Thursday, March 17, 2011

City Views, Country Dreams

Good evening from New York on Saint Patrick's Day.

It's been a glorious day, mild, blue skied, and in our city a wonderful parade made its way up Fifth Avenue for hour after hour.

I made my way across Central Park from the west side a bit after noon, and wore a bit of green in the subtle shade of my trousers and scarf. It was warm enough that many parade goers had not bothered with coats or scarfs.

The local schools have a day off, and so many students are out and about.

These lovely teenagers agreed to let me take their picture. You can see that some of them were on their cells, making plans. You can can also see that marvelous blue sky.

A few minutes later, I reached Fifth Avenue and began to figure out where I'd like to stand to view the parade, on and off the Avenue. The parade begins in midtown NYC amidst all the big shops and office towers, but I've always preferred to watch the show from further uptown, along the edge of the Park.

Lots of folks do make a grand gesture in their attire on March 17. Some are more traditional, others decide to find an edge worth exploring.



Very young parade goers have been dressed by their parents. Eventually, they will find their own sense of style. It is this generational progress that also gives much to the fun of the parade.

I asked permission to take this young lad's photo. He was so adorable.



Well, I have shown you so many photos of those along the sideline sidewalks, let me show you some of the parade itself. I love the bands!


The parade's marchers are a blend of civil servants (like police officers, firefighters, and Marines and Navy folks,) school bands, and representatives who've actually traveled from across the pond.


Some folks wore outsized and dramatic hats. Others take another approach to drama.

Here's another of those marvelous banners. It usually takes at least six men to keep these banners moving along erect.


I do love the various tartan kilts. Have you all been able to see the green stripe painted down the center of Fifth Avenue?


Look, I've spotted a green tu tu.


While I was watching, I saw several wonderful fife and drum bands march past.


I also saw lots of wonderfully talented Irish dancers. Their movements were not very easy to catch in still photos.


This young lady had a green sparkly shamrock appliqued to her cheek, and her attention was definitely on the text she was sending.

Here's another festive mohawk on parade down the sidewalk.


Here's a family group gathering together on the wall at the edge of the Park.

These two children were posing for a photo by their mom, and I took advantage of the opportunity.



Some of you all know that I enjoy knitting, and so here are a trio of beautiful sweaters. Sweater one.


Sweater two.


Sweater three.


And, here is another crowd-pleasing parade participant.

I'll show you all another family group who were showing us how to wear green.



Sometimes, the crowds along the sidewalk made it tricky for me to get a photo when I wished to do so. And this resulted, this time, in this view of flags above the heads of the viewers.


Ahh, here's another view of those flags.
More headgear.
This year, I did not notice as many sidewalk vendors as in past years. This gentleman was doing quite well with his long-sleeved cotton tee shirts, proclaiming that today was the 250th St. Patrick's Day parade.

This lovely little toddler got to see her daddy march past. There was much excitement on both sides of the barricade.

About this time, some of us parade watchers were getting a bit weary.


I think that the parade still had a few hours to go.

However, I decided that I had clicked enough photos to give you all an idea of what a splendid day it had been.

And so, I began to retrace my steps and find my way across the Park. Others were already on the same route.
How wonderful it was to have these hours in the bright sunshine, enjoying music and silly hats, and cute children, and a great annual celebration.
There are so many other serious, very serious matters in our world right now, trying to claim all of our attention. I was glad to be reminded of the power of fun.

Best wishes to you all.




100 comments:

  1. What fun! It seems that St Patrick's Day is celebrated far more in the US than even in Ireland!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Frances, you excelled yourself with those marvellous photos. I loved the kilts, the tutu, the funny hats.
    What happens to the green stripe when all is over? Does it last, or just wear away?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Frances Thanks for popping over to my blog the other day, it was wonderful to 'meet' you. I've so enjoyed your pictures in this post of the St Patrick's Day parade - you've really captured the atmosphere so well, I found it all fascinating! Have a lovely sunny weekend.
    Helen x

    ReplyDelete
  4. Frances, I do love your pictures and I repeat my oft voiced comment that you should work for the NY Tourist Office! But I am worried about the 250th anniversary! That would have made the first one in 1761. Well, it's possible, I suppose that a group of Irishmen decided to have a celebration - but a parade? And what part did Irishmen play in the Revolution? Strangely I rather imagine that they would have been conservative and pro-British (or rather home country as Ireland was a part of Britain in those days). Do the records in your library go back that far? It would be a fascinating piece of social history.
    'St Patrick's Day in New York: before during and after the Revolution.'

    ReplyDelete
  5. Now, whenever I miss something fun, I know you will document it for me beautifully.
    You make it look joyful and lovely, and what a super bright day for the parade too.
    Buster wore his green collar.....but he does that every day.
    Yes, to getting together very soon.

    ReplyDelete
  6. wow, Frances, it must take you HOURS to load all those photos. Well done, sir!
    I particularly liked your adorable young lad who looked just lovely.
    I do think the Green thing is what makes St Patricks day work - everyone can join in should they so want.
    And Fennie's so right about the tourist office!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Francis you certainly know how to celebrate and have fun big style over there, our island pipe band have been over for several years to participate. Thank you for sharing the delights of the day with us, and also for the poignant reminder of the awful suffering happening in the world today too, my thoughts have also been wrapped up with and thinking of those communities too.
    Best wishes

    ReplyDelete
  8. That is the St Patrick's Day parade to beat! The banners, the bands and the dress-up - I love it all. The three sweaters you showed are beautiful - I imagine they're worn with great pride.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I have to admit, St Patrick's Day does not figure at all in my year, but I do enjoy seeing how you all celebrate it so splendidly, there must be more Irish descendents in New York than in Ireland now!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Frances,
    That looks like so much fun. You must have had a wonderful day out. It also looks like you had great weather. So lovely with some sunshine. I think we are all greatful for some warmer days.
    Have a lovely weekend.
    Ingrid xx

    ReplyDelete
  11. You worked hard to give us that excellent post Frances, thank you so much. My sister's daughter is in NY at the moment, lucky woman.
    Great light relief in these troubled times.

    ReplyDelete
  12. IT SEEMS SO MUCH FUN!

    DEBBIE MOSS

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love your pictures of New York on St. Patrick's Day. I'll be back!
    Karen
    Ladybug Creek

    ReplyDelete
  14. This was such a lovely, in-depth view of the parade - I found all the different human vignettes fascinating (the little bearded leprechaun most especially!). It's amazing to see the great extent to which this day is celebrated in NY, and to learn that schools actually close for the day. And what a fantastic, sunny spring day!

    Your final comment also hit home for me, Frances - I have also been feeling overwhelmed by the sadness of events in the world lately, and wondering how I could justify blogging about the small pleasures of life in these circumstances. I think you are right on this one.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Frances I totally forgot about St Patrick's Day! Thank you for letting me experience it through your blog!

    BTW, was that a huge white dog or a small polar bear in the parade?! LOL

    ReplyDelete
  16. You always have such delightful and pictured stories, Frances. Thank you. (Did much of the green rub off on you?)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Wow.! what great pictures Frances, thank you soo much for sharing with us.

    What a wonderful St Patrick's Day Parade, all splendid in their shades of green, love that green TuTu skirt too.

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  18. Community events are such fun aren't they! I sense the great excitement and community spirit, and the tremendous pride of the people taking part, it's very touching isn't it? I think your idea of doing a disciplined drawing every was it week(?) a really good idea. It's very easy to get out of the way of drawing and painting, what with the responsibilities and pressures of every day life, so making yourself do some drawing in a time frame will bring you many rewards and satisfaction, and joy too of course! Love Vanessa xxx

    ReplyDelete
  19. Goodness, New York does St Patrick's Day well (and I am from Northern Ireland).

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi there Frances, just stopped by to say hello. I love your photos of the Parade. You may yearn for the countryside, but just think of what you'd miss - I really appreciate seeing your pictures through the year; parades, marathons, halloween decorations, markets, Central Park. I love it all, it makes me yearn for New York. If only we could do a little swap whenever we felt the need for that 'other' life!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
  21. My, you have been busy, Frances. i am glad you had a lovely outing on a sunny day. Aren't there a lot of Irish people on St Patrick's day in New York. Are they all for real?

    You should have had one of the many whose photos you took take one of you in your own green finery.

    I hope the sun keeps shining for you. Judging from the young people's attire, Spring has most certainly arrived in NY.

    ReplyDelete
  22. St Patrick's day passed me by this year but it is good to see your celebrations. i am sure there must be more Irish in New York than in the Emerald Isle.

    PS, if you send me an email I will let you into a secret re the mug.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Dear Frances,

    I didn't know St Patrick's day is celebrated in the US as well. What a gloriuous day you had. The parade looks like fun to me. Where you dressed in green like the people joining the parade?

    Lieve groet & happy day,

    Madelief

    ReplyDelete
  24. Another fabulous NYC post!
    I was on the plane when you posted this so I guess I can be forgiven..
    AirFrance did not serve us GREEN cocktails or celebrate in the least...
    c'est comme ca
    xxCarolg

    ReplyDelete
  25. I live in nyc and was at the parade that lovely day. You make me see the city with fresh eyes . Thank you.

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