This blogger has been to a lot of weddings. This blogger, however, was keenly excited to see 1. Mayor Bloomberg marry someone, someone not his daughter or a former mayor (the two types of people he had once vowed he would only marry), and 2. To partake, even in a small way, in the first same-sex marriage of two people who work for our city and despite not being able to legally wed, had loved and created and sustained a beautiful family for themselves — all the happier to make it “official.” Jonathan Mintz, 47, the city’s commissioner of consumer affairs, and John Feinblatt, 60, Bloomberg’s chief policy adviser, have been together for 14 years, and have two daughters together, Maeve, 8, and Georgia, 6. They got married yesterday, in the first same-sex ceremony to ever occur at Gracie Mansion.
As weddings go, this one was, as expected, relatively star-studded. There was a crowd of some 150 people, with risers for a horde of press. At one point a helicopter droned overhead and an ABC news cameraman asked me if I thought it was going to land. “To let the paparazzi out?” I asked, and then we complained about the sun, setting upon Gracie Mansion, an eye-burning orb that seemed to have dropped and then popped back up again, perhaps at the behest of Bloomberg, simply to punish us for being so nosy. We held our notebooks to our foreheads to shield our eyes and looked out at the crowd anyway, because there were very important people there!
Beyond the cordoned-off pit of reporters, there was Dennis Walcott, new NYC Schools Chancellor, and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, and Joel Grey, Broadway legend, who also happens to be the father of Jennifer, Dirty Dancing legend — he sang “Married” from Cabaret after Feinblatt and Mintz were pronounced so. Plus, Matthew Broderick, wearing khakis and a navy jacket and a pink pocket square and black horn-rimmed glasses. And Bloomberg’s two yellow labs. And a cadre of little girls in summer dresses, ostensibly friends of Georgia and Maeve, happy in the jumping-up-and-down it-will-never-be-this-way-once-someone-makes-you-a-bridesmaid giddy thrill of little kids at weddings.
There was punch, pink and golden, when we came in, and also water with lime, artfully displayed on colorful picnic tables. Beyond was a large white tent that harbored drinks and flowers on more picnic tables and an array of non-press people, clad in colorful dresses (women) and khakis and navy sport coats (men). A quartet sat near the podium up front playing mushy classics like “One” (Singular Sensation) and “Our Love Is Here to Stay.” Lanterns burned in the distance, and we imagined they held some practical purpose, perhaps eradicating bugs as well as adding atmosphere. After all, it was a political wedding. There was eco-fetti!
Around 6:40, a little girl peeped from a window, and cameramen readied their lenses. Mayor Bloomberg, who wore a navy blue sportcoat, tie, and gray pants, and sported a distinct tan, high-fived a little girl in the crowd. At pretty much 6:45 on the dot, Georgia and Maeve Feinblatt (that is the last name that won) emerged from the door of Gracie Mansion, beaming and clad in white, lacy dresses in personality-reflective styles, carrying twin bouquets of multicolored flowers, wearing gold ballet flats. They were adorable. Following them were their two dads, Feinblatt and Mintz, also beaming.
Bloomberg began, warning that he’d only done two of these types of ceremonies and asking Maeve and Georgia to step in if need be. After all, he said, “I have two daughters myself. I’m used to it.”
He continued, “Today history takes us on an important step forward. Let us remember the importance of this. I hope you will remember a beautiful summer evening in New York City when two people came together in front of family and friends and pledged their love together. And that’s the same for people all over the city today. I really am glad I asked to be a part of it!”
He advised the couple, “Never stop listening, and never stop laughing,” and told the crowd, to laughter, how pleased he was with tonight’s topical change from their normal workday discussions of illegal guns and consumer fraud.
Joel Grey then serenaded the family, Feinblatt and Mintz with their arms around their daughters all the while, and Bloomberg concluded, “By the powers vested in me by the state of New York, I pronounce you both married.”
The two engaged in the traditional Jewish breaking of the glass (one for each), and then Bloomberg said, “Come inside the tent. I think it’s time for a drink.” But not too many: Bloomberg made a point to mention that Feinblatt and Mintz would both be working on Monday, and that none of their employees should attempt to take advantage. “We have a budget crisis!” he said.
By that point one woman in a white summer dress had already removed her shoes, the better to feel the still-damp grass beneath her feet (rain had dappled the lawn in the afternoon but cleared by wedding time), and press was being politely instructed to get the heck out. There was a throwing of the eco-fetti, most of which landed in the hair of a few front-seated stalwarts, and many hugs, and smiles, and a conversation between Christine Quinn and Mayor Bloomberg. And then we departed.
On the way out, we asked, “Is that an ice cream truck?” It is, indeed, we were told. “It will be open at about 9.”