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It Could Be You

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Elizabeth Lawrence is Betty Jo Tucker!

My friend, radio talk show hostess and award-winning author, Betty Jo Tucker has recently relaunched her book “It Had to be Us.” It’s a romantic memoir, sure to tickle the fancy of young-at-heart lovers. It’s available on Kindle for $5.99. Royalties are donated to THE IMAGINATION LIBRARY, a children’s literary project sponsored by the Dollywood Foundation.

Betty Jo is offering lots of bonuses, including a copy of her book “Confessions of a Movie Addict,” which I enthusiastically recommend, especially if you love movies as I do. For more details, check it out here.

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The Empire State Building: A View from the Top

Wonder of wonders: Photo by: Stew Dean

Approximately four million people visit the Empire State Building each year, making it one of  New York’s top tourist attractions.  It opened as an office building in 1931 during the Great Depression.  It was deemed the Eighth Wonder of the World, but companies couldn’t afford the rent.  It didn’t become profitable until 1950.

Regardless of the interior space people have always been drawn by the view, no matter what the cost.  For $1.10 way back when and up to $55 currently, visitors ride to the public observatories on the 86th and 102nd floors.  They are open day or night (until 2 AM), come rain or come shine.

The bustling streets of Manhattan below draw one in.  The panoramic vistas sweep one away.   It couldn’t be more romantic.  It’s the stuff of which dreams are made.

By one count some 250 flicks feature the iconic skyscraper.  They are not all memorable, but some are noteworthy.  Andy Warhol’s 1964 silent black and white film Empire consists of eight hours and five minutes of continuous slow motion footage of the building.  If you’re wondering, it never moves, although its floodlights flicker on and off for most of the marathon.

More action takes place in An Affair to Remember, considered one of the greatest love stories of all time.  After a paralyzing car accident, Deborah Kerr is unable to keep her rendezvous with Cary Grant on the upper deck.  He believes she stood him up, but fortuitously, they reunite months later.

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have better luck meeting up in Sleepless in Seattle, although she arrives after hours.  When she explains her situation to the guard, he gives her access to the elevator because An Affair to Remember is his wife’s favorite movie.

Looking up and up and up. Photo by: auchard

Then there’s King Kong.  Released during the Great Depression, the great ape is billed, like the Empire State Building itself, as the Eighth Wonder of the World.  He’s on display on Broadway where he escapes his chains, scoops up Ann Darrow, and hightails it to the top of the tower.  He loses his fight with airplanes sent to bring him down, and he falls to his death.

Fay Wray, the original out-of-work chorus girl to whom King Kong takes a shine, will forever be associated with the movie.

“When I’m in New York, I look at the Empire State Building and feel as though it belongs to me,” she once mused, “or is it vice versa?”

Currently, the owners, the Malkin family, are buffing and polishing the Art Deco edifice, planning to make it the centerpiece of a $5 billion public offering.  Start thinking now about getting in on the ground floor.  It’s a way of securing your place in the castle in the sky.

© 2012 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved

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Watch and wonder – the last five minutes of Sleepless in Seattlehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbPUfy9dWG8

And some great views of and from the Empire State Building: http://21livingabroad.com/2012/03/06/weekly-travel-photo-update-3-empire-state-building/

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“I do. I do. I do.”

Marry me. Photo by: Thomas Hawk

Was 11-11-11 your lucky day?  Thousands of couples thought it would be as they flocked to Las Vegas to tie the knot.

The Clark County clerk’s office, where those with marriage on their mind have to go to get the requisite license, was swamped on Thursday in preparation for the big day and through the long weekend.

Wedding chapels added ministers, limousine drivers, greeters, photographers, videographers, and florists to accommodate the lovebirds and their friends and families.

Elvis impersonators had been booked for months, but some non-conformists preferred the company of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe or the Blue Brothers.

Kitschy, depressing, funky or fun.  Whatever your impression of Vegas weddings, there are as many reasons to get married in Sin City as there are chapels up and down the Strip, although there aren’t as many chapels as there used to be.

Vegas is inexpensive and hassle-free, especially if you go to a drive-up window.  It’s convenient to combine the wedding with the honeymoon or to party all weekend to celebrate the event.  And Las Vegas is the most romantic city in the world, or the perfect facsimile of the most romantic city in the world, regardless of what your mother thinks.

As the quotes below demonstrate, perceptions have varied for a quite a while.

JJ: Marry you? What’s the joke, Zeke?

Zeke: No joke, man. I’m talking about the real deal, complete with the wedding of your dreams! Imagine us getting hitched in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower! Huh? Huh?

JJ: The Eif…? We’re going to Paris?

Zeke: Uh… No, Vegas. Get real.

–       Garry Trudeau, Doonesbury, 2000

Faster than a Vegas wedding.

–       Ad for Canon cameras, 2004

“It’s going to be simply beautiful. Stars will twinkle. Birds will float on ribbons, and there will be signs everywhere saying: I love you, I want you, I need you – I can’t live without you.”

–       Charlotte Richards, owner of the Little White Wedding Chapel, 1998

Do you both promise and agree… to adopt each other’s hound dogs? To always be each other’s teddy bear? To never wear your blue suede shoes out in the rain?

–       Wedding vows in an Elvis Special at the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel

“Getting married in Vegas used to be a tawdry thing to do. But now people look at a wedding day as fun.”

–       Barbara Tober, editor-in-chief of Bride’s magazine, 1994

“I was in Vegas and, I just, I don’t know… things got out of hand.”

–       Britney Spears, 2004

“We could have had a videotape [of the ceremony], but we declined.”

–       Cindy Crawford on her 1991 Las Vegas wedding to Richard Gere

“Granted that marriage is the most pitiful institution, right now it’s the only game in town, and we’re going to play it.”

–       Warren Beatty to Elizabeth Taylor, in The Only Game in Town, 1970

“Stuart, you know, maybe this isn’t such a hot idea after all. I mean, it didn’t sound so bad in a Beverly Hills restaurant with a half bottle of champagne in me. But…. Here. Look at this place. It’s not exactly the Bel Air Hotel.”

–       Jill Eikenberry to Michael Tucker, in LA Law, 1987

A cool wedding in our completely remodeled and refrigerated air-conditioned chapel. Same price, $10.00 – Same place, 226 South 5th.

–       Advertisement for the Hitching Post Chapel in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1954

© 2011 Susan Marg – All Rights Reserved