Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Old New York: Easter Parade Tips Its Hat to Vintage New York

Everyone gets into the spirit at the Old New York tradition of the Easter Parade
By Mitch Broder

Vintage New York was launched last year on Easter Sunday, and this year on Easter Sunday New York City celebrated.

It was celebrating Easter, actually. But it was still on my anniversary. So thank you, New York. I bet I can count on you next year, too.

It's a good bet, because the Easter Parade has been running for a century and a half, since it began as a casual stroll on Broadway south of Canal Street. It has evolved from a pageant of finery to a display of funny hats. But it's still the best parade in the city because you get to see it without homesteading.

For most of its life, of course, the parade has been on Fifth Avenue, which it still overruns each year, from 49th Street to the park. It's really less a parade than a tangle of the people who didn't get around to making funny hats taking pictures of the people who did.

On Sunday, Vintage New York was among the former. Here's what we saw before we OD'd on fake flowers.

Flowers abound on these Easter Parade bonnets

I saw a Michael Jackson hat, a God Save the Queen hat, and a Titanic hat with chickies and bunnies on deck. But I prefer the ones that stick more purely to springtime themes. That's why I liked these flower hats and the above watering-can hats. I asked the gentlemen if I could photograph their cans and they obligingly turned around.

Young and old alike strap on their Easter hats for this Old New York tradition

These girls were getting worn down by the weight of their egg heads. This was about as close as they could get to a smile.

Concept hats are all the rage at the Easter Parade in New York City

The first boy's hat is a bridge (those are cars on it); the second boy's is a BMX track. Their sister took the traditionalist route.

This New York City Easter Parade hat adorned with peeps looks so good we could eat it

Everybody knows that Peeps are yellow. I believe that those other colors were made expressly for this hat.

Old in New York the Easter Parade may be, but some of the costumes are truly out of this world

This guy claimed that he was the iBunny. Either way, he was a mobile device.

Some people have better head control then we do when they put these Easter bonnets on their head to celebrate the Old New York tradition of the Easter Parade

That's a woman under there. The beige appendage at the center of the photo is one of her arms holding up the hat. She confirmed that it was heavy.

Easter bonnets come in all shapes and sizes for the Old New York tradition of the Easter Parade

This young lady opted for one big bloom. It appeared to be a more comfortable choice.

Never underestimate the power of tradition at the Old New York tradition of the Easter Parade

These people are regulars. They evoke the original look of the parade. I asked the guy for his morning suit but he turned me down.

Nothing says Easter like a hat full of flowers

Vintage New York will keep on cheeping and try not to lay an egg.


  1. What a great way to celebrate your anniversary Mitch! Great weather, great piece, great hats. Thanks!

  2. Great pix! Love the "Can Can" guys and "Mr. Peeps." Saw your Facebook photos, too. You really captured the fun of this free-form, no homesteading (so true!) NYC parade day.

  3. Next year I will wear a Daisy hat for your anniversary. Maybe a Daisy dress too! You are forewarned....

    1. I don't think I can wait that long...

    2. Then I suggest you find for me another occasion to Daisy Up.

  4. The "regulars" you photographed who "evoke the original look of the parade" is what I prefer. Wouldn't it be great if everyone was dressed like that?

    1. It would be great if everyone was dressed like that all the time in the city, but especially in the Easter Parade. It's just another case of our lost elegance. Now we're all more comfortable. Except maybe to look at...