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Friday, June 8, 2012
Fifth Avenue Preps for Puerto Rican Day Parade
Fifth Avenue doorman buildings facing Central Park customarily prepare for the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade like homeowners along the Gulf of Mexico prepare for an oncoming hurricane. Plywood covers the front doors, lobby windows and first-floor windows of these buildings, while sidewalk gardens are surrounded by protective moats. As for the people -- and their pets -- most evacuate to the country, i.e., the Hamptons. Or Bermuda.
Summer in Gotham is parade season, and there is no more festive nor more popular -- or infamous -- parade than the Puerto Rican Day Parade. It is, however, time to recognize this particular parade's exaggerated and no longer warranted reputation for collateral damage to properties along its route. The vast majority of paradegoers are civil, polite and just flat out proud. It is a distinct minority that cannot handle its alcohol, and which gets out of control. It is no different than the St. Patrick's Day Parade, which routinely features well-under-aged teenagers who are so drunk as to be virtually catatonic, or the Gay Pride Parade in which many revelers express libertine sexuality without requiring one ounce of alcohol to fuel their emotions.
It is time that the Fifth Avenue nouveau riche stops treating Puerto Ricans of this city like they were Hurricane Katrina.