Archive for April 2009

2009 Easter Parade on Fifth Avenue

April 12, 2009

It’s Easter in New York City and the Easter Parade is still a major draw.

Remember, it isn’t a real parade.  The police cordon off 5th Avenue between 49th St. and 57th St. and people mill about.  The minority wear hats.  The majority have cameras.

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The place was jammed.  Biggest crowds there that I’ve seen before (this is my fourth or fifth of these).

Every so often, someone decides to do it nicely…or at least over the top in a more elegant manner.  The below were the ones I spotted this year.

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But it is almost universally a silly-hat-day.

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I liked this kid’s “bucket head” enough that I’m putting in two of him.  (The one below includes his mother(?) who didn’t quite go the buckethead route but kept her’s nice plus another person who went the hat-height method).  But the picture above was my favorite for the day.  So two of him in this post there shall be!

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You know, I really didn’t spot any absolutely-new-and-improved hats this year.  It all seemed a little derivative of earlier hats.  I guess that the tried and true route was the one everyone was really going for.

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But one thing was a little different from earlier years.  I’ll wait to the end to disclose it.

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Yes, there were lots of stuffed animals on hats.  And adorable children in colorful hats.

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And there were others who also took the “good” route.

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The weather was cold and windy. That’s sort of typical.

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The closer you get to St. Patricks Cathedral, the greater the crowding.

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An issue in the parade that happens every sunny year is that the shadows can really play havoc with pictures.  There are four carrot hats here.  The fourth one, on the left, sort of faded into the shadows.

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At this point I was in very close to St. Pat’s.  You can see it in the background of the next picture.

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I still had a number of pictures to take (I’m only halfway through with this post), but this just shows that the hat-wearers really hung around outside the Church.

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The next picture was a sort of traditional picture: dog with hat. In this case, the poor dog was surrounded by photographers and had put its head down and was completely unmoving. I looked at it for about 10 seconds and couldn’t figure out whether it was a real dog or a stuffed animal with a hat. Then the dog came to life and barked at someone near me. Yeah, it was a live dog. I took this picture just after it barked.

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Just more pictures of the hatted few.

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The next one was more imaginative than virtually all of the rest. Chia Lady.

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Down a block from St. Pat’s, there were some more commercial attempts at costumes. There were a small contingent of people dressed in bunny costumes and handing out eggs. I don’t know their reason for it, but I got the feeling that the eggs were promotional gifts. Maybe, maybe not.

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But the next guy was in it for the money. He did say something about how we could put money in his hat.

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Others seemed just to be heading up to the main crowd at St. Pat’s when all of us with cameras slowed them down.

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And when you pose with a costume character while 20 people are taking your picture…well, your picture ends up in places like this.

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Sometimes it was more difficult to tell the store-bought silly hats from the let’s-make-it-at-home silly hats. I hope this was just a family project as these 3 or 4 were amongst the most colorful of the day.

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Just as I was leaving the area, a bunch of people showed up and started to pose for us.

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And my last picture of the day. Once again, the shadows made picture-taking difficult for amatuers like me.

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Okay, all in all it was a little disappointing. A lot of that is because I was there until about 11:30am and there was still a lot of time left for the truly interesting ones to show up. But, this timing was pretty typical of my other trips so I don’t think that’s it. It was a lot colder than the last year or so and the wind was brutal. So that may also be part of it. Maybe I’m just getting blase about the Easter Parade.

I did note one difference from my earlier attendances: men in hats. The first time or two that I came, the only men in hats were those who had latched themselves to their wives as if to say: she made me do it! This year I seem to have noticed a lot of men just wandering around in their hats. Make of it what you will.

-H

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