A few thoughts while I was watching the Halloween parade from an extremely crowded streetcorner outside my apartment:
First of all, I'm getting too old for this shit. After an hour standing in the crowd, my back was starting to hurt and I was just anxious for the whole ordeal to be over so I could go back inside. And getting pressed into total strangers isn't much fun anymore, if it ever was.
I don't think that walking down the street pretending to use a cell phone or wearing a FedEx envelope on your head constitutes a costume.
I nearly saw two punks come to blows less than two feet from me. One guy with a skateboard in his hand had a problem with another guy and they shouted at each other for a few minutes before enough people came between them to keep them apart. But for a few minutes, I was trying to figure out where to go in case they started punching each other, since the crowd was too thick to make a quick getaway. There were plenty of cops nearby, but they were on the other side of wooden and metal barriers, and I'm sure they wouldn't have been able to get near a fight if one broke out. At least not before someone got seriously hurt.
I guess I missed most of the good floats and costumes. I came inside just after the parade started so I could eat dinner, then went back out about 30 minutes later. By the time I got back outside, the parade had devolved into thousands of people in costume walking up Sixth Avenue. I could do that if I wanted, but I don't need to see other people doing it. I tried to get some pictures but none of them are clear enough to keep.
The whole problem I have with the parade is that if it were in another neighborhood, I'd avoid it entirely. I have little desire to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day or the St. Patrick's Day parades, but since this one is right outside my door, I feel an obligation to watch it in person. Next year, if we're living elsewhere, there's virtually no chance I'll subject myself to this punishment again. Geez, now I'm avoiding large crowds. I'm turning into my father.