Sunday, November 23, 2008

Anyone still remember Thanksgiving?

Is Christmas coming earlier than ever this year? I don't ever remember hearing holiday music before Thanksgiving, but it's being piped in already. It's a shame that Thanksgiving kind of gets overlooked.

One of the most fun things about living where we do, is waking up Thanksgiving morning, grabbing a bagel and heading out to the Macy's parade. Since it starts at 77th and Central Park West (which is 40 blocks or about 2 miles) from Macy's, the event is still exciting but a little less "showy" than what you see on TV. The stars don't sing, but the floats go past, the dancers and musicians are giving it their all, and of course, the balloons are the stars of the show. It makes me feel like a little kid each year, and it's so exciting to see and hear the (um, actual) children voice their amazement.

Our locals' tips:

  1. Bring a knosh. Bagel, coffee, egg sammie... gotta fuel up before hand.
  2. Don't even try for the park-side of Central Park West -- in fact, I have no idea how to get there if I wanted to.
  3. Go to a wider street -- 72nd has always been good to me. Because the street is wider, you get to see the balloons for a longer period of time, and it helps alleviate any claustrophobia...
  4. Get there at least 15 minutes before start time on a cold morning, a little earlier if it's unseasonably warm. Although one rainy year, we showed up at go-time and walked up to the street.
  5. Go the day before.
What?? What does that mean, "go the day before?". Watch the balloons get blown up on 77th and 81st streets between Central Park West and Columbus (the side streets to the American Museum of Natural History). The earlier you show up, the better, as it gets PACKED just after work. It is one of those wonderful things we found out about by accident. Take someone who's never gone to the Macy's Parade "behind the scenes."

This is Columbus Avenue at 79th street, 8:30pm in 2005. Two blocks to go in these throngs before we see the first balloon (the yellow star in the distance, left).

I realize that the economy isn't necessarily driven by Thanksgiving, though it might help out the travel industry, and turkey (and tofurky) farmers. Any holiday where you're expected to eat stuffing seems deserving of my attention. Well, at least until International Bacon Day gets officially recognized.
(I had to look. Of course there is one, and of course I missed it this year. Rats.)

link: Thanksgiving Day Parade [on Macy's site]

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