March 11, 2017 Long Island City, NY (NYC)

Our timeline

  • April 13, 2012 2A, New York City

    They saw each other over the crowd

    He walked in with his friend Winter and company, immediately locking eyes with the tall woman across the room. They talked through glances, but he was still absorbing New York City. In his mind, this is what happened: you ate oysters while Muslims prayed on the sidewalk outside, then went for drinks where you briefly fell in love with any girl who made eye contact. He got a drink and pushed his way upstairs with his group. She swung by him with her business card and kept walking. The group erupted in cheers. Outside, he said he'd call her the next day.

    He did.

  • October 12, 2012 Prague, Czech Republic

    She met him in Prague

    She flew to meet him in Europe after dating a few months, arriving in Prague to join him and his friends, who were fresh from Oktoberfest in Munich. He wasn't wearing lederhosen; she was more than okay with that.

    He was charmed by the way she unabashedly ate goulash from a bread bowl without a spoon and by her gentle, warm way with statues. They both realized that they'd missed each other more than they expected the week they'd been apart. They found a vintage photoautomat booth in Berlin and took their first kooky photo strip, launching a tradition. Falling asleep their last night of trip before an early flight, she realized she could see loving this guy.

  • October 29, 2012 Fort Greene, NY

    Beard Time

    Working from home with a city-wide public transit shutdown for Hurricane Sandy, he finally let his emerging stubble transform into a fledgling beard. When on the second day, she ventured via bus to work and returned to her Queens abode. He tried to take busses up to Queens. After one bus dropped him at Bedford and Nostrand, he waited and waited. Patience drained, he walked with one eye over his shoulder all the way to the tip of Greenpoint, through the glares of fur-hatted Orthodox Jews, past the listless scorn of Williamsburg hipsters, and around the long lines at gas pumps. Finally, he capitulated and took a cab.

    Three hours after leaving his apartment, exhausted, he appeared at her door, where she quickly plied him with homemade ragout.

    He looked so charming with the beard, they both agreed he should keep it.

  • November 11, 2012 Trash Bar, Willamsburg NY

    First I love you

    They went out in Williamsburg with Kristen and David and their friends from Los Angeles. They ended up at the Trash Bar, which had a karaoke night. They heard the legendary rendition of the Goo Goo Dolls' ballad, "Iris" and added a stunning sheet of photo booth portraits to their collection. Ryan sang "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" by the Animals. It would seem that he wasn't. Outside, they spoke the magic words as a charm against the night, then walked to the water with the group for a final shot that lit chased the dark away.

  • May 25, 2013 Fort Greene Brooklyn to Sunnyside Queens

    Moving In

    She nervously drove a Uhaul through the Brooklyn streets on his birthday, to ferry him and his stuff to her (soon to be their) apartment. A transplant from the west coast just over a year before, he didn't have that much stuff to haul up the two flights of stairs, but she loved the beautiful and unique art he brought to the place. They quickly settled into routines of domestic bliss, each waiting for that awkward adjustment period or fight they'd heard about when couples first cohabit-ate. It didn't come—they were too aligned. Sure they were lazy and lax on dishes doing, but aligned.

  • July 15, 2013 Paris and Portugal

    Paris/Portugal

    Her boss had an apartment on the Ile Saint Louis in Paris, directly in the Seine River. Boss offered it for two weeks and she quickly snapped it up. He worked remotely during that week, while spending nights wandering Paris. She loved showing him her other favorite city, and shared the best restaurants and pastry shops she frequented from her 6 months living and studying there. They took a bottle of wine out one night and picnicked on the banks of the river, then sat past midnight on bleachers set up in front of Notre Dame.

    The next week they flew to Portugual, climbing the hills in Lisbon, exploring moorish castles in Sintra and tasting their way through Porto, visiting port cellar after cellar. By the end of their visit, they joined port cellar tours in Portuguese, knowing the spiel well enough to follow along and discover the language.

  • September 2, 2013 Seattle, Washington

    Seattle Summer

    She went out with him to Seattle over labor day, meeting friends and exploring the city that had claimed him before NY. They hiked in the beautiful woods with his parents and picked fresh blackberries, explored sculpture gardens and devoured fresh oysters with a water view. She wore hiking boots, a silly hat, and a functional windbreaker, and couldn't stop smiling the entire trip.

  • November 23, 2013 New Orleans, Louisiana

    New Orleans

    They arrived in New Orleans one rainy November weekend and loved the vibrant street band culture and that they could follow the music from bar to club, drink in hand. She bought a red turban to combat extreme hair frizz, and that night out in a bar, she crawled into a cushioned alcove in the wall and started telling fortunes for all those brave enough to poke in and see her, bearing a drink offering, of course.

  • April 12, 2014 Savannah, GA

    Savannah

    They plotted a sunshine escape after her terribly busy work winter, choosing Savannah for the mix of food, culture, and beach. He quickly took to a slow drawl and a toothpick hanging off the lip, she laughed harder than the situation warranted. They enjoyed alligator balls, burned through buckets crawfish, explored stunning hanging moss clad tree avenues, and giggled their way through a ghost pub crawl in the old historic city. Returning late at night to a historic 19th century bed and breakfast and trying to stay quiet, they realized the downsides the beautiful antique bed they'd so admired earlier.

  • July 21, 2014 Reykjavik, Iceland

    Iceland

    They went to Iceland in the summer, where his mom was from. It never really got dark; they could stay up most of the night and it felt like perpetual dusk or dawn. Touring around with him and his mom, she met his extended family and saw stunning waterfalls, geysers, and crater lakes. They at fresh tomato soup and amazing bread at a beautiful garden farm, saw game of thrones shot locations, and swam in the blue lagoon, surrounded by rocks that made her feel like she was on an alien planet. She enjoyed calling him by his middle name, Thor, and late one night at an after-party while people jammed on ukuleles, she leaned close to him and confided she felt it would be nice for them to have a big party celebrating their love in two years or so. He agreed that yes, that would be a lovely thing indeed.

  • February 14, 2015 Sunnyside, Queens

    Cooking Loves

    They always loved cooking; several nights a week include a shared joy of slicing, simmering, searing, and salivating, all executed together with an unspoken flow and ease. She has a knack for finding new recipes to try and a love for the methodical mise en place work, while he has the patience for a sublime risotto and the experienced knack to get scallops to steak just right. She always has him make her grilled cheese, or bacon, because he takes it perfectly slow, heat on low, to get it just right.

    One Valentine's Day, they decided to make beet gnocchi, roasting beets, then crafting and kneading the dough to form delightful pink pillows. They were lovely, and took way too long, but the journey together was the joy.

  • May 10, 2015 Williamsburg, Brooklyn

    Dance like no one is watching

    One day in the time of their early dates, they met up one Friday, each with a friend in tow. Ending the eve on a street corner before parting ways, he began to dance. It was sinuous yet stilted, full of exuberance, but somehow all limbs. Usually more prone to sarcasm or judgement, she was charmed speechless.

    Now they dance like that together, joyful and unrestrained, on street corners, at friend's weddings, or just in their kitchen on a random Tuesday.

  • July 9, 2015 Cape Cod

    Cape Vacation

    She started getting her nails done late May (just in case) and they sparkled and shined ringless through birthdays and other celebrations. One perfect summer's night on the cape, sitting secluded by the lake with him while the sun set, she thought: this would be a perfect time for him to propose.

    He did not.

    Instead, she got menaced by an aggressive, honking swan, who did not appreciate her manicure.

  • August 14, 2015 On the roof, Sunnyside, Queens

    A Decent Proposal

    They'd talked around future events, hoping one day to have a Party where all of their friends and relatives could hang out. Y'know, for some reason. Ashley researched rings she might like, assembled the information in a Word doc called "Just Some Document Lying Around.doc", and put it in a USB key with a note that said, "This was lying around." Ryan promptly stashed the key and forgot about it until Ashley asked if he checked it.

    So Ryan reviewed the doc and picked the exact ring from the exact store in the exact ring size she specified. But he told no one.

    On the day, they had drinks on the roof while watching the sunset. Ryan poked the ring nervously in his pocket to make sure it hadn't fallen out the last time he used his keys. He waited for a moment, talking, unwinding. Finally, he pounced. "You've changed my life for the better," he said, fishing the ring from his pocket. "So let's make this official. Will you marry me?"

    She squealed and accepted and now we're having a party.

  • September 13, 2015 Metropolitan Building, LIC

    In the building

    Sometime before, when she knew she wanted to marry him but they weren't officially talking about it, no, not yet, she stumbled upon a blog post featuring a wedding at the Metropolitan Building. She was enthralled and charmed; it was at once elegant and uniquely vintage, with the feel of a 19th century French living room and library, dropped into a derelict factory. Exposed brick, quirky antiques, and a gorgeous old industrial elevator sealed her infatuation.

    Post proposal, they visited together, and she gasped, oohing and awwing as she discovered industrial details and vintage mirrors. Full of faux dramatism, he turned to her to say "Ashley, will you marry me.... In this building?" "Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!" she gushed in her equally overblown reply.