Last night the Ringling Brothers circus arrived in Manhattan. As usual, the elephants did the final leg of the journey to Madison Square Garden on foot, because they're a little too big to truck or train into the city. The running was a delayed by a car accident on the Queens side of the Midtown Tunnel-- word from the cops on the scene was that the police had to clean up a bunch of glass before it was safe for the elephants to walk. By 1:30am, the scene on the Manhattan side was totally crazy-- after waiting for an hour in the freezing cold, most of the onlookers and reporters were totally giddy with hypothermia.
As the elephants ran up 34th street from 3rd Avenue to MSG, they were surrounded by hundreds of spectators, photographers, and PETA protestors. We've never been to the running of the bulls in Pamplona, but this has got to be a close second for excitement. At one point, a news cameraman fell off the media truck, and came about five feet from getting squashed by the lead elephant. The protestors added a surreal element-- if anything, they seemed louder than last year, and more aggressive. The elephants seemed pretty unperturbed by the noise, but the cops and handlers definitely seemed disturbed.
Whatever your feelings about the circus, this is one of our favorite New York events. If you've never seen it, definitely check it out next year.