in NYC would start with a parade permit. After all, if you are going to get thousands of people together on the streets it has implications for the city.
First off, it takes police and traffic control. Secondly, you want barriers. Thirdly you probably want participants and finally I would think that you would want the rest of the world to pay attention to your cause.
There I am, getting off the Metro-North Rail from Hartsdale at Grand Central Station determined to hike to the hotel. All I have is my backpack, it is about 2 miles and taking public transportation is simply more trouble (and expense) that it is worth. While I should have hiked down Park (Park -> 4th -> Bowery) the name “Madison Avenue” always sticks in my mind. Which length of Madison is important, I haven’t a clue but saying I had strolled along Madison Avenue just seemed like one of those experiences to add to my fun of being in NYC.
As it turned out, this was not one of my better ideas. There was some kind of rally/parade going on; at 1400 I would up smack in the middle of crowds of people, lots of noise, police in uniform and so much commotion that thought was impossible.
Hint one – it was not Israeli Independence Day. Hint two – at 5’7″ (~170 cm) I am not all that tall but found myself taller than 80% of those milling on the street. Like most other major cities in the world – NYC is home to thousands who contribute to their country’s coffers by working out of country and sending their pay checks home. 113th Celebration of Philippine Independence.
There were dozens upon dozens of groups marching together in matching t-shirts. Fraternal organisations, kids with noisemakers, women with bullhorns determined to make their point about this, that or the other thing. There were police on every corner directing traffic and tolerating abuse from the marchers whenever they stopped the parade in order to clear out the backlog of traffic needing to be on the other side of Madison. Since most of the streets are one-way, it is not like the poor lost souls could just turn around and work their way to one end of the route or the other. Speaking of the police – they are soooo young. There were a few mature individuals in uniform, but most of them looked (from my advanced age) like they should be still in pigtails, jeans or challenging the tolerance of high school teachers.
Rather than taking the 30 minutes that I had thought, it was almost an hour before I was able to work my way through the crowd and find the hotel in the lower East Side.