One of the reasons I took the job at Publicis is because it is in Herald Square directly across from Macy’s, which makes it ideal for watching the Annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. I have always wanted to see the parade, so I have been planning my seating situation for months now. I scoped out the best seats, I bribed people, I had to sell a kidney, but it all worked out. Aside from the “waking up at 6:00 a.m. when it’s still dark out” part, it was pretty awesome.
Mom came with me, which was lovely. We got there before the parade began, so we got to watch the cheerleaders who open the show practice their routine.
Before we really get into this, let me tell you how annoying that tree was. See it? The last tree in New York with leaves on it? The one blocking half my view? I hate that tree. I hate it with a white-hot hate. Stupid crappy tree.
So the cheerleaders did their thing and shook their red sparkly pompoms and Meredith Viera and Matt Lauer went into their booth, and then… I spent the rest of the parade guessing what was happening. I can’t tell you how important the newscasters are to the parade-watching process. You really spend a great deal of time not knowing what is going on and why. Luckily, I am a massive Broadway nerd, so I could immediately figure out all of the Broadway shows (The Heights, White Christmas, The Little Mermaid, South Pacific) but since most of the floats were partially cut off by the STUPID TREE, I was flummoxed by many of the activities below. I totally missed the best float:
I love Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends, and the parade being rickrolled? Missed that too. So sad. *mimics tear running down cheek*
The Rockettes welcomed the parade to Herald Square. Their precision reminded me of Lipizanner horses, those Viennese precision horses that do perfect maneuvers in arenas. I’ve seen them three or four times. Here’s a link:
There are two things you can count on when you see the Lipizanners: one, they will be in perfect formation and two, some of the horses will take massive dumps while performing. The Rockettes did well on #1, but no #2. Literally and figuratively.
Then the cops came in with their motorcycles a-flashin’ and it was all very exciting, except that the Rockettes (who you can see lined up there) split in half and did a Heil Hitler thing to welcome the cops in, which was flat-out creepy.
Frankly, there was a great deal there that reminded me of World War II. If you watched a great deal of PBS or, later on when cable came to your house, The Hitlery Channel, you saw a great deal of people in large groups marching in precision. So every time a band turned down the street, I felt like the next thing I would hear would be, “The Allied Forces realized that they would need the full power of their combined armies to blah blah blabity blah…”
The view we had was ideal for watching balloons come by. We could see them for a good ten minutes. I was thrilled to see some of my childhood standards make their way by. I will say I definitely got a little misty-eyed when Kermit came by. I gots a big ole soft spot for Jim Henson.
I also got some pictures of the odd float here and there. I tried to figure out who was performing on what float. I deduced Idina Menzel was performing on one float because I could tell by her voice wafting up to the window (she’s a Broadway performer and was in one of my favorite shows Wicked, so I can recognize her voice very quickly), but other than that, I was pretty lost. There was a male country singer, some teeny-boppers and a Native American performer.
I knew Miley Cyrus would be singing on a float, and when I saw this big stone rhino coming down the street with people rock-climbing and scaling it and then heard a woman singing on it (I couldn’t see her, of course, because of the STUPID TREE AAAARGH). I assumed it was Miley, and then I tried to guess what the stone rhino represented.
The best thing I could come up with is the stone rhino represents her strong Christian values and will to keep her virginity, and the people scaling the rhino are the bad influences trying to break her down, but no, her stone rhino will stay intact until marriage. As represented by a float in the parade. Probably not. I couldn’t think of anything better. Then I saw this float and thought that maybe Miley was on this float, because it was super-girlie-looking:
And maybe she was. I still don’t know what float she was on, and frankly I don’t care. I REALLY want it to be the stone rhino, and I REALLY want the stone rhino to represent her maidenhead, but I’m guessing I’m wrong on both counts and that’s fine.
It was nice to see some staples that I’ve been seeing since I was a wee tot, like the turkey that blinks and looks totally demented, and the Macy’s balloon that looks like… a balloon (revolutionary!) and the sparkly gold Macy’s stars.
My favorite moment was when Alvin Ailey Dance Group performed the piece I like best choreographed by him, Wade In The Water:
And were followed by a Keith Haring balloon. Awesome moment. Awesome.
I’m sure there was a ton I missed, because both Mom and I were falling asleep by 10:45. We collected ourselves and headed home by 11:30, so we missed Santa coming into Herald Square, but maybe I’ll do this again next year and then I’ll see Santa.