Everybody Kinda, Sorta Loves a Parade
Hey, I have connections. I could have borrowed a couple of general purpose NYPD passes for this. But, no, I wanted to chronicle the average fan’s experience. I wanted to cover the underbelly of the great gathering. And gathered we did- in the tens of thousands in lower Manhattan late this morning to pay tribute to the New York Yankees’ 27th world championship.
It was a feisty little crowd when I emerged at the Chambers street subway stop and promptly got funneled onto Church Street and toward No Man’s land at Foley Square near the U.S. courthouse. “Wall Street Sucks! Wall Street Sucks!” they chanted loudly as we marched sort of near Wall Street. No matter, the economic populism felt good and inspiring on this nippy, windy day on the island. Another chant went up; “Who’s your Daddy? Who’s your Daddy?” I believe that was directed to Mr. Pedro Martinez. More chants; “Let’s go Yankees. Let’s go Yankees!” The t-shirts, pennants and hats were selling rather briskly and, I guess reflecting the tough economic times, at a relatively bargain-basement-for New York- $10 a pop.
The funneling continued, New York’s finest manning the barricades, ensuring no sheep would cut loose from the pack. “Hey, man, where are we going?” I heard someone ask. “I don’t know, I’m just following the crowd, I guess this is where we all turn right.” And we all turned right and promptly into a pen at Foley Square. Assorted folks talked to the cops. “Hey, will anything pass by here?” “No, nothing,” was the dead-pan response. Knowledgeable sources revealed we were approximately two blocks from City Hall. Thank goodness for the windy conditions or we may not have seen any of the famous confetti. But my people were prepared. A couple of rolls of toilet paper shot up and laced their way nicely around some nearly bare trees.
Thoughtfully, the city of New York had erected a very large screen so we could all feel we were part of history as we watched the parade outside on TV. Suddenly, I heard the sound of bagpipes. Could we be closer to the action than I thought? No, the city of New York had also thoughtfully erected very large speakers. Suddenly, the crowd erupted into a rather intense chant of “A—hole, A—hole, A—hole.” Turned out that was a vociferous and instinctual reaction to some guy with a death-wish who turned up in a Phillies jersey. He disappeared rather quickly. I do not know his ultimate fate.
Eventually, we all turned our attention to the screen. Rudy Giuliani popped up. Scattered boos. Then Reggie Jackson. A lot of shoulder shrugging as if to say he already had his day. Yogi Berra- now we’re talking- Yogi never gets booed. Hideki Matsui appeared on the screen- huge roar. Jay-Z…lots of whoops and hollers. A-Rod in his natty little fedora- huge cheers. “I’m waiting for Kate Hudson to become K-Rod,” commented an astute fan about Alex’ girlfriend. And the virtual parade continued; Mark Texiera, C.C. Sabathia, Melky Cabrera and the expected massive roar for Derek Jeter.
A middle-aged lady in the crowd could be heard on her cell phone. “No, not really, can’t see a thing. There’s a screen here, but there’s a tree in front of it. Last parade I go to!” she said ungraciously. Really, Lady- go with it, c’mon. That’s when I spotted a clear path to the subway station and the 5 train to Grand Central. A lady cop manning the turnstiles let us all through for free on the condition we make our way quietly. Ha…just saved $2.25. Living large! Back to the apartment building and my doorman Billy wants to see my $10 Yankee pennant. Why is he taking a cigarette lighter out and threatening to burn it?
Oh yeah. Disgruntled and bitter Mets fan. I love New York!