My job today was to delve into the massive crowd in Lower Manhattan and talk to local fans about the parade. Here are a few quick impressions:
1. No city throws a party like New York. I took the train to Grand Central, then the 4-train from there to Fulton St. As I waited for the 4, an MTA officer turned to another and said, “This is like New Year’s, only rowdier.” Sure was. My subway stopped in the middle of the track while underground traffic cleared ahead of us. Annoying, but not abnormal. What really struck me, however, was the crush of people at Fulton St. It took me about 30-40 minutes to get from the subway car to streetlevel. Check out the picture I uploaded to Twitter.
2. Yankee fans were completely, utterly undeterred. This impression was made razor-sharp, time and again, all…day…long. The crowds were insane. They were brutal at times, like when I walked up Church St. shoulder-to-shoulder with thousands of others, moving only a couple inches at a time. And we were a block away with no view! … But no matter where I turned, no matter the roadblocks, both real and metaphorical, fans partied on with big smiles on their faces. I was very, very impressed.
3. Being there meant more than anything. From where I stood — a block south of Fulton and less than a block east of the site of the World Trade Center — fans could barely see the floats as they pulled by. Three or four dozen at least climbed on top of a garbage truck and stood tight on its roof, as you can see in this photos of Twitter. Eight or 10 others climbed on the hood, truck and roof of a cop car. Almost none of these bold moves allowed them a look at their heroes, but that didn’t seem to matter. They were just enjoying being part of the celebration.
4. The Canyon of Heroes is no canyon. As we all know, Lower Manhattan streets were made for coach-and-buggies, not trucks and buses. You may be surprised to know that was never more apparent than when a few million people are jammed in there.
5. For twentysomethings, this parade was theirs. I still remember where I was when the Yankees won in 1996 — at a house party with some friends. I was 16 at the time, but I don’t recall the entire series pitch-by-pitch, nor do I remember the parade. So for people a few years younger than me, the run from ’96-’00 is even more clouded in their memory. “This felt like my championship,” a few people told me. Very true, if you don’t remember the others.
— Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone who e-mailed me last night. Sorry I couldn’t reply to you all (there were about a 100 total), but please believe me when I tell you that I read and appreciated every last message.