My birthday fell on Easter Sunday this year and what better way to celebrate than to spend the weekend at the apartment. Without going too deep into to my complicated religious background and beliefs, I am a card carrying Unitarian Universalist who, despite being raised as an agnostic Jew, has spent a fair amount of time in the Catholic Church. When my husband expressed the desire to go to Easter Mass and to have me to go along with him, I said “Why not?” I haven’t been to Catholic Mass in a very long time and the pomp and circumstance of an Easter Service still inspires me. Besides, I know most of the hymns even if the UUs have managed to change all the words.
When I first met my husband he was living in a loft apartment in The Armory on 42nd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues. In those days, that was still pioneer country. Disney had yet to take over and Times Square was still populated by Adult Bookstores and Porn Shops. You can get a sense of what it was like from this blog post I found this morning (thanks for the memories, Mitch O’Connell.) We’d laugh when people would tell us how dangerous it was. We walked on 42nd Street, even at night. The police were on 42nd Street. The drug dealers were on 43rd.
Back in those days my husband attended mass at St. Malachy’s. St. Malachy’s is also called The Actor’s Chapel and it has been the spiritual home of many a Broadway celebrity. I’d been there with him on several occasions. They certainly know how to put on an Easter celebration. It was not surprising to find a standing room only crowd and a schedule of back to back services.
The next item on our Easter Sunday Birthday Celebration agenda was the Easter Parade. And here goes my confession of the morning. I have never been to the Easter Parade. Yes, I grew up in the New York city area but I have never been to the Parade. So I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it was about old ladies in hats. But I was wrong.
My daughter was spending the weekend at an Anime convention in Boston. I am pretty sure I saw as many costumed characters at the Parade as she did at the convention. Fifth Avenue was closed off from 49th Street to 57th Street and the street was filled with people dressed in their Easter finery and outlandish costumes as well.
Everyone with a camera or a phone was taking pictures. Since I was a first timer it took a while to get my groove on and get comfortable with the crowds. There was very little time to get a well composed well lit shot before someone walked right into it or bumped into me as I was trying to shoot.
But I took a deep breath and kept on shooting. In the end I think I did pretty well. I’m looking forward to going again next year when I’m more prepared.