11.25.2014

Ektachrome Classic Tuesday #21


Every Monday, (or Tuesday if my order pushes it too close for me to get the slide in time, such as this week), I'll be spotlighting a different classic Kodachrome slide that I've picked up, and trying where I can to detail the who, what, when, where, why, and how (much) of the image:

This Week:

What: The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Why: I've seen literally hundreds of auctions for slides that feature parades.  I've actually acquired some, and even featured a few both in the weekly Kodachrome feature as well as in Friday features.  
Given this, I figured it would be a breeze to find an auction for an image on what may well be the most famous parade in this country, immortalized in "Miracle on 34th Street," watched by millions every year, and held in one of the three most photographed cities in the country.  Surely, one would think that Kodachrome slides of the parade from the 1940's to the 1960's should be pretty common! Wrong!

I searched for months to no avail.  Slides of Macy Gray? Sure.  Slides of William H. Macy?  Absolutely.  Slides of the Macy's Parade.  Nope, save for one batch of late 1960's shots of the parade taken from the window of a balcony on a side street, in which the parade is just peeking through the intersection in the distance, and where the frame was mostly filled with a bland concrete parking lot.  I passed on that option, and had all but given up the hope to feature the parade on this Monday's feature, when FINALLY, a trio of Ektachromes came up for auction in the 11th hour, and I dug in, fortunate enough to score without too much hassle.  

When: November 24, 1960.  Thankfully pretty easy to pinpoint based on the event and the year, after using a few online tools,  

Where: New York NY. The presence of the Latin Quarter sign in the distance that spells out its location made it fairly easy to pick out just where along the route this is. That said, the area looks NOTHING like it did 53 years ago, as the modernization of Manhattan has seen the buildings along Broadway replaced with sleeker (and taller) facades.  I'm not sure a single vestige of the original image remains.  


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Who: It is too early to be Puff the Magic Dragon (1963) and doesn't look at all like Godzilla.  Perhaps someone can shed a little light on what appears to be a dragon.        

How (much): Picked up the trio of slides for about $6.50 on ebay.  Since vintage color shots of this parade appear to be much rarer than I would have thought, I feel compelled to share the others, taken at 58th Street, just below Columbus Circle.