Column Date 2006-08-06


Dear NYPD,

To celebrate my next birthday, I am planning to visit New York City with my extended family from Syosset, Long Island, including many of my cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews.

But I am confused: I heard on TV that there are some new Police Department rules about groups of people walking on the streets of New York. They said that if more than 35 of us plan to walk on the public sidewalks together, we will need a “parade permit.”

Well, there are approximately 40 of us in my extended family (Aunt Jean and her husband Jim may or may not come, depending on her arthritis). And, given our schedule, I figure I will need several of these permits, since we’ll be there for a full two days.

Is this information correct? If so, I’d like to apply for the first permit now, to start off on the right foot:

On October 6th, all 40 of us (but maybe not Aunt Jean and Uncle Jim) plan to use your public sidewalks to walk down Sixth Avenue from the Hilton Hotel at 1335 Avenue of the Americas to Carmine’s restaurant on West 44th Street.

We’ll probably walk west on 48th Street over to Broadway, on the way down toward Times Square. We figure we’ll leave the hotel around 6 PM, depending on how quickly my wife can get me up after my afternoon nap.

From Carmine’s, all 40 of us will then walk through Schubert Alley to the Schoenfeld Theatre on West 45th Street. This will occur at around 7:45 PM, depending on how fast I get the check at Carmine’s.

When the show ends, at approximately 10:20 PM, we will all walk back to our hotel, probably following the same route, in reverse, that we took to get to theatre.

So if you could please send me a permit for our parade, I would greatly appreciate it.

My granddaughter, Lucy, would also like to know if we all have to bring along our passports or other forms of identification. And my wife wants me to tell you that we promise not to block your sidewalks.

Thank you.

P.S. Do I have to carry the parade permit with me, in case we are stopped by NYPD officers? And if I forget to bring it (I honestly don’t trust my memory anymore), can my whole family be arrested and held for 24 hours, as it says in the newspaper?

P.P.S. Aunt Jean says she is feeling much better today and asks that you include her and Uncle Jim in the permit.

©2006 Peter Tannen