Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from me and mine. Unless you got up even earlier than we have, we are ahead of you in terms of getting to the Island of Manhattan and the 349th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on NBC brought to you by INSERT SPONSOR NAME HERE.
Seriously. I have no idea how much of that is still true. Talk about Love in Vain. We are driving from Norwich, where we live in Connecticut (hint: not the Gold Coast part of the state where we all have polo ponies and children named Derick and Buffy) to New Haven, where they keep the Yalies, and then riding the Metro North train into Grand Central Station. The organizers have promised us we'll be able to join up with them as they head towards The Nest, the Macy's store at Herald Square.
I haven't ridden a train in the USA in over four decades and when I last rode the rails, I was coming from Jersey via the Penn Central into Penn Station at 34th, beneath Madison Square Garden. I have been looking forward to this trip like an eight year old which intellectually is no stretch at all for me.
I think while the focus for me in pitching this trip to my wife and our children was the parade, I'm hoping we all see this as a larger expedition with New York as the greater goal and destination. I'm not sure I will be terribly upset if I don't get to see every float and hear all the bands et al, though I'm sure they are as lovely as they always look on TV. For me the parade is a bright, shiny object to aim at and for but the prize inside is the island on which it's staged.
I know you're tired of hearing me say New York is the Capital of the World. But, like the necessity of oxygen or the immutability of gravity, it's a fact and damit basta ende. As the kid from Jersey who rode the train with his dad every school morning for years to a prep school in the lower 60's, my NYC looks a lot different from yours and that's okay. I'm not hoping for My Private Idaho but if the weather is kind and the crowds are willing, or vice versa (I am a guest after all in the city and should levy no requirements) it will be quite the time and a marvelous memory.
You should watch the parade on TV as I always do. This year it'll feel different what with being on the inside of the box instead of in my living room but I'll finally get a chance to find out what happens in downtown when the TV guys go to a commercial. I'm hoping that's when the pony rides break out.