Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

Work closed early yesterday so I was able to do a bit of holiday sightseeing in the city before heading home.

My first stop was the balloon staging area for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Hundreds of my closest friends and I piled out of the 81st street subway stop and into a parade machine. Helium tanks and volunteers were already in high gear, unrolling, inflating and then tying down the giant balloons. Interestingly, the country is currently experiencing a helium shortage, but the parade arranged its supply long ago and was set. The balloons were at different stages of inflation when I saw them at 3:30pm. Sponge Bob Square Pants was done, Ronald McDonald and the Energizer Bunny were well on their way and Super Grover was just beginning his transformation from a pile of fabric into a parade balloon. A public information officer said it would take 90 minutes for Grover to totally inflate. This morning (if the balloons can fly because of the weather) each balloon will be handled by 80 handlers and 12 pilots. [note: I was so excited to see the balloons that my new goal is to have networked myself into the city well enough to be allowed to volunteer as a balloon handler next year...stay tuned:-)] Above the street, people in three or four apartments could be seen cleaning their windows to provide optimal viewing for the big day. A Central Park West apartment, I think I could handle that:-)

What was not as cool as I thought it would be was the David Blaine stunt. Hang a guy off a crane in a normal city and it would be big news. I expected tourists would be flocking to him. But in Times Square, where thousands of tourists are crammed into a few blocks to shop and see Broadway plays, Blaine blended into the crowd.

"Excuse me officer, do you know where David Blaine is?" I asked one of New York's finest
"Yeah, he up there," she giggled
"Where?" I asked, cocking my head into the sky, expecting to see him dangling above.
As it turned out, he was a few blocks away, down a side street.
When I finally found the spot where he is shackled into a gyroscope 4 stories above the ground, I was bummed to discover that he was just hanging there, looking like DaVinci's Vitruvian Man (only not naked--now that would be something to see!)

Well it is 6:45am and my dad already has our turkey in the roaster. My parents have worked like crazy to get everything set for our dinner for 13 today. I can't wait for our guests and dinner!



Blogger Erica said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Erin! Hope you guys had a great day.

So did our experience with Casper the Friendly Ghost make you want to go and join the Macy's balloon handlers?

2:01 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Yes, I think it would! (though I will leave out the part that the balloon deflated and we had to carry a big part of it the last few blocks.)

8:40 AM  

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