The New York Easter ParadeMonday, April 01, 2013
After almost seven years of living in New York, I finally got to experience the spectacle of the Easter Parade. It's a tradition that dates back to the 1800s, when New York society's upper crust would do a promenade on Fifth Avenue dressed in their finest after Easter Sunday mass. The practice is even immortalized in the movie The Easter Parade, which shows Judy Garland and Fred Astaire sashaying down the avenue as photographers snap away. These days, the Easter Parade is a far more inclusive affair, where pretty much anything and everything goes. In keeping with tradition, there were gentlemen in top hats and gloved ladies aplenty.
I was amazed at how committed people were to creating a spectacle. Not only did the gentleman below wear a Les Miserables tableau around his head—he even had Do You Hear the People Sing playing from his iPod as he walked! And the lady with the gigantic flower-covered heart on her head? There are no words.
The tiniest attendees were all decked out—and instantly swarmed by photographers who couldn't get enough of the cuteness. I wish I had something like the Easter Parade to look forward to when I was a kid. I'm sure creating crazy, unique hats was an incredibly fun project to work on. And that Lego hat? Too cool for school.
Even pooches joined in on the fun! I could not stop cooing over the pug decked out in a fascinator and fur stole. And when that cute little bunny crossed paths with that pooch, we just melted!
This wouldn't be a New York event without a bit of a freak show, of course. As we walked down Fifth Avenue, a man dressed in pink full body spandex started to shout that he needed help making a phone call because he couldn't see. The crowd around him laughed until he said with some urgency, "I'm serious! I need help!" I gallantly strode up to him and helped him dial up his friend Sasha, then I hung around, of course, to eavesdrop on what his great emergency was. "Oh my god, Sasha! I got my picture taken by Bill Cunningham!" he shrieked. I guess we all have different ideas on what can and cannot wait.
The Easter Parade is open to everyone, so if you'd like to experience it, make the craziest hat you can think of and pop on over to Fifth Avenue anywhere between 45th to 57th Streets next year. Heck, get decked out from head-to-toe if you feel so inclined! The crowd will love you for it.
I, for one, have a feeling I'll find it hard to stay away next year. A million thanks to my dearest Zoe for taking me along on yet another wonderful New York adventure!