I Love a Parade

That time I led the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade by accident:


“Through my sheer skinniness and the single-minded determination of the utterly oblivious person that I can be, I made my way to a wooden sawhorse employed to keep people off the parade route. The line of sawhorses stretched north and south, unbroken, all stamped, “NYPD.” Of course I could move one, anyone can move a sawhorse, right, but wouldn’t that constitute me, you know, ‘starting something?'”

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Each Thanksgiving morning I experience the flutter of a memory of a moment in which my own experience of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles almost came true. Mine was going to involve accidental participation in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade between a bus and a train, however, which is a notion that even John Hughes might have rejected as far-fetched.

Despite my lifelong proximity to New York City, I do not have vast experience within the city, and I think most of my time in Manhattan has been spent on foot as I walked from either a bus or train station to my destination. And then back. The secret reason for this is I do not trust myself on subways—one must know the subway system through experience and the only way to gain that experience is … experience. The one and only time I rode the NYC subway alone, I did not know how quickly we would reach my destination, nor how briefly we would stop there, nor how long it would take to get back from Brooklyn, which was far, far past where my destination (a job interview somewhere in the Financial District) lay. That one experience led me to a decision I still stick to: walk (nowadays, with a cane, slowly; I have not been in NYC since 2015) to my destination, no matter how far.
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Thanks for Thanksgiving

In her earlier career as a poet and editor, Sarah Josepha Buell Hale (1788–1879) composed a poem so beloved it is a surprise to learn that a human being wrote it: “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” She is also the individual most responsible for the creation of an American holiday so beloved that it is a surprise to learn that someone had to campaign for it: Thanksgiving, which we celebrate today.
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‘You can get anything you want’

An essay in tribute to Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”

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There are three quotes, three statements, in my head this Thanksgiving afternoon, 2016.

Earlier this morning, a friend and I were chatting about our different Thanksgiving Day plans and he asked me if I had ever been to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City. (I almost marched in it, by accident of all things, but that is an anecdote for a different blog post. Perhaps later today.)

“Well, I just hope,” he said, that no one tries any terrorism down there today, but if they do,” and here he looked like someone who hoped that “someone” would “try terrorism down there” because he added, “If they do, I hope we go ahead and use our nuclear weapons the way they were meant to be used. Just go over there and flatten that whole place.”
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