Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Invasion on the Upper West Side

There are a couple of only-in-New-York things I've wanted to do for a long time.  The first is to see the circus elephants march through the Midtown Tunnel at midnight.  As of yet, I've not mustered the energy to go see this, but I have a feeling this tradition might not last long, so it's definitely on my list of unique things to do.

The other is to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons being inflated on the eve of the parade.  And, on the spur of the moment, I decided to check this off my To Do list..

I was stunned to see how many people were gathered around the Natural History Museum, where the balloons come to life - millions!  It was almost like being at the parade itself - being squished and funneled down the sidewalk with what felt like everyone in the city.  The crowd was happy, though, and the positive energy really made it a special experience.

Here is Tim Burton's B. Boy getting ready for his maiden voyage.

B Boy

Almost all the balloons were face-down, by the way.  I assume that's because they fly that way, but it was a bit creepy to see these characters with their faces pressed to the pavement.

Kermit is still looking a little sleepy...


As the Energizer Bunny is alert and ready to go.

The scene on 81st Street

Aaa!  Look out behind you!


Spidey was my favorite.


And, I couldn't resist this parting shot...

Spiderman takes one for the team

See more photos here.


  1. Wow, this is a classic post, Goggla! I used to go when I lived on the Upper West Side in the '90's. Love these photos and the last one had me howling with laughter, great work!
    P.S. At the risk of sounding like Seinfeld, what's the deal with the circus elephants?

  2. Please ignore this if my earlier comment went through.
    The circus elephants!!! I want to see them too, & have always missed them. I have a serious circus infatuation.
    Terrific balloon shots!

  3. Thanks, guys.

    It was so fun and surreal - one of those things you can only experience here.

    The elephants! I know it upsets a lot of people, but I'd still like to see it. Maybe eventually, they'll drag life-sized elephant balloons through the tunnel instead.

  4. ooooh!! Great shots!!! I went to inflation eve once and my anxiety got the best of me hahah! I hope you had a great experience! Thank you for sharing the photos!!