Mayor Bloomberg’s office has announced that the 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will take a new route through Midtown Manhattan, using 7th Avenue through Times Square and along 6th Avenue to Herald Square.
According to today's Press Release:
"The 2009 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade will follow Central Park West from its starting point at 77th street, turn east on Central Park South, then proceed downtown on 7th Avenue to 42nd Street. The parade will then turn east on 42nd Street, then proceed downtown on 6th Avenue to Macy's flagship store at 34th Street in Herald Square. At Herald Square, the parade will continue one block west on 34th Street before terminating at 7th Avenue."
So does that mean that each float driver, band leader and parade participant will be equipped with a GPS? Whew, it was so much easier when the parade just came down Broadway. "Go straight until you come to Macy's. Then stop." That's all one needed to know.
But who can argue with the Mayor's reason for working with Macy's to change the route? His plan is to transform much of Times Square and Broadway into a pedestrian plaza, starting in late May. The result, he hopes, is to reduce both traffic and pedestrian congestion as well as to "greenify" (my word, not his) the midtown area.
We'll see how it works. And whether it works is probably dependent upon one's perspective. Will it benefit the tourist? I think so and certainly hope so. Will it benefit commercial drivers, like cabbies and delivery men? I can't see how. Will it benefit the local residents? Probably, once they get used to new traffic patterns and increased/decreased automotive noise/emissions.
From our company's perspective the change means we have to scramble to assist our guests who rely on us to provide them with comfortable, convenient viewing venues for the Thanksgiving parade. We're busy doing that as we speak - or as I write - or as you read - or whatever. We're confident we'll be totally successful in arranging excellent locations along the new parade route. Fortunately for us, one of our primary venues is the Broadway Lounge at the Marriott Marquis, perched high above both Broadway and 7th Avenue right in the heart of Times Square. It affords an outstanding view of the parade which will still pass right by.
Also fortunately for us the parade will now pass in front of our most popular hotel, the Sheraton New York, and its sister the Sheraton Manhattan at Times Square. We have a large allotment of rooms at both hotels so our guests can be accommodated in the perfect location this Thanksgiving.