I may finish the Story of New York City 2010 sometime before the end of 2011. maybe.
I left you with a sister who was a wee bit ticked. ( I am trying to be kind here…) I didn’t see it…. I heard it… We were leaving our wonderful location….. and something behind me crashed. LOUDLY. That’s how I knew she wasn’t happy. at all.
Anyway, anger management issues aside, we all head out to walk around an insanely large Trump Tower hotel…. and try to figure out a spot to land where we might actually get to SEE this parade. Those without a 3 year old in tow… took off up the street, and around corners, at a speed that barely let us see which way they turned. Eventually we found them, and a place to stand.
About this time. Jeremiah decided it was time for a nap. Who could blame the kid, he had been up since 4:30am………… So I hooked him into his Moby Wrap (seriously the absolute best baby gift to give EVER !) and proceeded to stand post till the parade started.
We were right behind a family who had clearly been there since we had found our first spot. Their claim had been staked by teens in snow pants and woolen mittens. Their plot marked by a bright blue tarp, and scattered with lawn chairs to ease the feet during what would be a 4 hour wait. The mom saw me hooking Jeremiah in… and offered a chair for me to sit on. With about 2 1/2 hours to wait till the start of the Parade… I was very grateful for the kindness of this stranger.
I think really this is where the lesson of the day lies. We had a plan….. and it was changed, suddenly and forcefully, thanks to a cranky NYPD officer with a screamin Jersey accent. Now we found ourselves at the mercy and kindness of some people we were standing behind. God wanted us to see he had a better place for us to be on this morning.
Since I was sitting in her chair, this woman and I started talking. Turns out she has been going to the parade for as long as she can remember. Her parents have attended the parade every year, snow or shine, for 50 years. Her children have been every year since they were born. Mom and Dad , as she referred to them would be coming along shortly, they come into the city later these days, and send the young kids to wait in the cold. Every year they find a spot near 64th and Central Park West…. when they unfurled the tarp this year…. it had confetti in it from years past…. She had driven down from Boston with her two kids (they were who we initially met when we stopped behind their tarp) just to do the parade. Eventually Mom and Dad… or Grandpa and Grandma depending on who you were listening to, made it to the tarp about 8 am. Grandpa was a hoot~n~a~half. He was a pharmacist. Retired. Former Army. Married his sweetheart and was sent by uncle Sam to a honeymoon in Germany, he said. He told me that since he came back he and his wife haven’t missed a parade. He said, the parade is all about the kids. He told us to shove the kids up to the guard rail, he wanted to make sure they saw everything and could touch the clowns. He told me that this was the best corner to be on to see the parade….
I have to agree…. he was right it was the best corner to be on. People doing pyramids on the street….
There were strangers with $100 bills that accosted cotton candy vendors squeezing through the crowds and paid for cotton candy for all the little kids within throwing distance.
There were people standing on walls
When the parade started, this part of the crowd knew how to do a parade.
There was chanting….. there was “the wave”…. they made the sanitation workers walking in the parade smile and wave with a chant of ” SCOOP THAT POOP !! SCOOP THAT POOP !!”
If a band walked by with no song playing….. they would yell… ” PLAY A SONG !!”
If a performer came by on stilts…. they would chant… ” Man on Stilts… Man on Stilts” until the person would come over right in front of us and dance.
Those balloons the parade is famous for…..
Those were not exempt either….. They would ask the Kermit handlers to “SHAKE THAT LEG”
Or the little balloons they would ask them to do tricks…. all with the power of a half a blocks worth of bodies chanting in unison….
The best was the cop…… on his cell phone.
He was in the middle of the parade, riding his horse, and holding his phone to his ear…. chattin it up.
Our little sarcastic section of crowd couldn’t let an opportunity to tease a cop pass by…
They started chanting…. “HANDS FREE, HANDS FREE !! “
And then……… for all the waiting……..
it was over…….