22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

It's Thanksgiving, one of the two days of the year when I hate Bloomberg the most and deplore the many ways he's ruined the City. One day is the Fourth of July, when I fume and grit my teeth over his idiotic decision to move the fireworks display from the East River—where folks from Manhattan, Brookyn and Queens can enjoy it—to the Hudson, where it benefits people on Riverside Drive and New Jersey.

I rant and rave on Thanksgiving when reminded how he destroyed decades of tradition by rerouting the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade down Sixth Avenue, all to make way for his hideous, human-trailer parks in Times Square. Only a mayor born in Boston wouldn't understand that the East River is the New Yorkiest of rivers and Broadway is the New Yorkiest of street, and those are the places where you stage important New York events.

Anyway, to remind yourself how things were, here are some photos of old parades. Ah, for the days when gigantic fish and Uncle Sam balloons were enough to delight the kiddies. No inflatables connected to films, video  games or toys.


upstate johnny g said...

Brooks, love the photos of parades gone by. The Daily News has a gallery of 46 photos of balloons from parades past and you're right....once upon a time the balloons were not very likely to be tied to marketing. A Disney character here and there, maybe Popeye. But I loved the one with the two acrobats. The News story says it was designed by a 12 year old boy from Brooklyn! That's cool! A dragon, a Christmas stocking, acrobats, a policeman....hard to imagine any of these showing up in today's parade. Instead we get abominations like Ronald McDonald fer cryin out loud. And I can remember when the other aspect of the parade was the marching bands from all around the country. Now it seems as though it's all about singers promoting their latest albums and Broadway shows putting on a number or two. And 6th Ave? Fuggedaboutit! Another cool thing about that News gallery is the long-gone stores, shops, and restaurants lining the streets. Schraffts! And last but not least, the first shot in the gallery blew me away because......I have never seen so many men's hats in a single photo before. 1931.......and every man wore a hat when he went out.

Ed said...

Both the Thanksgiving Day Parade and the fireworks are run and funded by Federated Department Stores, or Macy's.

Now I understand blaming Bloomberg for rerouting the parade. The city controls the permits and the security for the parade route, and there was no particular reason for Federated to make the switch.

But I though the move of the fireworks to New Jersey (OK the Hudson) was a purely Federated decision. Apparently they think they have more customers in the state or are trying to grow their stores in the state. Assuming the barges are located on the New Jersey side of the line down the river, there is even nothing the city could have done to block the move. Sometimes companies will move to New Jersey or other states unless the city pays blackmail, but its usually a bad decision to do so and its actually to Bloomberg's credit if this happened in this case and he turned them down.

Now I think the city government should have recognized that Federated did not simply move the fireworks to another river, though its usually portrayed as such in the compliant press, but clear out of the city to another state, and its time for the Fire Department to run its own Fourth of July fireworks, in the city, for city residents, such as small towns across the country manage to do. But I would not hold my breath for this to happen, under this or another mayor.

BabyDave said...

Thanks for these great photos. I couldn’t agree more with your East River/Broadway observation. By the way, do you know where Uncle Sam is pictured? I can’t place the location at all.