As long as I can remember, the Macy’s Parade has been a big part of my holiday morning. The floats, the marching bands, and the balloons — Snoopy is still my favorite — were the sights and sounds that woke me up and provided the soundtrack for our family’s holiday preparations.
Now that I live in Manhattan’s Upper West Side — one block from the parade route and just around the corner from the Museum of Natural History where they inflate the balloons — the Macy’s Parade has gone from television spectacle to neighborhood block party.
From mid-day Wednesday until Thursday afternoon, throngs of people — including a celebrity or two — invade my block to witness the festivities.
My favorite Turkey Day celebrity encounter to date?
On my second year in New York, Rory and I took an early walk in Central Park on Thanksgiving — but not quite early enough, as it turned out. We got ‘caught’ on the park side of Central Park West in the gathering crowd, and I couldn’t cross the street without police escort.
As I stood there waiting, Rory in my arms so he wouldn’t get trampled, a boy’s hand reached over to pet him on the head.
“Your dog is cute,” his quiet voice said.
As I turned to say thank you, I realized the hand and voice belonged to Michael Cera of “Arrested Development,” “Superbad,” and “Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist.”
He and I chatted for a few moments about typical dog topics (breed, age, name) until his mom told him it was time to meet the producer from NBC. He never introduced himself, and I never acknowledged who he was.
We were just two people hanging out, talking puppy dogs, at the Turkey Day block party in the ‘hood.