On this adventure Rooster and I attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. It was a wonderful experience. #Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade #New York City #turkey
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
One of my favorite childhood memories is waking up on Thanksgiving morning to watch the Macy’s Parade. There was no argument between my brothers and me about what program we’d view on the three channels available to us in the 1960s. The parade was always the best show in town even if it was in black and white and our TV screen was only ten inches tall.
We loved the marching bands and flying balloon floats. It gave my mama a chance to put the turkey in the oven before the parade was over and we resumed our usual sibling squabbles. When I was in high school, the parade took on a new significance. Our marching band marched in the parade three years in a row. Therefore, I found my teenager self glued to our now twelve-inch TV screen, waiting for the band to march past to see if I could pick out someone I knew.
So, it was a no-brainer when my son asked what we wanted to when our plane landed in New York City Turkey Day morning. We wanted to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Since we didn’t touch down at LaGuardia until eight-thirty a.m., it was going to be a race to Manhattan to catch the middle part of the parade. There was talk on the news they might abort the event due to high wind and freezing temperatures. I’m glad we didn’t know about the possible cancelation.
What we saw at the Parade
It might have discouraged us from jumping on the subway after we drop off our luggage at Richard’s apartment. The train ride took us a half-hour before we were a stop close to the parade. We needed to walk two additional blocks before we caught our first glimpse of the procession lumbering down the street at a slow pace.
People stood ten thick watching the gap between the tall building for sights of the floats. The parade was in full swing when we got there. The first lesson I learned in New York was you never get anywhere fast. It takes a certain amount of timing, perseverance, and planning to get anywhere in the city. Even though we were late, I was glad to experience one of my childhood dreams.
It was hard for us to see the floats that were close to the ground. We could feel and hear the marching bands rather than see them. It was the giant helium-filled balloons floating in the air that captured our attention. The first evidence a new character was about to appear was when a giant balloon head would peek from behind the towering building on the opposite side of the street from where we were standing.
The body of the balloon would slowly come into view. Every eye in the crowd was focused on the inflated pieces of plastic. We would all express our delight until the balloon would disappear behind the Christmas tree strung in white lights and proceed to glide down the street until it vanished behind another tall building.
One smart guy even brought a step ladder so he could get pictures of the colorful procession. He said it was his wife’s idea.
My favorite characters were Charlie Brown and Pikachu. They seemed happy to hoover in the cold morning air on a windy Thanksgiving Day looking down on the frigid people shivering on the ground.
How we ended up in Queens
We stayed for most of the procession, but the need for warmth drove us back to the subway, where we headed for the comfort of home. There was still a traditional Thanksgiving Day meal to cook. Richard was expecting friends to show up at his place at four.
The elevated train runs right outside his third-story apartment, but we got off at the wrong place. DOT is doing repairs on the stop where he would typically get off. This required us to take a long stroll through Queens. The Queens neighborhood where our son lives is a mixture of old brownstones mingled with shops, with the addition of newer apartment buildings.
Problem with Thanksgiving dinner
The businesses are all open even though it was Thanksgiving Day. We stopped to get a bite to eat before we went back to the apartment to cook. The dilemma of a cold turkey could have been a disaster. The place where it was purchased promised we could pick it up warmed. My son and his partner worried it would spoil the entire dinner.
You can’t have a Thanksgiving feast with a cold turkey. The couple worked together to pull everything together in a beautiful way. The apartment filled up with some fantastic people. The food was tasty even though it was late. The sound of the train rolling past outside their apartment window provided New York City atmosphere.
Our Thanksgiving adventure was one of the best I’ve ever experienced. Tennessee Williams is quoted as saying, “There are only three great cities in the US: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. All the rest are Cleveland.” I’ve never been to San Francisco, but I believe he might be right.
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana, who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures
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