The clear skies and mild temperatures lured me to Fifth Avenue today to watch the St. Patrick's Day Parade, and like several hundred thousand others lining Fifth Avenue between 44th and 86th, it took a while for me to jockey into position so I could see anything. I started in the area near St. Patrick's Cathedral (why not?) and then walked north a few blocks to where I could get a closer look. The church you see in some of the images is St. Thomas, an Episcopal church on Fifth Avenue at 53rd St. I also spent some time at 54th and Fifth Avenue before I decided to press on to a calmer part of midtown. The only misgiving I have about this slideshow is that no sound accompanies it, and indeed, there was plenty of traditional Irish music issuing forth from many marching bands.
The St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York carries with it some heavy tradition, with important roles played in the festivities by members of the church and law enforcement. In fact, the police presence is rather awesome. In my experience attending parades in New York, though, I get the feeling that this is the one that they don't mind policing.
Don't you love that old guy who died his hair, eyebrows and beard that color green? He was happy to pose for pictures with everyone.
Images by Walking Off the Big Apple. March 17, 2009. Fifth Avenue.