The experience of seeing the Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons blown up on the upper west side is a unique NYC experience. The throngs of people really make it hard to enjoy it - regardless - we all show up and push through the masses. Kids getting lost - strollers clogging up the curb, tourists getting annoyed, folks getting claustrophobic - it's a winning combo!
It reminds me of the nature scenes where the penguins all march in a circle to stay warm through the winter. The crowds are penned in from 77th St to 81st St with no exits from the area around the Museum of Natural History.
Here are some views of the scene. Next year enter at 82nd St and do a quick walk on 81st and turn around!