New York Tartan Parade

April 11

Tartan Day in New York City.

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I woke up feeling excited, looking forward to seeing what weird and wonderful Scottish things I could find out about in New York.

But as it got closer to going, I honestly didn’t really feel much like a busy day with people staring at me.

Free scran

When I arrived and was given free coffee and food I quickly perked up.

I’m just a scavenger.

We got to stock up on food and chill out for a few hours before having to report to our stations in the early afternoon – I don’t understand why I couldn’t just show up and be briefed later in the day, and actually get some sleep but never mind.

Designated marcher

Being Scottish, it was encouraged that I be part of the parade, marching. And since everyone knew that I’d brought so much tartan with me, I really didn’t have a choice.

If there was anything I didn’t want to do, it was march. Especially being the clumsiest person ever. I didn’t want to fall over in front of thousands of people.

But getting out on the street with 4 boys kitted out in Stewart tartan kilts, dressed in tartan myself, and with little Scottish flags. It felt pretty good.

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As people cheered to us just walking along the street.

Scottishness

Random people were excited about Scotland. I was excited about Scotland.

It was nice to spend a day being pro-Scotland and being hyper about bagpipes, Westy’s and IrnBru.

Instead of the usual, complaining about the weather being crap and every sporting team being horrendous – both are true, but there is more to be said for it than that.

It was hard not to be happy when the sun was shining – the first warm, sunny day since we arrived! Bagpipes and bands were playing left, right and centre, all the way up 44th and 6th. Scotty dogs were wearing Barbour jackets, and I got some IrnBru!

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I called my mum when I was standing in the street listening to the pipers and soaking up the atmosphere. She got so emotional. Saying it brought a smile to her face and a tear to her eye. She was IN Scotland during this phone call. Crazy lady.

Despite my reservations about marching in the parade, when I got there and felt the great buzz around the city, I was so pleased I’d agreed to it.

I have never felt more patriotic in my life.

It took a while to find out where we were meant to be and where we were going. But eventually, I was told to go and introduce myself to the Scottish Government representatives and carry the flag for them.

Could you get much more Scottish than that?

This isn’t something I’d normally get excited about. But in this situation it was amazing!

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Parade time

I was stood behind the U.S. Army band – having a little dance to the pipes.

The Tartan Parade is the shortest parade in New York – but those ten blocks felt pretty long when everyone’s eyes were pinned on me.

It was like being famous, for 20 minutes.

Photographers were coming over and taking our photo, lining us up in the middle of the street.

It was so cool!

The parents got a bit excited and found me online…

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https://youtu.be/ix10GyK1hBo

And fortunately I didn’t fall.

But in my excitement and eagerness to get involved with everything that was going on, I kept walking too fast and being told off and made to slow down.

Come on, you do not need half a block of space between each group, people will get bored!!

Long Room alumni mixer

After the parade, there was an event for Scottish University alumni.

A room was set up at the back of the bar for a mixer.

When I arrived, I was the only one from Edinburgh Napier. And soon realised that based on the crowd, even if anyone else did show up, my course probably wouldn’t have existed when they were there. Seeing as it only started 5 years ago.

A bit more free food – dumplings, sliders, quiche, mmm I love food – and a chat with some new people that also love Scotland, it felt like time to move on.

To a rooftop bar!

Sply Glass Rooftop in the Archer Hotel.

On a beautiful spring day, what more could you ask for that a nice rooftop with overpriced drinks, a good view and good company?

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