Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter Sunday

Lounging in Cedar Hill in Central Park. 2:45 PM. Photo: JH.
Monday, April 17, 2017. Eighty degrees just as predicted, yesterday in New York. Got to the humid part too. Bright, sunny day with a mild, quick spritz mid-afternoon. And, as it was Easter Sunday, the city was quiet, almost like a mid-summer weekend afternoon. People were out in the Park, by the River, and down on Fifth Avenue in the 50s.
We had our own little parade on East End Avenue when the very warm air brought out the buds on the trees in front of the buildings. The shot of the buds gives you a closeup that altogether weave a glistening, gossamer piece of art in the Sun. Good news for all.
The Easter Parade has been going on since the 1880s when the men wore top hat and tails and the women dressed their Sunday best. In those days that part of Fifth Avenue – where St. Patrick’s commands our attention – was known as Vanderbilt Row. After Christmas, Easter was regarded as the most important Christian holiday and observed all over America. At the same time it became a fashion parade where even the children, boys and girls were spiffed up for the Sunday School.
Friends on their way to the Easter Parade while clergymen at Saint Bartholomew's Episcopal Church on Park Avenue summon the holiday. 12:20 PM. Photo: JH.
Easter is still a widely observed religious holiday, but the Easter Parade in New York took on its own life path. Follow the fashion. It began with fashion, the top hat, tails; dresses from Worth of Paris with elegant chapeaux. By the 1920s, World War I, automobile, radios, Lindbergh’s flight, the world was transforming. So was the costume. By the mid-1940s at the end of the World War II, the Parade had begun to take on the haute and hot fashion, and become costumes of comments both high and low.
Easter Parade in 1900. There are only two automobiles in the traffic. The buildings on the left, on the corner of 51st and Fifth Avenue are the Vanderbilt mansions — William H., two of his daughters, and across 52nd Street, the mansion of Alva and William K. Vanderbilt.
Two couples wearing their finest on Easter Sunday, 1922.
One woman has General Dwight Eisenhower on the brain in 1952 while actress Lisette Verea shows off her hot lips in 1944.
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, famous as Martin & Lewis, walk the Easter parade on Fifth Avenue in 1948.
The packed streets around Rockefeller Center for the Easter Parade in 1945.
JH and I covered the Easter Parade in 2001 right after we’d started the NYSD. Neither of us had seen it before and had no idea what, if anything, to expect. There was a small-ish crowd in front of St.Patrick’s, perhaps several hundred. There were many men in drag. Most impressive which I can still envision was someone dressed as Elizabeth the Queen Mother. “She” was in a robin’s egg blue ensemble with matching coat and hat with a broad brim that looked like it had come directly from the Queen’s closet. The Queen Mum’s Double did a brilliant job of capturing the persona, ensemble, comportment et al.

Pierre Crosby covered this year's Easter Parade for NYSD. Pierre’s photos give you a pretty good idea of the vast variety of personalities along Fifth Avenue yesterday, all ages, genders, types, and all for the fun of it. The pleasure of the fun of it. Real fun. Required these days ...

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