Chinese Lunar New Year 2012, New York City

Dragon Dance and member of the press

The websites said the parade would start at 11:30AM. "We can stay until Beren's nap time," I told my husband. 

When we arrived at 11:35AM, crowds had gathered on the sidewalks. I looked with relief at the Chinese grannies with strollers lined up behind the crowd-control gates. We weren't the only ones with a stroller. Even the locals had strollers.

At about 11:45, I asked the woman to my right, "When does the parade start?" 

"Eleven-thirty. Should be any minute," she replied.

Ten minutes later she shouted to a cop walking the parade route, "Hey, when's the parade starting?"


My husband took our son for a tour of the local puddles. "Disgusting," Jared called them. We passed Beren back and forth, pointing at children tossing BangSnaps and shooting cardboard tubes that ejected confetti and occasionally twin parachuters. 

At about 1PM, my husband leaned over the gates and said, "I see the lion dancers coming. They're on Canal Street."

Simultaneously, Beren began to loudly express the need to nap. He stiffened in my arms, arched his back and wailed. I lifted him up so his outstretched legs wouldn't knock off someone's spectacles.

"Uh oh," Jared and I agreed.

Dance troupe of young women

I sat on the curb, and Jared wrapped a hunter green fleece blanket from Gander Mountain around us. I nursed Beren and watched his eyes drift open and closed. 

View from the curb

Wise woman say, it is important that you have a peaceful environment to nurse in. It will contribute to your success. If you cannot have that environment around you, create that environment between you and your baby. This I repeated as I sang our nighttime lullabies. 

The New York Chinese Freemason's Athletic Club Lion Dance 

"He'll never sleep through this," Jared said and I agreed. The parade was led by police officers who were followed by a lion dance group with thunderous musicians. The cymbals crashed and the drum hurt my chest. It was fantastic, exactly the reason I convinced my city-born husband to pay over $15 in tolls and return to his motherland. Beren slept for forty-five minutes with my hand pressed over his exposed ear.

 Corporate floats boomed with dance music, Happy New Year, Verizon!