New Yorkers can be a funny bunch. We're proud of the larger-than-life traditions here—Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, Times Square New Year's Eve, Fourth of July fireworks—but the truth is we watch most of them on television like everyone else. I regularly give thanks that I can do the Macy's Day parade in my cozy kitchen while I clean up from the night before and cook for the day ahead. But if someone with a direct view invites me to their apartment, I give in. There's nothing like having a giant balloon practically smack you in the face. Seen from above, the careful coordination of the parade's diligent rope handlers are as incredible as the floating cartoons. Like orchestras and sports teams, its a harmonic convergence. For one handler's personal take on how it all happens, read here.