Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I Could Write A Sonnet About Your Easter Bonnet

Did you all have a nice Easter? We sure did, and I have lots of pictures and video to share with you!

Before I get to all that, a quick update - Eric is NOT going to India today as we had thought. On Saturday morning he got an email letting him know that the deal he was going to work on has been postponed, so there was no need for him to go to India this week. It's still very likely that he will have to go in the future, but not right now. For now, I still get to have him here! Hooray!

And we had a really wonderful Easter weekend together. Of course it all started on Thursday, when we went to Maundy Thursday church, then continued with Good Friday church. The Good Friday service at our church was really beautiful, ending with a lovely solo of "Were You There." It was very moving.

On Saturday we spent the morning in Central Park for the Scotland 10k run, but I will tell you all about that in a later post. Saturday evening, we continued our Easter celebration by attending Easter Vigil at St. Patrick's Cathedral. We walked out there a little early, so that we could enjoy the Easter landscaping in Rockefeller Center before the mass began. It was really nice out there - they had the same beautiful flowers as last year, but this year they had added some huge shrub bunnies, plus baskets of flowers in the little fountain ponds. It was so cute!

Easter landscaping in Rockefeller Center

Another bunny, and baskets of flowers in the pond

We then made our way over to St. Patrick's Cathedral for Mass, which was so beautiful. I had never been to an Easter Vigil before, nor had I ever been to a Mass at St. Patrick's. So, I was excited for both.

St. Patrick's Cathedral

Before Mass began

The archbishop presided over the service, and I loved the procession. When the service began, they turned off all the lights. We all turned to the back of the church, where there was a fire burning. They lit the Christ Candle (I assume?) from that fire, then processed down the center aisle. As they walked, they passed light from their candles to the congregation, who all had candles as well. As the procession continued, the church got brighter and brighter just from the candlelight. There were so many people, all those candles really lit up the place!

The service started out very solemn, like a Good Friday service, but as it went on, they continued to brighten up the church and the mood turned celebratory, like an Easter Sunday service. It was a lovely progression. They also did baptisms and confirmations, and Communion. The music was beautiful and the archbishop seemed so happy. It was a great service.

The Mass lasted about two hours, then afterwards Eric and I spent a little more time in the church taking pictures. My favorite part of the post-service scenery was exiting by way of the center aisle, and looking up to see the organist playing away, with the Atlas statue framed perfectly by the church's open front doors. What a cool place!

Inside St. Patrick's Cathedral

At the front of the church after Easter Vigil

Looking back down the center aisle, with Atlas framed in the doorway

VIDEO: St. Patrick's Cathedral, after Easter Vigil

After church we walked home and ordered some late dinner - seafood pasta and fried calamari. Only in New York can you come home from Easter Vigil at such a gorgeous cathedral and order in some delicious seafood at 11:00 at night.

On Easter morning, we slept in a bit then headed back out to Fifth Avenue for the Easter Bonnet Parade. If you remember, last year we just sort of stumbled upon this historic parade. After the fact I learned that this event has been going on since the 1800s, when well-to-do New Yorkers would stroll down Fifth Avenue after church to show off their Easter fashions. People from the lower classes would come to watch and see what the latest fashions were.

Fifth Avenue on Easter Morning, 1903 - there's St. Patrick's Cathedral!

These days, the Easter Parade is really just a springtime Halloween. People wear outlandish costumes and bonnets, and even more people come to gawk and take pictures. The parade is very unstructured; it's really just everybody milling about in the street. After our experience last year, I was dying to participate this year, so I got myself a pretty spring headpiece (just a headband, not a full bonnet) with flowers and birds on it. Eric wore a string of plastic Easter eggs around his neck. And, inspired by all the dogs at last year's parade, we brought Achilles along this year, sporting his beloved bunny ears.

An Eastery W. Family in Rockefeller Center before the parade

I actually found this photo of us online, walking down Fifth Avenue, enjoying the parade

Let me tell you what, Achilles was a SENSATION. People just loved him. I could have saved the money and skipped the hat for myself, because nobody even noticed me - they were too busy fussing over the dog! Our walk along Fifth Avenue went like this: Take two steps. Get stopped by someone asking for a picture of the dog. Stop and pose. Watch more and more people gather around for a picture. Pose some more. Take two more steps. Lather, rinse, repeat. I swear, Achilles probably had no fewer than 500 photos taken of him that day. And he did great! There were so many people, all wanting to get in his face with a camera or pet him or grab him or talk to him, and he was very patient (and even seemed to pose for the pictures!). He would do just fine as a celebrity.

Me with my Easter doggy

Achilles poses for his throngs of admirers

Us amongst the crowds

Another photo found online, snapped by one of Achilles' many fans!

VIDEO: Achilles causing quite a stir at the Easter Bonnet Parade!

While I carried the dog and posed for the paparazzi, Eric ran around and took photos of all the crazy spring costumes and bonnets. He got some great shots! I was grateful for that because carrying my celebrity dog around sort of limited how much I could really enjoy all the costumes in person, but the pictures definitely helped. Below are a few of my favorites, as well as a slideshow of even more.

I love the makeup.

Can you even spot the person under all that bonnet?

We have actually seen this man (and his crazy dyed-fur dog, and his live bird on his head) several times around the city, including last Easter and Memorial Day.

This couple was also at the parade last year, and they were on a segway then, too!

I love this little boy holding his little daffodil.

Okay, so you've already seen this guy. But I like this picture of Achilles with Atlas behind him!

VIDEO: Easter Bonnet Parade 2010

It wasn't an outfit or a bonnet, but another of my favorite things we saw was a small band playing and people dancing in the street. It just was so happy and fun!

VIDEO: Dancing at the Easter Parade

We just had such a great time at the parade. It was fun carrying Achilles around, I loved seeing all the bonnets. Plus, the weather was absolutely to-die-for. We're talking 75 degrees and sunny. Does it get better than that? Such an improvement over the 40 degree Easter Sunday we had last year!

Happy family at the end of the parade

After the parade we walked home along Central Park. When we got home we started making preparations for our Easter dinner. We snacked on our usual cheese/crackers/pepperoni and relaxed a bit. We were all exhausted, especially Achilles!

He is clearly too tired to worry about things like keeping his tongue in his mouth.

Awww. He's cute.

That evening we dined on a delicious Easter dinner of ham, potato casserole and peas, with a funfetti-frosted cake for dessert. We spent the night relaxing together and being glad Eric didn't have to start getting ready for his trip to India this week!

Our Easter feast

Easter Empire State Building, lit up yellow, pink and green

Another happy family shot!

We had a wonderful Easter and I hope you all did, too!


Dad said...

I LOVED it!!!

Becky said...

What fun! I can't believe you found those pictures of you and Achilles online. That is so cool.
You are celebs!