as early as this morning i saw evidence of people making the pilgrimage to boston city hall, to see the patriots parade and victory celebration. people were displaying their patriots wear proudly, whether it be patriots winter jacket, patriot knitted hat, or maybe a patriots jersey. every newspaper on the bus was opened to the sports section, every page a story or two about the patriots. a dozen high school aged boys got on the bus, jock stock, tall, chiseled, it was obvious they were missing school (or did the school just let them have the day off, knowing that many students would end up skipping anyway) to make the journey into boston to see our victorious football team.

yesterday i had asked a handful of people in the office whether they were interested in seeing the parade today. everyone i asked expressed a tentative willingness to go, but when showtime rolled around, i was the only person from the office to make the trip downtown. walking to the kendall square t stop, i could see groups of people all heading in the same direction. i took comfort in our solidarity, you didn't have to say where you were going, everyone knew that if you're taking the t around noontime, you're probably heading into boston. when i got to kendall station, there was a long line of people buying tokens snaking out the station. fortunately i was spared having to wait because i had an mbta combo pass. the platforms were a start contrast: the inbound side was packed with people while the outbound side was virtually empty. when a subway entered the station, the train was already packed with people. i opted for the second train, and when that arrived, it too was very packed, but at least i was able to squeeze into the car.

everyone got off at park street (there was almost a vacuum on the train as it was suddenly empty of passengers), and we began the slow shuffle step up several flights of stairs out the station. there were cries of "oh my god!" as people saw what awaited us on the surface, which was a sea of people lining the street where the parade route would pass through. i wiggled my way through the crowd, trying to get to higher grounds.

my original plan was to just come to park street, take a few photos of the patriot crowd, and then go back to work. unfortunately the rules of mobocracy had other plans for me. i was so tightly packed into the crowd, it was almost impossible for me to make it back to the subway entrance with a lot of embarassing squeezes. so i figured i'd stick around, see the procession, then go back to work. despite the fact that today was the coldest day of the winter (25°F, -6°F if you factor in the wind chill), it didn't feel that cold. in fact, i actually felt quite cozy, nestled amongst other warm bodies in their insulative coats, the noontime winter sun heating our faces. so there we all stood, patiently waiting for the patriots to come down the road in their duck tour vehicles. in the sky were a handful of helicopters and they were actually useful because we could tell how close the parade was by how close the helicopters were. i had my digital camera in hand, occasionally raising my arms up like a periscope and grabbing a photo or two. if there was ever a time that the swivel lense would come in handy, today was it. some boys in the back rows thought they were god's comedic gifts to mankind and would occasionally shout out some wisecrack remark, like chants of "nomar!" or "yankees suck!" the crowd never joined in, too focused in trying to get the best possible view of the eventual procession, no mood to partake in juvenile antics.

an hour later, with the crowd squeezed even tighter than before, it happened. the helicopters were directly overhead, the crowd was bustling, and the people who were up high in building windows and rooftops were pointing. suddenly the crowd broke into a ecstatic cheer as the column of duck tour cars made its way up the street, patriots players and staff astride these amphibious touring vehicles. everyone was on their tiptoes to get a better view, hands were raised in the air, waving signs, gesturing "number one," pumping fists, snapping photos. in a matter of minutes it was over. "that's it?" some anonymous voice shouted in the crowd. people started dispersing, either in the direction of city hall where the actual victory celebration would be, or back to the t station.

adam vinatieri
& tom brady

patriot mascot
& cheerleaders


it took me 25 minutes to get back to the office, as i made my way through a sea of people. it was probably easier for me since i was traveling alone to snake through the crowd with relative reckless abandon to get myself onto the subway.

when i got back to the office, i checked boston.com for some news about the parade, particularly the headcount. i figured maybe 200-300,000 people would show up, but actually 1.25 million fans turned out to see the patriots. i have never been in a crowd of 1.25 million before, so it was a pretty historical day for me personally. was this the largest crowd ever for a victory celebration though? actually, the celtics nba final championship win in 1986 boasted 1.5 million people.

i went home after work and bumped into some family friends on the bus. they were curious to know how my house hunting was going. when i got off at my stop, i noticed that i was actually in a conga line of three buses! inefficient, but interesting to see.

family friends


3 bus monty