Shirtless and chest painted, Giants fan loving life at Super Bowl parade

Giants fan Larry talks about Big Blue as he awaits the parade through the Canyon of Heroes on Feb. 7, 2012. Videojournalist: Anthony Castellano.

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Newsday reporters share the sights and sounds of the Giants' Super Bowl parade Tuesday in Manhattan.

12:48 p.m.

Pablo Ortiz, 20, a bank teller from Mastic Beach, was naked from the waist up as he cheered the passing parade near Zuccotti Park.

“This is great. Everything is great .?.?.,” he said. “My knees are shaking. It’s so cool to have all these people out here.”

Ortiz said he had painted his chest Giants blue, but it had a green tinge. “I want to support my team. Big Giants fan. So I thought: what better way?” he said, pointing to his chest. “I thought there would be more people doing this.”

However, he was the only nude torso in sight.

-- Igor Kossov

12:42 p.m.

Bill and Stephanie Hartman took five of their six children to the parade on an early train from Massapequa. “The kids have the ‘blue flu’ today,” Stephanie said, on how she'll explain the kids absence from school.

Bill Hartman caught it, too. “This I'd definitely worth a sick day,” he said. He didn't need to act too much: He was hoarse from two days of screaming for the Giants, first from the game Sunday, then from the parade. “There's a lot of screaming in my house,” he explained, with 30 Giants fans who were at their home to watch the game.

For the rest of their day off, the Hartmans were going to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and share a pizza.

-- Mark Harrington
 

12:19 p.m.

Joe Morreale, of Seaford, at the parade with son, Joe Jr., and three other families: “You see the parade, the trophy. It's huge."

-- Mark Harrington

11:22 a.m.

Ari Horwitz, 8, a third-grader from Brooklyn, waiting at City Hall with his mom, wore a long T-shirt, No. 80. Why Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz?

“Because he fast, he’s short, he’s skinny, so he’s basically me. My favorite Giant and I love him. He’s awesome.”

-- Matthew Chayes

11:17 a.m.

Just before the start of the parade, at Broadway and Pine, people in office windows were throwing out heaps and heaps of shredded paper, financial reports and spreadsheets.

-- Igor Kossov

11:12 a.m.

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Those gathered at City Hall were watching at least two jumbo screens.

-- Matthew Chayes

11:01 a.m.

On the 8:48 a.m. double-decker out of Mineola, Rich Reynolds, 42, and his son Ryan Reynolds, both of Northport, were getting ready for the parade.

The younger Reynolds had just celebrated his 10th birthday, and he wore the No. 10 of his favorite player, Eli Manning. His dad said he’d gone to see the Giants win the Super Bowl in the 1980s when he was a teenager.

He raised his son to be a Giants fan and wanted him to experience the celebration as he had. “I'm coming full circle,” he said.

Nearby, Greg Couture, 34, of Mineola, was on his way to work. He said he's a lifelong Giant fan who had been to all the previous Giants parades but he was missing this one.

“I have an 11 a.m. meeting,” he said. When it was observed that no one else might be at the meeting, he said, “It’s a call with people in L.A. They don't care.”

Couture said he’s been a Giants fan since he was a toddler.
“My dad says he saw me when I was 3, he found me watching TV and the Giants were on. He couldn't figure out how I turned the TV on, or how I'd found the Giants. But I did and I've never stopped [rooting]."

Couture looked at the younger Reynolds and said, ”It’s special when you're his age.“

He said he and his friends skipped school when he was 10 and went to Manhattan by themselves from Port Washington for a Giants victory parade.

He looked at Ryan Reynolds and said, “Don't do that."

-- Kery Murakami

10:48 a.m.

The double-decker train that left Mineola at 8:48 a.m. was mostly filled with sleeping commuters. Maryann Butkevich, 44, of East Setauket, was riding with her sons, Jake, 9, and Max, 6, on that train.

“I want them to see the ticker tape once in their lives,” Maryann Butkevich said.

“It beats going to school,” Jake said.

He said his favorite player is “the one who does the salsa."
"Cruz,” Maryann said.

Jake held a foam hand with the forefinger extended in a ‘We're No. 1’ position. He'd drawn on it Cruz, Blue and Giants.

-- Kery Murakami

10:29 a.m.

Husband and wife Ray and Carol Hughes from Oakdale made it to the parade.

Ray, 51, has been a Giants fan since he was 4 and his father had season tickets for more than 40 years. Carol, 46, was a Jets fan, but her husband has converted her. The moment of her conversion was the last time the Giants and the Patriots played in the Super Bowl, when the Giants won and ruined the Patriots' quest for a perfect season.

“It feels great to be here,” said Ray Hughes, who wore a Giants jacket. “This was on my bucket list of things to do.”

-- Igor Kossov

10:26 a.m.

A gang of 15 friends and neighbors from Shoreham boarded a train at 6:30 this morning to get to the Giants parade. Work? School? Forget it.

“I just said, 'Kids, we're going to the parade,” said Brian Debus, one of four parents leading the group. Among them was Jack Boyle, who has worn a loose fitting Giants leather helmet for three weeks straight to assure a Super Bowl win. Debus said his boss at the library where he works didn't have to be told where he was going when he called in.

“You're going to the parade, aren't you?” he quoted the boss as saying. The plan: soak in the parade atmosphere, get some New York pizza, take the train home. “And skip school tomorrow,” someone yelled. Actually, no, Debus said.

-- Mark Harrington

9:51 a.m.

Lottery winners who scored a rare ticket to the post-parade Big Apple toast to Big Blue at City Hall plaza are getting special winter treats on the way to their seats Tuesday morning: one of 6,000 oat bran cranberry muffins and piping hot chocolate.

After going through metal detectors and passing counterterrorism cops, waiters wielding trays of the snacks offered them to the crowd.

How'd they pick what they'd serve? Well, said Robert Cano, of the caterer Rcano Events of Long Island City, they take into account the season, city guidelines on nutrition, and need for the broadest appeal of culinary tastes that makes allowances for food allergies.

“And you can't have nuts,” he said.

-- Matthew Chayes

9:49 a.m.

Dawn Churns, 44, with son Kevin, 12, of Rocky Point, wore blue with red and white Giants jackets.

“We were raised on the Giants,” Churns said. Her son can attest to that: He remembers watching the Giants since he was 3.

Churns and another friend “left our husbands at home.”

Why?

“They’re Jets fans.”

-- Igor Kossov

9:13 a.m.

A white bus carrying city sanitation workers stopped briefly on its way down Broadway. It was immediately heckled by the throngs. One daring worker put his head out the bus window, waved an index finger scoldingly and mouthed a smiling order: “No littering.” The command was met with a streaming roll of toilet paper dead center on the bus roof.

-- Mark Harrington

8:42 a.m.

One budding quarterback in a No. 91 “Tuck” jersey tossed a roll of Charmin toward the street just as a messenger biker was passing on the street. Perfect pass, but there was a penalty marker on the field. Cops plucked him from the crowd and walked him away, to raucous crowd chants of, “Let him stay! Let him stay!” But he was gone.

-- Mark Harrington

8:39 a.m.

Paper wars have broken out on Broadway — sadly, toilet paper wars. Howling bands of Giants fans on either side of the steel-barricaded roads are tossing whole rolls of the stuff, leaving streamers along the street. Cars and trucks making their way downtown along Broadway are dodging the missiles, some honking their horns. Then the crowd broke out into a Let's go Gi-Ants!” chant on both sides of the street and the battle is over, for now.

-- Mark Harrington

8:24 a.m.

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It's not just New Yorkers here along the parade route this morning. Milton Haring made the long journey all the way from Bethlehem — Pennsylvania, that is. No Steelers or Eagles for Haring. “My grandfather was true blue,” he said.

-- Mark Harrington

8:15 a.m.

Blue drapes toasting the champion Giants hang between City Hall's columns as the Big Apple prepares to toast Big Blue's victory. Hovering over the centuries-old Corinthian- and ionic-style columns: a huge goal post.

Crews early Tuesday morning scurried to put the finishing touches on the plaza in front of City Hall where the mayor and city leaders will fete the Giants at 1 p.m. after a parade through the Canyon of Heroes.

Hundreds of cops, parks department workers and mayor's office staffers scurried around the plaza. Parade personnel clutched large “GIANTS” placards. From Broadway, cheers rung out hours before any parading was set to begin.

As downtown-bound subway trains inched closer to lower Manhattan, blue jerseys began to outnumber business suits.

Just after 7 a.m., a handful of the lucky paradegoers who won a front-row seat to the party began filling the plastic chairs set up neatly.

 -- Matthew Chayes


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