Ever since I’ve been going to New York City, one thing I’ve always wanted to do was go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It never happened because I had no interest in getting up at some ungodly hour to get into the city early enough to stalk out a good spot on the parade route a few hours before the parade even starts. In my gay opinion parades suck but floats are another story.
When I found out that Macy’s needs to inflate their floats early (pretty obvious when you think about it) and they allow people to view the floats on Wednesday, I knew that I needed to take a day off from work to fulfill this fantasy (easier than getting Ryan Reynolds to dress like Madonna and do a private concert in my bedroom…sorry, another fantasy for another post). Since theaters have matinees on Wednesdays, I hoped to catch a show before the main event as well. I waited until I got into the city to decide which play to see since I wasn’t guaranteed to get in on time. Fate was on my side (she’s always a sucker for a Broadway show) and I was able to score a front row $25.00 rush ticket to the show I most wanted to see.
At 2:00 I went to see Afterglow at The Loft at the Davenport Theater (354 W 45th St). The theater is super small with a stage in the middle of four rows of seats facing it on two sides. Very intimate and cozy. Afterglow is about a gay couple who have an open relationship and what happens when one of them forms a friendship with the guy they bring home for a threesome. I was hooked from the minute the curtain dropped and all three guys were naked in bed. Best play ever!
After I was full-up on eye candy and the actors got dressed, I enjoyed the rest of the play as well. The story was both funny and dramatic. You can’t have a threesome without some drama…allegedly, so I’ve been told. Not only did the story hold my interest but it was fascinating how the three actors changed the shape of the stage moving parts to create different sets (from a bed, to a working shower, to a furnished apartment) and in doing so interacted in ways that added emotion to the story. The passing of time was interestingly and humorously done with the gay couple naming the child they were having with a surrogate based on the fetus’ size. The play isn’t for everyone but it was definitely for me. After such a good play, I was ready for a bite to eat and some floats.
Everything I read online about the float preview told me where to be and when but nothing prepared me for the actual event. I could’ve taken a subway uptown but I prefer to walk in New York. I walked up Central Park West until the sidewalks got blocked by stadium seating set up for the parade. When I crossed the street there were police and people with blow horns directing people to the float entrance at Columbus and 74th street. The sidewalks got very crowded and then I was herded onto 74th street with thousands of other people between metal barriers.
For the next hour I got very cozy with the folks around me as the line crept and stalled block after block. Children stepping on my feet, people slamming me with back packs, and having a baby stroller pry my legs apart. This is the only time I’ll complain about someone trying to get between my legs. The bright side was all those people got held up when it came time for the police to search everyone’s bags and strollers. If you’re going to go, travel light and keep your belongings above your waist.
Once I was numb from the cold and tired from standing around, I finally arrived at the float site. There’s two streets blocked off for the floats and you’re free to walk on the sidewalks and view them along with the masses. The site is open from 1:00PM to 8:00PM. Earlier is less crowded but the floats aren’t fully inflated yet. I got in line around 4:45 and was done around 6:30 (it felt much longer) and the floats were pretty full up when I was there.
It was cool to see the floats up close but I was a little disappointed that they’re strapped down and some have nets over them. Poor Ronald McDonald was tied up looking like he was in 50 Shades Of Gay with Scrat the nut-obsessed squirrel from Ice Age.
Seeing the Thanksgiving Day floats is crossed off my Bucket List and I have no need to see the parade any longer. Would I do it again? Probably not, but over all it was another great day in the city. As always, the best part about visiting New York is that you never know what you’re going to get.