There used to be an “Easter parade” in every city — even in small towns like this one. This was assuming that everyone was Christian and went to Church — or at least pretended to go to church. Garry said there was on in Boston until the mid-1970s. It was a pretty good assumption. The same holiday is also a major celebration for Jews. Easter Sunday falls during Passover because that was when the last supper was held.
Fifth Avenue is still “THE street.” My mother and I used to stroll it in every season. When she felt like stepping out, it was typically me by her side. She loved my brother more in some ways and she felt guilty about my sister’s many problems, but when she wanted to go out and have fun, I was her pick.
I was her movie date, her 5th Avenue stroller. You could always get me to look in all the windows, especially FAO Schwarz which was the best and most expensive toy store in the world. You should have seen those electric trains and the set up! Giant stuffed toys probably bigger than the animals they represented. Then we’d stroll to the library — it is huge and has two giant lions in front — and buy hot chestnuts. We’d sit on the library steps and peel them. If there was time left, we might go the the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Museums were free back then. I think they are free again or at least free sometimes.
Fifth Avenue is relatively short — maybe a mile and a bit. It takes longer than it looks because there were places to gawk at on both sides. I don’t think the avenue has lost its class. It’s still the snazziest place in Manhattan. I’m glad to have spent so many afternoons — in all the seasons — strolling it with Mom.