Creepy Thanksgiving Parade Balloons

I know it’s a bit late for a Thanksgiving Day Parade post. I will hereby claim extenuating circumstances. On the recommendation of a new acquaintance, I walked up Columbus Avenue to photograph the Macy’s T’day parade floats being inflated the night before the big event. The crowds were massive. Police were out in force, and it was impossible to get anywhere near the balloons without first running a daunting gauntlet of crowd control, police barriers, and jostling, pushing, sneezing, germ infested masses. Fearing the worst, I quickly drained the remainder of the pint bottle of vodka stashed in my camera bag, hid the empty in the nearest unattended diaper tote, and waded into the fray. I’ve been accused of loving a crowd, but this one, well, I just wasn’t feeling it. Maybe because people kept running over my toes with oversized baby strollers that looked as if they had been constructed to paraglide from the North Face of Everest. Who knew that infant transportation systems had gotten so high tech? I realized in horror that I had stumbled upon the world’s biggest assemblage of toddlers and parents that the free world had ever seen. I’ve faced phalanxes of riot police shooting rubber bullets and teargas canisters, hordes of rioting anarchists, and navigated some of Asia’s worst slums without batting an eye, but this scene filled me with terror. While my drive to reproduce may have atrophied beyond recovery, there is still some goal achievement gene foolishly surviving in the back of my brain that drove me to push on through the dangers of crushed toes and infectious disease in search of some creative images. Upon returning to my room, however, I was pretty underwhelmed by the results of my dangerous expedition into the land of family friendly entertainment. Everyone around me was snapping millions of digital images, anyway. Why would mine be any better than those of the child rearing shutterbugs that crowded in elbow to elbow? Then today I saw this on Slate’s new Photo Blog:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/behold/2012/11/21/macy_s_thanksgiving_parade_balloons_frank_hallam_day_captures_the_dark_side.html

The only thing that I hate worse than having my feet run over by an oversized all terrain baby stroller is getting scooped on a photo idea. So all I can offer now is this belated slide show of my own (very similar) images, and one small piece of advice: If you shot it, get it out there before some other bastard does it first!

Posted by scoopneil

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