We were both hungry and the parade wasn't going to make it's way up to our vantage point any time soon, so we wandered and stumbled on a German Beer Hall. To Nick's delight, it served Berliner Weisse, so we stopped in. We ordered heaping plates of German salads and sour krauts and drank a beer among costumed people in Lederhosen and the cast of The Wizard of Oz. After our refreshment, we continued wandering and eventually made our way over to 6th Avenue - the parade route. We could hear that the parade had made it, but couldn't see anything - not because it's a night time parade, but because of the rows of people 10 deep and streams of people moving at a snail's pace. We finally made our way near the parade. I stood on a concrete wall, clutching an iron fence and watched floats with rock bands and hundreds and hundreds of people marching in costume.
The only way I can think of describing the scene is like a less-debaucherous Mardi Gras. There wasn't much vomiting and for the most part people were well-behaved. The route's only a little over a mile and supposedly draws a couple million people; pretty impressive I think.
So, popular costumes. Palin - not so much, Joe the plumber - I saw a couple, Joe Six-Pack - I saw one. There were lots of teenagers wearing Obama-themed gear: big "O"s, Obama masks... Confusingly, there were lots of costumed police officers and fire fighters, I saw tons of bloodied people, a couple of Ghost Busters (awesome!), there were robots, Viking gods and surprisingly, lots of Marios and Luigis! I still think Nick and I would have rocked those costumes hard; we've got the necessary height differential!
Being bridge and tunnel folk, I sometimes think of Escape from New York and well, last night... we decided, short of walking across one of the bridges, our best bet to get off the island was to maybe get on the L at it's stop farthest west. So, we set out. And on the way stumbled on a quiet square that was filled with lit jack-o-laterns and some crazy smaller parade led by a huge, gold devil's head and swirling red banners and some guy trying to stir-up some debauch among the NYU crowd.
When we arrived at the subway around 10, it was practically a ghost town! Spooky. My fear of not being able to get on a train was wrong. Everyone was above ground! And when we made it to Brooklyn, deciding to stop off in Williamsburg for a drink, we found the same. Creepy. Everyone was in stinking Manhattan living it up.