Archive for March 2008

Easter Parade in NYC Part 3 of 3

March 26, 2008

This is the last of my posts on the 2008 Easter Parade.

I ended my last one saying that there was a certain regularity to the process:  spot, approach, and take a picture.  True enough, but it’s a light-hearted affair and everyone seems to enjoy it.





The young ladies above were delightful.  I had taken a couple of snaps when the one on the left spotted me, wheeled her friends into position and I got the picture.  Thank you.


Up until this year, I had never seen a man with a hat who either wasn’t escorted by one or more women, or who wasn’t a street performer.  This year, they were all over the place.


The little girl below was watching an orange-fox street performer and was trying to explain to her parents what it was.  There were a few people taking pictures of the fox, and a whole bunch taking pictures of the girl.


Okay, okay.  I got ’em both.


This group of carrots were pretty popular.  They parked themselves outside of St. Patrick’s and just kind of wheeled around getting their picture taken constantly.


The below woman had the widest hat around.  She’s being interviewed, I think by TV-1.




Yes, a bikini-wearing grandmotherly type.  It’s New York.




I couldn’t figure out the guy below.  He was posing with a lot of people and his outfit looks almost like he’s a street performer; but he’s probably just another New Yorker wanting attention.


More of the formal hats.







The below young girl never seems to have raised her head after discovering that there were just a few hundred of us wanting her to pose for a picture.  The poor kid couldn’t handle the attention.  Dad had a great time, though.




The two on the right were in some sort of rat costume.  I don’t know if they got the memo:  the parade’s about bonnets, not rodents.




And my final picture of the day.


Last year and the year before, I would see some huge, huge hats.  Some would actually be nothing less than small trees.  Another popular hat was one depicting a roller-coaster.  I remember several variations on that.  This year?  No sign of ’em.  It may have been just a touch too cold or too early for such.  Or, maybe, the larger crowds are just pushing them away or something.

In any event, I did enjoy the parade and still don’t plan to wear a hat next year.


Easter Parade in NYC Part 2 of 3

March 25, 2008

More pictures from my 2008 Easter Parade wanderings on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.


The above was one of the few “grand but weird” hats.  They just didn’t seem to be as numerous as usual.  Maybe I left too early for others, but I don’t think so.

There were some, though.


The picture below captures some of all types.


Some of the more formal hat-wearings that I enjoyed.



And, yes, there were dogs.


Perhaps the most unique person in the parade was the Queen of Hearts.  Oh, yeah; she’s on stilts.  She just towered above everything.


Take a couple of kids and put hats completely over their bodies, tack on some fake small clothes much lower on their bodies and….



The guy below is at all of these events, along with his dog.


But the little girls are still the better subjects.


Some more formal wearing-types.  Quite a bit exaggerated, but that’s fine.


Another shot of the crowd.  This was the group taking photos of the people above.


Some were utterly shameless in trying to grab attention.  Tennis tog wearing women with dogs…and then the women started to play a sort of badmitten game with each other.






It’s a man under all that hatness below.  I’m guessing he agreed to wear a hat if it obscured enough of his features that would prevent his ever being recognized.  Well done, sir!



More of the more-formal-type-hats.  Not truly formal, but more than normal over the past few years.


Tomorrow, I’ll finish the posts.  There’s really not much to say:  you mill around and spot someone in the distance with a hat.  You work your way over there and find a few hundred others are doing the same thing.


Easter Parade in NYC Part 1 of 3

March 24, 2008

Every Easter, at least every Easter for the past three years, I’ve been out to the “Easter Parade”.

It isn’t a real parade.  Or, if you prefer, it is the most democratic parade there is.  Everyone is part of it.  And anyone can be a star.  That isn’t any sort of exaggeration.  If you want 15 minutes of fame and the attention of thousands, just join the parade.  The only qualification:  wear a hat.

The bigger/grander/wilder/cooler the hat, the better.

People without hats are desperate to find and look at people with hats.  Heck, you can even buy them there and change from the hatless anonymous one to a famed hatted one.  But those aren’t the really great hats.  But you can borrow a really great hat.  Just for asking.

A typical hat brought and worn by a typical wearer.


From about 46th Street up to around 57th Street, Fifth Avenue becomes a mass of hat-searching photographers and voyeurs.  And Famous Ankles is proud to be one of ’em again this year.  I’ve never worn a hat to it, but it was a pretty cold day with a touch of wind.  Not enough to make me wear a hat, though.



Generally, the hats are not on the expensive side, as you can note.

Photographers are everywhere.  The woman below was being interviewed when I walked by, you can see the cameraman in the foreground.


I was down there at around 11am to 1pm.  The event generally lasts until 4pm or so.


People just mill about on the street.  When you see a hatted person, take your picture ASAP.


And the crowd was biiiiiiiiiigggg!


One thing I saw more of this year than usual were men in hats.


Dogs in hats are…old hat.  Ouch.  I know I’ll catch some grief for that one.

It’s generally the friendliest crowd you’ll ever see.  Wanna pose with someone?  Just go and pose.  Wanna take someone’s picture?  Just point your camera.  If they spot you, they’ll pose or they’ll grab their friends and all will pose.


The woman above in the big hat was everywhere.  After 2 hours, I knew every hat in the place, but I kept seeing her posing alone or with others.  She’s a real trooper.


There were other attractions besides people in hats.  Below was a gospel duo singing some Easter riffs.


Another thing I spotted more of this year were people doing more of a dressy hat rather than a funny hat.


The first year I went to the Easter Parade, I saw one person with a formal hat.  This year, dozens.  I really like the trend.

But it was mostly mock-pretention type hats.


A puppetteer…with a hat out for donations.


A group saw me point my camera…




Below are some hats made from discarded “metro cards” (used to go on the subway and buses in New York).


People were lined up to pose with them on.  I don’t know if there was a charge or “donation” to use them or if they were there as a promotion or community service.  They were pretty popular, though.



More in tomorrow’s post.


Easter Day

March 23, 2008

It’s Easter, the day that we celebrate Jesus rising from the dead. The Lord is Risen, indeed.

At the heart of the Episcopal worship is the Prayer Book.  The 1866 version of the Book of Common Prayer has the Easter Anthem:

CHRIST our passover is sacrificed for us : therefore let us keep the feast; Not with the old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness : but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor. v. 7
 Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more : death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once : but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin : but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. vi. 9
   Christ is risen from the dead : and become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death : by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die : even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor. xv. 20.
    Glory be to the Father, and to the Son : and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be : world without end. Amen. 

Happy Easter!


Tibitan Protest on 2nd Avenue

March 22, 2008

I’ve been under the weather recently and was recovering nicely, but still hadn’t stepped out of my place all day today.  And then I heard whistles and shouting coming from the direction of Second Avenue and 42nd Street.  I have a very minor view of the street from my window and peered out, knowing I’d see something.

And I did.  Cops.  There was a protest afoot.  I left as quickly as I could and, by the time I hit street level, the noise volume was very high and my doorman was trying to figure out what was going on.

It was a protest.  It looked a bit “thrown together” with minimal planning, but the cops were cooperating.


It wasn’t tiny though.  Okay, it was relatively tiny, but it was a fairly good protest march.  It was the Tibetans protesting the Chinese.  (It’s always a little strange when I see a protest where one nationality is protesting another and the US is sort of left out of the equation.  But that’s neither here nor there.)


The cool part; where else are you gonna have enough Tibetans to have a good protest?  These aren’t your college students who sign petitions several times a month.  These were mostly Tibetans in exile or just otherwise here.

The cops were leading them down 2nd Avenue on a single lane.  The group was perhaps four blocks long.  I didn’t try any sort of count, but I’m guessing less than a thousand.  It sounded louder though.


As you can see, the cops were out in force, but mostly to make sure they stayed in their designated lane.  The cars in the side streets weren’t being let in and you could see them backing up.  

The Tibetans did have people on both sides of the street handing out literature.  Their protest was centered on the Chinese crackdown to protests in Tibet and they were calling for the release of prisoners there and an international investigation into what is happening.

Of probably more import to the Chinese is their call for boycotting the Olympics.