Finding the right spot to propose: Atop the U.S. Capitol dome

Posted: June 17, 2013

WASHINGTON - Whenever Kyle Blasy took his girlfriend to a place with a great view, he joked that it would be a good spot to propose.

The Jenkintown native did it at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, at historic Williamsburg, Va., and when he and Nora Przybylowski went hiking in Pennypack Preserve.

So when Blasy repeated their running joke atop the U.S. Capitol dome Monday morning, Przybylowski didn't think much of it.

Only this time, Blasy had a ring and was on one knee, about 220 feet above the base of the Capitol, with stunning views of the National Mall and Washington Monument.

"I was just in shock," Przybylowski said.

For a moment, she didn't say anything.

"She put her hands up. She thought I was just joking around with her again, and I pulled out the box and opened it up," Blasy said.

When she didn't answer, he stood and asked whether she said yes. She did.

Nearby stood Jim Brown, chief of staff for Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.), and the senator's press photographer, who snapped pictures of the couple standing beneath a gray sky as the morning rain briefly let up.

Casey's office had helped set up the proposal on a balcony that wraps around the exterior of the dome, which is open only to tours led by lawmakers or aides they give permission to, according to the senator's staff.

The dome has been the site of proposals before, but Blasy got the idea earlier this year in Philadelphia, when he and Przybylowski visited Independence Hall and toured the bell tower.

"She said, 'It's a shame you don't have a ring, this would be a great place,' " Blasy recalled. "I kind of just stored that in the back of my mind. I had been thinking about it for awhile. The second time we went out I knew I was going to end up marrying her."

Blasy, 25, and Przybylowski, 23, went to Temple University and met in January 2012 at a Jenkintown bar, near Blasy's parents' home.

She teaches in her hometown, Huntingdon Valley; he lives in Annapolis, Md., and works as a police officer at the Capitol. That's where Blasy met Brown, Casey's top aide, as they chatted about their home state.

Blasy asked Brown about a dome tour, though he stressed that he went through the normal process of putting in the request with Casey's office. The senator obliged.

"I'm happy our office could play a small role in the proposal," Casey said in an e-mail.

On the morning Blasy proposed, rain was coming down in Washington, but it let up long enough for the couple to step outside, Blasy slipping the ring out of his jacket pocket when Przybylowski couldn't see.

"People just think it's the greatest, and it was," Blasy said. "I thought it was one of those things that would make her girlfriends jealous."

Did it work?

"It has," he said. "It's a building that everybody knows and every time we look at it now, we have something special to remember it."


Contact Jonathan Tamari at jtamari@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @JonathanTamari. Read his blog, "Capitol Inq," at www.inquirer.com/CapitolInq.

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