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The first time Robert Hammond broke up with Dan Barasch, it was because he heard an unsettling sound at the end of their second date.

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Hammond said. In Marchthe metaphoric ringing in his ears caused by Mr. Barasch was unmistakable. His introduction to Mr. Barasch, 44, came as a favor to their mutual friend Jane Bliss Birk. Barasch, who hoped to begin a program that would allow artists to display their works in subway stations, was gathering advice on how to get started on a New York City public project.

Bliss Birk set up a meeting in early March. Barasch left it deflated. Bliss Birk heard otherwise.

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He asked if Mr. Barasch was gay. When she confirmed it, he texted immediately and asked for a date. Hammond, now the executive director of Friends of the High Linethe nonprofit group he co-founded in with Joshua David, is from San Antonio.

His mother, Pat Hammond, called herself a homemaker but was known as the kite lady for her extensive collection of kites, which have been featured in the Smithsonian.

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He graduated from Princeton with a degree in history and moved to Manhattan just after. Before working on the High Line, Mr. Hammond was a self-taught abstract painter with commissions from restaurants and hotels like the Battery Park Ritz-Carlton ; he also worked for internet start-ups.

Barasch, now the chief executive of Giving Docsan online estate planning service for nonprofit organizations, grew up in Chappaqua, N. Inhe moved to Manhattan for a job as a marketing manager at Google. Among his co-workers was Ms. Bliss Birk, who became his best friend. Bliss Birk knew Mr. Hammond from San Antonio, where they went to high school together. In Manhattan, they reconnected at parties Mr. Hammond regularly hosted for displaced Texans.

Hammond and Mr. Barasch said. Outside, they found a wooden packing crate they decided would be perfect for an art project. They dragged it to Mr. Before they parted, date No. That one ended much differently. On the walk home after tapas in the West Village, they talked about setting up a third date. They remained friends.

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Hammond, who had promised Mr. Barasch before the Cookshop date that he would help with the subway art project no matter what, kept that promise. Except instead of bringing art to the subway, the project evolved into the Lowlinean underground park in the former Williamsburg Bridge Trolley Terminal Mr. Barasch co-founded with the deer James Ramsey. The Lowline, announced inremains in the planning phase.

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Barasch is its executive director. InMr. Hammond pursued it for him. Via text, he asked Mr. Barasch for a date. Barasch, though, was game. That summer, over burgers in the East Village, they rekindled their romance. But Mr. In the summer ofafter he returned from a trip to India, where he became a Vedic meditation teacher, they broke up again, this time a mutual decision. The trip to India was supposed to help. But he was still struggling.

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At the end ofwhen his replacement at Friends of the High Line quit after only a few months, Mr. Hammond d his job there. The chances of Mr. Barasch risking heartbreak a third time seemed remote, but he went with his gut. In JuneMr. Barasch agreed to have dinner with Mr. At Gramercy Tavern, Mr. Hammond, who was so nervous his legs were jackhammering under the table, told Mr.

Barasch he loved him. Barasch admits to major trepidation. But by the time they left the restaurant, he agreed to have dinner with Mr. Hammond once a week. That fall, with the dinner routine holding steady, they increased the frequency of their together time at a house Mr.

Hammond rented in Tivoli, N. Byhe was investigating surrogacy and treading carefully, but hopefully, around Mr. Not to becoming a father, but to the idea that he would be in a relationship with someone who had. Hammond lined up an embryo and a surrogate.

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Barasch fought a wave of ambivalence. Barasch was all in. When they brought Rigsby home, it was to a two-bedroom apartment in the West Village they moved into in They were still working on their relationship. That fall, it was in for another blow. In OctoberMr. Hammond proposed to Mr. Barasch over dinner at Cookshop. Barasch, who was already in the process of adopting Rigsby, said he needed to think about it.

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Hammond left the restaurant hurt and embarrassed. We went back to couples therapy, and we kept on raising Rigsby, doing our thing.

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When the pandemic came, the threesome decamped to a rented house in Salt Point, N. Barasch had plenty of time to think. During a walk on March 19,it was his turn to propose.

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Hammond, who had tested the limits of Mr. He said yes. On July 20,Mr. Barasch were married under a giant oak tree at Mr. The event, to which only a dozen relatives and two friends were invited, doubled as a reunion. Jeff Hammond, the rector at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg, Texas, officiated a short, traditional ceremony. Rigsby, who is now 3, was a ring bearer.

Both grooms wore linen shirts and light pants with boots. Barasch tucked a boutonniere of wildflowers into his front pant pocket; Mr. Hammond wore hand painted flowers trailing from his chest pocket. Under the shady oak tree, so much happiness was palpable.

A Singing Matchmaker Before the ceremony, Mr. Barasch introduced Ms. Texas Style After the ceremony, the wedding party gathered at the farmhouse for a barbecue lunch catered by the Olda Blanco favorite. After eating and toasting, the group changed into bathing suits and took a dip in the Blanco River.

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A t first glance, he seems like Mr.


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