small boys who want to be train drivers when they grow up:

We hung out in the lovely Bryant Park, where the kids rode a carousel

and chased pigeons. Naturally.

The park is the backyard of the main branch of the New York Public Library

See, when my parents asked if I had any ideas what to do that weekend, there was only one thing I really wanted to do, at least with two small children: meet some particular celebrities:

My kids knew who they were immediately, even without bright Disney colors.
My parents started to read to the kids there, as it WAS the children's reading room, so that I could explore the rest of the library myself.
This is the famous Central Reading Room. I did not see any ghosts.

Also, if I lived 'round here? I'd come here on miserable-weathered days to write. Nice days I'd write in the park. It was a good thing I'd left my notebook down with my family, or I MIGHT have started writing, and forgotten to meet up with everyone else.
This is the library bookstore. I'm pretty sure I dreamed about it before.

But we were not REALLY here for tourism. We were here for my cousin's wedding. As she was marrying the son of Chinese immigrants, the wedding/reception was held in this incredible Chinese restaurant ( random waterfall) so as to be a proper Chinese Wedding Feast! Or, somewhat proper.

At any rate, the decor was Chinese and celebratory. I'm not usually a fan of red, but they're right-- it really added a large dollop of HAPPY to the room. Also, I was a fan of the brighter lighting, too. Who needs dim lighting?
banquet room
My cousin's dress had a lovely bit of red, too.
Our tables were marked with these great curled-picture numbers she made herself. See our monkeys? And of course there was a Table Pi. Why wouldn't there be Table Pi? This seems like one of those weddings that ought to have been submitted to the GeekMom Geeky Wedding series. It's true. Our happy couple are true geeks who met in a SF book club. Also, they both love dragons, so there were some in the favor cookies and intricately all over the cake

Their actual ceremony was neither Chinese nor Reformed Presbyterian but made up almost entirely by them, and included readings from picture books. In the banquet room across the hall from ours was a larger party which my new cousin-in-law claimed was ACTUALLY a much more traditional Chinese wedding. I'm not sure what meaning of "traditional" we're going with here. Certainly not "conservative." I'm not entirely sure WHAT was going on across the hall, but it was loud and boisterous and involved a lot of singing and possibly a raffle. Maybe it was Bingo. It also involved these pigs:

This cart of pigs rolled its way through our room on its way to the prep room that connected the two banquet halls (and led to the bathrooms). That in itself was pretty wild, but there was even more in store for these pigs. This is what I discovered in the prep room on a bathroom run later:

Yes. The pigs had been stuffed and given blinking red LED eyes. There was, in fact, a whole platoon of demonic stuffed pigs in the prep room.

But WE were not served demonic pigs! No, we were served a multi-course feast of delicacies that arrived every ten minutes or so and added to this handy lazy-susan-esque setup in the middle of the table:

First course was "Peking Duck" with these funny foamy bread-type things:

Can anyone more worldly-wise than me explain the foamy bun things? What ARE they? HOW are they? They were like no food I've ever seen before.

Course #2: "Shrimp with Mayo & Walnuts" and also broccoli. The broccoli was delicious and the WALNUTS? Like CANDY. UMM-UMM! Now, I normally don't like shrimp, but the sauce-- which sure LOOKS more complex than mayo-- smelled intriguing, and others at the table assured me that the sauce cancelled out the shrimpy taste. So I tried one. And it did. This may have been my favorite platter of the evening.

Course #3: "Buddha's Delight," or Mixed Stir-fried Veggies. Actually more appetizing than it looks:

Course #4: "Corn Soup with Minced Chicken." This was, surprisingly to me, the only thing my kids ate. It WAS very good:

Course #5: "Lobster with Ginger & Scallion." Now-- scoff at me if you wish-- I don't like lobster, either. But the cancelling out of the shrimpiness worked out so nicely with the Shrimp With Mayo, and I like Ginger and Scallions, so I gave this a shot. But no-- couldn't cancel out the lobsteriness. This is officially the only course of the night I Actively Didn't Like. Also, Maddie thought it would be fun to eat a tail fin shell. She didn't appreciate everyone's reaction.

Course #6: "Sauteed Flounder Cubes with Crispy Fin." I wondered if "Crispy Fin" meant that these fins WERE in fact edible, but Maddie wasn't going to give it another chance. Also, sugar peas. Sugar peas win the world.

Courses #7 and #8 were listed separately on our programs, but were brought out at the same time: "Young Chow Fried Rice" and "Mushroom E-Fun Noodle." I thought I could get the kids to eat the noodles, but by this time they were hiding under the table with some other cousins and occasionally popping out to sword fight with chop sticks.

There was a pause in the courses at this point, which made everyone assume the courses were over, and so pounced upon the cookie table:

The Cookie Table, as explained in our programs, is NOT a traditional part of the Chinese Wedding Feast, but a traditional part of the Western Pennsylvanian Wedding Feast-- for those of you unfamiliar with our traditions. The bride's mother, in fact, was the person largely responsible for the cookie table at MY wedding. She has been known to go a little crazy with baking. MOST Traditional Western Pennsylvanian Cookie Tables are assembled from the donations of many family members. NOPE! This was all her.

So anyway, we were all trying to fit in all our favorite cookies, and I looked across the table at a cousin and said, "I don't know why I thought I needed a baklava," when suddenly a waiter arrived with

Course #9: "General Tso's Chicken." Well, heck, General Tso's Chicken! Not passing THAT up. More of that good broccoli, too.

Then, just as everyone is SURE the meal is over, and everyone is keeling over in their seats trying to digest, in comes

Course #10: "Sweet Red Bean Soup."

Everyone just sort of looked at it. I think I'm the only one who tried any. It was, after the cookie table and General Tso's, bland and unremarkable. I decided to save room for

Dessert: Three Types of Cake

No, not just ONE cake. Devil's food, white with almond meringue, and a REALLY delicious carrot cake (carrot cake never gets enough love. JUST BECAUSE IT HAS CARROTS DOESN'T MEAN IT'S LIKE EATING A SALAD! IT IS RIGHTEOUSLY DECADENT!)
And this is my brother demonstrating that one CAN eat cake with chopsticks:

And then, somehow, once everyone had stuffed themselves silly and were wandering about socializing, somebody thought it would be necessary to bring out a plate of honeydew:

I'm not even sure anyone else saw it but me, let alone ate any.

It was, on the whole, one of the most FUN weddings I have ever been to. And thus ends my picture-spam.

Date: 2012-09-27 09:08 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] may cat (from
I had many thoughts about this but then I saw the food and they went away.


Date: 2012-09-27 09:50 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Our baby pictures ARE nearly identical.


Date: 2012-09-27 10:48 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile] friedapaula (from
Now I'm hungry again. For Chinese food. At 1am. Damn.
Never thought about it, but when I get married, there'll definitely need to be Chinese food and a cookie table.


Date: 2012-09-27 11:31 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Now I'm thinking I should have asked for Chinese food, too. Not the usual fare of the restaurant we were in. And the food at my wedding WAS particularly good, anyway.

Date: 2012-09-28 02:10 am (UTC)From: [personal profile] sal_amanda
sal_amanda: (Default)
First of all, this appears to have been the most awesome wedding ever held. Second, I'm both amazed and horrified at the red-eyed pigs, and I was relieved to hear that they were not actually served to your wedding. It's awesome to see something like that, but perhaps not to be served it. And finally, I just turned to John and yelled emphatically, "Why didn't we have a table pi at our wedding?!?!" SO MANY WEDDING THINGS I WOULD DO OVER. Though not the pigs.

Date: 2012-09-28 12:43 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I keep thinking I should have taken a quick series of pictures and made an animated .gif of the things, so people could get the full effect of the blinking eyes. Glad the general shock of them comes across nonetheless!

Date: 2012-09-28 03:39 am (UTC)From: [identity profile]
I also saw Winnie-the-Pooh recently, although it was much less of a hike for me to get to New York.

Were those actual pigs?

Date: 2012-09-28 12:40 pm (UTC)From: [identity profile]
Actual roast pigs, yes. No longer running ABOUT or anything.


rockinlibrarian: (Default)

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