So this evening I decided to take my daughter and son into Manhattan to watch the blowing up of the baloons for tomorrow’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
In these parts, it’s the late-November equivalent of spring training. Instead of dealing with the real event, what with the insane prices, the ungodly crowds, the traffic, the noise, etcâ€”well, why not attend the more relaxed alternative? I saw the balloons being prepared three or four years ago, and it was really cool.
So I went.
Terrible. Absolutely terrible. Like spring training, this goes down as one of those things that, for the most part, has lost what once made it great. When I was a kid, spring training was a 100% chilled, relaxed, easy place to snag autographs and chat with the players and just hang. Now, however, it’s significantly more commercialâ€”yet another way for MLB clubs to bilk fans out of their hard-earned money.
The balloon event is sadly similar. Macy’s set up a roped-in line that, to my chagrin, stretched more than two blocks and took roughly 1 1/2 hours to get through. There were people along the way peddling everything, from apple cider to glow-in-the-dark crap sticks. Because the Christmas spirit only runs so deep, folks were cutting the line at will, throwing elbows, etc.
Plus, it was raining.
My kids, age 6 and 3, were great. “Daddy,” my daughter said at her lowest point, “this is terrible.”
How could I argue?
It’s just such a shame when the quaint and obscure go prime time.