As someone who has lived in NYC my whole life, I can say, without reservation, that the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is truly one of the most fun parades of the year. There is an energy that is so relatable, no matter where you watch it — live in the street (which I have never done) or on TV at your grandma’s house (which I have done many times.)
Normally, I am rather disenchanted by the excessive crowds that come to the City to experience iconic events and celebrations, but not for this parade. I love it! I’m not sure if it’s because I love Thanksgiving as a holiday so much, or because I love to see the floats and gigantic balloons, but I am totally unbothered — in fact I’m kind of fascinated by it.
You would think since I love this parade so much, I might actually want to attend, right? Wrong. Why deal with the massive hordes of locals and tourists, when I can watch from home, eating my Nanas famous Apricot Jell-O mold?! Nothing against the people who brave the cold and crowds, it’s simply just not for me. But hey, you never know! Maybe one day I’ll decide to stop being lazy and actually go.
As a native New Yorker, I feel like I’m entitled to my disenchanted, conceited attitude toward all sorts of quintessential New York-centric activities. I try and stay away from anything smacking of Time Square. I’ve never been to the Empire State Building. Rockefeller Center? Never been there, either. Again, I have nothing against these places and perhaps someday I’ll go, but thus far in my 16 years here, the level of chaos and unnecessary stress involved still makes me want to pass on it.
That said, I can’t help but feel like part of me buys into the conventional New York experience. It’s kind of marvelous. So while some people might need to go to events and celebrations to feel the excitement of this great City, I’m fortunate to feel that energy everywhere I go. I get to experience more of the true New York on my walk to school than anyone could see from the top of the Empire State Building, and I am in awe of my hometown!
Overall, the parade is the perfect balance between unique and not overdone. It feels authentic to the vibe of the City, but it doesn’t feel like it’s trying too hard. After all, who likes a parade that tries too hard? Not me! And even though I sometimes behave like a jaded New Yorker, I am extremely conscious of how the things that I might find “annoying” are all part of building the New York experience for everyone.
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade makes me feel thankful for being a New Yorker, born and raised. So, maybe I’ll see you there next year. Happy Holidays!