Being a newish NYC resident, I didn't realize that the Marathon passes about 100 feet away from the front door of my building. Of course, I went out early to chat with the throngs of people already gathering along the police guardrails set up on both sides of First Avenue. There was one band playing a block or so away, and several others were within earshot as well, which gave the scene a party atmosphere. The police presence was quite impressive, and I struck up a conversation with a few nice NYPD cops, all of whom agreed it was a "cool detail." The temperature was normal for November, in the low-to-mid 50s, and people were strolling or watching or listening to the bands, having a great time.
One of the things that impressed me most was the number of dogs out with their owners. The last time I was so "up close and personal" to a Marathon was years ago in Boston (long before anyone had visions of pressure-cooker bombs in their consciousness), when I was with a group of friends who shoved our way to the front of the reviewing area right at the finish line. The legendary Bill Rodgers won it that year, which made it even more delicious to cheer for a native son.
So many differences between then and now! I don't remember seeing many policemen on duty back then, and I don't remember seeing any dogs at all. Now I've said for a long time, New York is a much more prominent "doggie" city than Boston ever was when I lived there. Here, no matter what time of the day or night, dogs are out on the sidewalks with their owners or walkers. Marathon day was no exception.
Many dogs were hanging at the guardrails with their owners. When the first wheel chair entrants zoomed by, the crowd noise and applause was almost deafening, and that didn't stop for the entire day, even after the elite runners had passed. People with signs from different clubs and different countries clapped equally for everyone as they passed. I clapped until my hands got sore and yelled until I was afraid I'd lose my voice. And noise notwithstanding, these city canines are quite impressive. I heard hardly a bark, nary a growl, and no fear-crying from the noise, although there was plenty of noise.
All of this just reinforced my experience in New York so far. In this crazy, fast-paced, noisy, exciting city, the dog population is quite happy to co-exist with the human population. It's taken for granted. And dog-lover that I am, I love watching and enjoying and interacting with dogs of all breeds and shapes and sizes all the time in this amazing place.