the weather forecast didn't look good for the upcoming boston pride parade scheduled for noontime today. chance of precipitation was 80% and possible thunderstorms no less. the rain had already put a damper on last year's parade, would it do so again this year? when i stepped out of the house to met julie at the subway station, there was a fog and a slight drizzle. we got to backbay by 11am. there was a new parade route this year and we got to see them set up on tremont street in the south end. the slight precipitation earlier had stopped, but the sky was still ominously overcasted.
from my years of attending pride parades (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006), i know the best place to watch it is from anyplace where the procession makes a turn. that place for us was at the corner of tremont and berkeley street. we purposely picked a spot close to the start of the parade just in case if the rain should fall later, the parade wouldn't be soaked yet. julie and i were standing on the inside of the street, underneath a tree and next to a row of motorcycle cops. when bruce and the gang arrived, ed suggested we go to the other side of the street. in hindsight, that was the best location, because we can see both sides of the procession.
this was the first boston pride parade where the governor marched in the procession. on the other hand, boston mayor menino seems like a perennial participant. i've seen menino a bunch of times; the man has an uncanny ability to look directly into any camera that happens to be taking his photo, i think it's a political talent.
the procession seemed light this year; maybe past participants were scared off by last year's bad weather. where were the male bikers? or the drum majorettes? despite the slightly smaller parade, the crowd turnout was pretty good even with the impending rainstorm. some curious chinatown neighbors mingled into the mix as well, happy to pick up some freebies.
something i sort of noticed in previous years but really became aware of it this year is the parade crashers. these are rogue drag queens who aren't associated with any particular organization or group but come dressed up anyway and march in the parade. nobody seems to notice but i can tell right away because they're usually camera whores, posing for whoever's willing to take a few snapshots.
pink camouflage was big with the drag crowd this year. the team that pulled off the wizard of oz tribute deserves an award for best group costume. i was surprised there were no paris hilton spoofs (maybe that piece of news is still too fresh).
the rain never did come. it was foggy throughout the day, and occasionally we'd feel a drop or two, but the torrential downpour never happened so we really lucked out. i ended up taking 1156 photos of the parade, filled a 2GB compact flash card. julie also took some photos as well with her canon powershot.
the clean-up immediately began once the parade was over. roads were cleared as street sweepers picked up the confetti, streamers, balloons, unused condoms, beads, and candies littering south end. we said good-bye to bruce and jack as julie and i went with ed and joe who showed us where the buttery bakery shop was. julie wanted to get some cupcakes but the place was crowded and their pastries seemed expensive. after that we decided to get some food, walked to chinatown for some dim-sum. it was julie's first time. the last time i ate at china pearl was almost 2 years ago. they didn't have tripe or chicken feet when we ate, but had them just as soon as we were done eating, and by then i was too stuffed to have anymore.
we walked down to the four point channel by the children museum and the court house because julie had heard some french sailors were in town. it's been a while since were at that end of town, and there were a lot of new construction (for the better). we walked along the water, where moon jellies can be seen floating on the surface between the rock wall and the wooden pilings. i dared julie to climb down one of the many metal ladders descending into dirty boston harbor. we got as far as the ICA museum (where i found a small flashlight somebody had lost) before catching a ride on the silver line back to cambridge-somerville. we stood out in the subway with our noisy tangle of pride beads.
later in the evening i had some tea eggs and chicken wings for dinner. with nothing planned for tomorrow other than to clean the house and wait for the guests to arrive later at night, i have the luxury of waking up late if i want.