3 stretch limos waited outside, 2 already occupied by joan’s two assistants and some family members who preceded melisa and cooper. shortly after 10:30 am, melissa & cooper left joan’s home at 1 east 62nd street.
a beautiful display of flowers and tributes covered half of the entrance to the building.
i arrived at temple emanu el before the limos and if it were not for the m-1 city buses interrupting the view from the press camp located all the way across the avenue, i would have been able to show you more pictures. how did they not close 5th avenue?? this was joan rivers’ funeral! of course, the peeps from nbc, cbs, cnn, people magazine, ect… had anticipated this and came armed with ladders. i spent 2 hours looking for tiny spaces in between ladder rungs, tripods and body parts trying to secure spot large enough to fit my lens through. lesson learned.
all of the news media peeps were in crews. there were reporters, camera peeps, videographers and the assistants uploading live feed onto their computers. by now you’ve no doubt already seen the celebrity arrivals in pictures splashed all over the news so i won’t bore you with mine, but i will tell you about the parts of the ceremony that the big outlets didn’t dwell on.
the lane of roadway closest to the temple was reserved for cars and limos dropping off guests – most had drivers. then there was the person who pulled up in a beautiful light green maybach. i couldn’t see who it was as the view was obstructed by a double decker tourist bus filled with people taking pictures of the crowds and people in the press pit. it was pretty comical as they focused on the press camp and never thought to look across the street where all the celebrities were wandering about. back to the maybach. apparently the guest who arrived in the maybach drove himself. he must be used to having a driver as he forgot to take his keys when he exited his car. for the following 30 minutes or so, the maybach blocked the entrance to the to the temple so the following guests had to get out of their cars up the block and walk to the entrance. It took about 8 cops and two tow trucks, further obstructing my view, to jimmy the locks on the maybach and drive it away.
just one hour after the service began, the front doors to the temple opened and out poured well over a dozen bag-pipers. for this, they closed fifth avenue and i was grateful for the unobstructed views – until the bagpipers lined up directly in front to me.
they played as melissa and cooper got into the their limo.
all the other guests followed melissa out of the temple and waited for their drivers to arrive with their car.
then – the second most amazing thing happened. a cop moved the barrier and allowed the press to cross the street. aproximately 3 seconds later, i was standing in the middle of a crowd of people that included whoopie goldberg, matthew broderick, charlie rose, barbara walters, kathy lee, and all the rest. i wasn’t exactly sure what to do so i stood back and thought i would observe the pros from abc, nbc, cbs, ect., and then just do what they did. each ‘team’ sent a reporter to a celeb and asked some questions while the camera person filmed and a third person uploaded the story for ‘live coverage.’ i did not have a crew. should i just walk up to geraldo or kelly osbourne and start asking questions? before i had time to answer my own question, matthew broderick walked by and i concentrated solely on the photo op.
i knew sara jessica parker couldn’t be far behind so i stood still and scanned the crowd until i saw her heading my way. she was just several feet away from me when the first most amazing thing happened – – my camera died! it just stopped. i tried to remain cool while i frantically turned my camera on and off several dozen times; dug through my bag for the spare and changed the battery; dug through my bag again for the second spare and loaded that battery; changed the settings . . . . and everything else i could think of. . . . .
i finally came to understand it was simply my electronic disorder rearing it’s ugly head at the worst possible time, and tried not to cry. then i went home.
here are some of the shots i managed to get prior to the death of my most favorite possession . . . .
rest easy, joan – i hope the celebration was everything you wished for.
“I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.”
~ Joan Rivers