Dominic Ambrose Blogblot

of words: narrative, film and non-fiction

NY Giants in the Canyon of Heroes: You call that a ticker tape parade???

Football is not exactly my thing, whether it’s soccer or American style, but like any New Yorker, I was glad that the local team won the Super Bowl. When I heard that the mayor was giving the team a ticker tape parade up Broadway on Tuesday morning I decided to go and check it out. I had only been to one for the Mets in the 1980s, and it was a big thrill. I had always loved the photos of the old ticker tape parades of the past, when the ticker tape flowed down from the 1920s skyscrapers in blizzards of joy. This one I attended was a good simulacrum as workers, in that less security conscious age, dumped the contents of the office paper shredders out the windows. It turned out to be a dying art form, though. In recent years, the city has imbedded metal strips into the sidewalk of lower Broadway, “The Canyon of Heroes” commemorating each of those historic parades, and the list is truly impressive, from Brazilian presidents, to French and British war heroes to aviators, including Wrong Way Corrigan. Would Mayor Bloomberg really be adding to that venerable list of honorees with a ticker tape parade in this age when ticker tape itself is only a distant memory? I had to see what would happen.

Well, unfortunately, not very much. I couldn’t get onto Broadway in the crush of people so I had to content myself with a vantage point on the curb at Battery Park. But it didn’t seem to make any difference. Of the several sponsored floats that passed by carrying corporate suits on cell phones and anonymous family members in various stage of desultory interest, a few team members were recognizable to the crowd (if not to me). Some enthusiastic fans threw whole toilet paper rolls at them, letting the TP unfurl in the air in a lurid imitation of ticker tape. It was faintly amusing when one of the suits would cringe instinctively as a fat roll of white toilet paper came crashing

The evidence. Pathetic.

through the air at him, and his attempts to throw it back into the crowd could be interpreted in several ways. Then when the floats turned the corner at the edge of the park and rolled slowly up Broadway for the real parade, they did so under an intermittent shower of … letter sized copy paper. Copy paper being a bit more expensive than old dustbin destined ticker tape, there was not very much of it, and it floated aimlessly around in the air.

So this is what a ticker tape parade is reduced to in 2012. It doesn’t seem worth the effort and definitely does not seem worthy of the name, much less of an added strip to memorialize it in the sidewalk.

There is talk of a ticker tape parade to honor the military men and women who have served in Iraq. This is a wonderful idea, as yet to be approved by the mayor (who is resisting). If this does come to pass, it HAS GOT TO BE done better than this. It would be an insult to “honor” these Iraqi War Veterans, who have risked life and limb for us, by subjecting them to a shower of toilet paper and the contents of the office paper jam. Let’s have that parade, but let’s do it right!

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February 8, 2012 - Posted by | daily life | , , , , ,

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