Tuesday, March 17, 2009

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York.

This St. Patrick's Day has been granted glorious late winter weather and I have walked across Central Park to view the traditional parade. The parade begins down in mid-town, but it is so much more pleasant to watch the marchers and musicians, and even the other watchers from the Park side of Fifth Avenue.

I took lots of photos.

Here are some bagpipers.

Here are some ladies whose contingent was a bit quieter.

More pipers quickly appeared.

I love these huge banners. It often takes quite a few folks, generally men, to keep them up and moving along.

This is a day that brings out head gear that rivals that worn on Easter.

Not all the marchers were from the United States or Ireland.

These serenading gentlemen came all the way from Spain.

Back to traditional marchers.

There were many, many firefighters marching today. The Mayor marched along with them. Then, he must have retraced his steps so that he could also march along with the police. I thought that the flags were beautiful.

This little fellow was a bit chilly when the warming sun began to drift to the west.

I think that these two were about to trade telephone numbers.

These boys accompanied their parents to the parade, but weren't really that interested.

Something about this young lady reminds me of Sally Bowles in Cabaret.

Now here is a frothy hat.

In this family, only dad held out against going green.

More head gear.

Here is a little princess with her favorite doll.

Chairs reserved for children, who have decided to stand a while and stretch their legs.

What a pretty smile on this very young lady.

More head gear, and a beautiful tartan.

Sorry that I shot this facing the sun, I wanted to catch the Kilkenny banner.

Perfect extensions for this day only.

There once was a banner from ....

Little sisters telling each other secrets.

More headgear.

Please also take note that these very well dressed horses are wearing green stockings.

I like the decorated drums as much as the large banners.

This little girl got lots of attention.

I saw many feather boas this afternoon, and many little errant green feathers along the sidewalk.

Someone made this hat with lots of care. The gentleman wears it well. On the left, you can see the edge of the very beautiful Frick Museum.

Another painted drum, and a gentleman who knows how to play.

Isn't she sweet in her tartan?

This little boy seemed to enjoy playing around with his plastic derby.

Good looking sweaters and kilts, and beautiful music, too.

Here is another majestic group of marchers.

These fellows were just too cool and required a photograph.

This little girl was enduring her tinsel antennae.

The parade goes on and on ... perhaps close to five hours. You all might now feel the same about this post!
I did not stay for the entire parade, but had a nice stroll back across Central Park, passing by beautiful Bethesda Fountain. You can see the lake and, just barely, the boat house in the background. When spring arrives, the Fountain's water will be turned back on.

At the edge of another part of the Lake, I saw lots of patches of these little white flowers. I am too ignorant to know what they are, but think that they are beautiful.

I hope that I have given you a taste of today's parade, and that each of you will some day be able to see it for yourself.
Happy St. Patrick's Day.


  1. Happy Saint Patrick's day Francis, thank you for taking us along to see the celebrations.

    I think the flowers may be wood anemone. A sure sign of spring.

  2. Hello Frances,

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful post of your's with us.

    What great pictures you took of the Parade on St Patrick's Day, I will keep that dream in my mind Frances, that maybe one day I will be able to see it for myself in NYC.

    Yes, I do think that those pretty flowers are wood Anemone's.


  3. You captured a really great feel for the parade. Thanks ever so much.

  4. What a lovely post with all the images of the parade - thank you! Warm wishes, Vxx

  5. Heavens! St Patricks Day passes me by, I'm afraid, (not a shred of Irish in me) what an incredible parade; New york certainly knows how to put on a show!

  6. I had no idea so much tartan and pipes were involved in st patricks day! Wonderful photos captured teh fun Francis!

  7. Frances what a super collection pf photos. As one succeeded another I marvelled at the different ways you found of portraying St Patrick's day. Hats, headresses, pipers, the feeling of celebration was truly there.

  8. Wow Frances, that was incredible! A really great view of the parade thank you. So many different aspects and really good photographs too. xx

  9. Thank you Frances - that was fun! I've always wanted to see two parades in NYC...Thanksgiving Day and St Patrick's. I could just about hear the music as I looked at all that fantastic headgear and all those happy people.

  10. Thanks for the pictures, I've watched the parade from midtown on many occasions, those marching drums always stir my Irish blood, but down in Soho all we get are the revelers who cause quite the ruckus when the bars close!

  11. Gosh! They really go for it, don't they? You can imagine what the atmosphere was like from your wonderful photos.

    I saw this Guardian review of the production of 'Blithe Spirit' that you went to see and thought you might like to read it;

  12. I'm not one to frequently leave comments, but I regularly visit your blog and so enjoy it. It was always a dream of mine to live in NYC, but life had a way of going other directions. I, too, did not realize the greatness of the St. Patrick's Day Parade held there! Thank you for taking the jaunt and taking the pictures that enabled us to see it, too. And thank you for sharing your life in NYC, from those of us that wish we were ther.........Judi :-)

  13. What a narrative! Great to 'be there' with you, thanks.

  14. Wow, Frances, that was some parade!! You captured the spirit of it so well with your great photo;s and I felt as if I could hear those pipes nearly! Loved them, and wish I could have watched it all go by with you!

  15. what fun pictures! especially the last...a bit of hope.

    in other news, i am heading to boston today to give two talks. can't decide if i should bring my Eileen F dark red jacket, or dark green jacket. perhaps i shall bring them both....

  16. You have done us proud Frances, thank you so much.

  17. What is it about St Patrick, but he seems to be taking over the world and in the most unlikely places even where the Irish are normally thin on the ground - like Brussels?

    Congratulations on a magnificent post, Frances.

  18. Yup, I think wood anemones too :-) How lovely.

    Thank you for sharing your photos. I did love the horses with their green stockings and the thousands of escaped green feathers scattered hither and thither really caught my imagination! Like a sort of treasure hunt :-)

    I feel incredibly pleased with myself that I have actually visited New York and can imagine the scenes you describe!!! And of course I can imagine you, too, in your chic black coat :-)

  19. There is nothing like a St. Patrick's Parade . . . especially the "big one"!

  20. What a great set of pictures Frances. Thank you for sharing them with us. I haven't ever seen anything of the parade and now I can imagine what it is like. Loved the horses with their hats and stockings. But all those pipers look very Scottish to me!!

  21. Hello Frances

    I don't normally have much time for St Patrick's Day, but you have managed to make me sorry to have missed the fun. I particularly liked the horse's hat! Lovely pictures, and a superb accompanying narrative. Your gift of calm in the most vibrant city in the world is an enviable one.


  22. so fascinating to see how St Patricks day is celebrated around the world *ruthie*