December 8, 2021

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A Native New Yorker Wrangles Pikachu in Thanksgiving Parade

A Native New Yorker Wrangles Pikachu in Thanksgiving Parade

The primary signal I used to be doing my job proper got here when a lady on the Higher West Aspect acknowledged me as a balloon handler within the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Decked in a white soar go well with, with Pokémon written on the entrance and two of the characters on the again, I headed to satisfy my fellow wranglers for the Pikachu balloon.

I felt humorous within the garb. My doorman didn’t even flinch after I walked by within the early hours of daybreak on Thursday. What does he consider my day by day trend decisions?

The lady, on her strategy to snag a viewing spot, stopped me on West 81st Road.

“I’d figured you have been a balloon handler based mostly in your outfit,” she mentioned. She mentioned she was wanting to see the Child Yoda balloon. (“And yours,” she added, maybe insincerely).

My crew had extra volunteers than traces to steer Pikachu. So I believed I’d be on the sidelines, getting the gang energized. By some accident of destiny — I usually describe myself the Forrest Gump of The New York Instances because of my random profession alternatives — I used to be close to the entrance of the balloon after we acquired the sign to prepare.

I ended up steering the large cartoon character till its ultimate vacation spot: the deflation station on fortieth Road and Seventh Avenue. (Professional tip: Think about watching the parade from there! From thirty sixth Road up, it felt like an deserted amusement park.)

The journey was like an intense exercise. Towing the road requires some energy and coordination as you reply to shouts to decrease or elevate the balloon. We additionally generally needed to quicken our tempo to shut the hole between us and the float forward. I can’t think about doing this in windy climate.

I’ve carried out the NYC marathon and that day strikes me as New York at its finest. Folks cheering strangers on. And it’s the solely day within the metropolis when somebody may hand me a cup of water, a bit of sweet or a slice of fruit and I’d take it and never assume twice about consuming it. At the moment was comparable. This will probably be one thing I look again on with fondness.

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