Friday, October 31, 2008

The Far Pavilion

It’s nice that weddings are for the young at heart as well as the young.
Last week the neighbours who have lived two houses away from us for the past twenty-odd years tied the knot. (Their semi is almost exactly the same as ours, given that the two pairs of houses were built by the same builder in 1911, but that’s another story.)
The ceremony took place at the Ladies Pavilion in Central Park, the witnesses were their two grown-up children and, according to the groom, ‘the rest of the congregation comprised a variety of ducks and some basking turtles.’
Afterwards they all (bar the wildlife) went for lunch in the Union Square Café and then spent the evening at the Blue Note Jazz Club listening to the Dizzy Gillespie All Stars.
It sounds wonderful – and so much classier than tying the knot in Las Vegas.
The Ladies Pavilion looks very romantic but has had a rather chequered history.
It was originally a shelter for people waiting for the trolley at 8th Avenue and 59th Street and was moved from its original location to Hernshead around 1912, probably to clear the way for the construction of the Maine Monument.
By the late 1960s – perhaps around the time our happy couple met – the pavilion had fallen into a state of severe disrepair. In 1971 vandals knocked down what was left of it and the bits that could be salvaged were kept in storage until funds were found for reconstruction. The opening ceremony took place on October 30, 1973.

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