EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the story of what Kevin Duchi and Evelien Delagrange decided to do one day while riding the PATH train together into Manhattan, and the amazing souvenir they’re taking back home this week.
By Evelien Delagrange, PATH Rider, Guest Blogger
Photography By Sascha Reinking
Our story began on May 29, 2011 in Kortrijk, a small city in Belgium. Kevin and I met first at a local bar, and it was love at first sight.
Working as a private banker in Belgium, it was always Kevin’s big dream to attend NYU and take a special course in finance. We cleared things with our respective employers, made our plans and arrived at Newark Liberty International Airport in February 2016.
PATH became an integral part of our lives. We picked an apartment in Jersey City because of its proximity to PATH. It was the most convenient commute for Kevin to NYU. So I started, very gently, talking with him during this time about what might be the most unforgettable souvenir from our stay in New York/New Jersey.
The rest is history. Kevin proposed to me at the beautiful waterfront Exchange Place in Jersey City, followed by a sunset visit to One World Trade Center, where we toasted our engagement and drank champagne.
Luckily, our parents approved, and in four weeks we arranged our big day: the blue shoes (you gotta have something blue), the suit, the photographer and the marriage license at the City Clerk’s Office in Manhattan.
It was the perfect day. Our photographer, Sascha Reinking, captured all our moments and served as our witness as well. We began the day at Exchange Place, where he photographed us with the lower Manhattan skyline in the background. We rode the PATH to the WTC station, and we were on our way into the Oculus when we were surprised by a cloud of dusty smoke coming toward us and the sounding of the fire alarm. Everybody was asked to evacuate the station. We stayed long enough to allow Sascha to capture us alone in the Oculus – WOW!
Later, we found out the ventilation system had caused dust to trigger the alarm. What was a frightening moment inside the Oculus turned into the most beautiful wedding picture of all.
We celebrated with Belgian beer, mussels and fries in a Belgian restaurant – the perfect combo of Belgium and New York. At the moment, I am writing this blog from Mexico, where we are enjoying our honeymoon. Sadly, our great New York adventure is coming to an end this week. Our lives in Belgium are awaiting us – our new house, our cat Lucy, our jobs, our friends and our family with whom we will celebrate with an intimate wedding party.
When we return to Manhattan in the future, we will retrace our steps, ride the PATH train and be reminded of our wedding day every time we hear ‘Stand clear of the closing doors!’