Yesterday was the Parkinson’s Unity Walk in New York’s Central Park.
The photo above shows the starting gate, where I was supposed to meet some friends from Europe (Andy Butler and the Radio Parkies crowd). But I was way late because the New York City traffic was at a standstill, as the streets near Central Park were taken over by an Earth Day/Pro-Science/Anti-Donald Trump Protest March! (Which, if you think about it, shared many common concerns with the Parkinson’s Unity Walk….)
By the time I arrived at the starting gate, my friends – as well as practically everyone else – had already started walking. And my friends didn’t have cell phones!
What to do?
Let’s check out the Original Mixed Company, an a cappella doo-wop group that was singing in the band shell right behind the starting gate! Great music!
And who’s that famous person next to the stage who has a line of people waiting to takes selfies with her? It’s Maryum “May May” Ali, daughter of the late, great Muhammad Ali! I met her at the World Parkinson Congress last September in Portland – and here’s the photo to prove it!
But back to the Unity Walk! There was an area near the start where various Parkinson’s organizations had set up tents! Let’s check them out!
The Michael J. Fox Foundation seemed to have the biggest tent!
Nearby: the American Parkinson Disease Association!
Here are some Vikings invading the National Parkinson Foundation tent. Watch out – although they do look friendly! Did they bring any mead?
The Duopa folks.
There was an entire tent full of doctors, researchers, and therapists, ready to answer any and all questions about PD.
Question: How long can I still get dressed in the morning while standing up (pulling on pants, stepping into my boxer shorts, slipping on my shoes, pulling on my socks)? When do I need to start getting dressed while sitting down or holding onto a chair?
Answer: Are you out of your mind? You’re pulling on your boxer shorts after you already have your pants on?
And of course, my favorite organization: The World Parkinson Coalition!
Here’s a group shot that’s kind of a Parky the Raccoon three-way: Some human dressed as Parky; the new Parky in a fashionable black hoodie for the upcoming Congress in Kyoto; and the “old” Parky in the blue hoodie, who’s been my constant companion since December 1, 2015!
The “old” Parky had to sit down on a bench for a few minutes to think this through.
But frankly speaking, there was very little sitting going on at the Unity Walk – ’cause everyone was walking! We decided to head to the finish line, hoping to catch up with our friends there.
The finish line was a super-active melee of all sorts of groups and individuals, urged on by a woman with a mic, a ladder, and about ten tons of hyper New York City energy!
Here are some of the groups as they finished:
Those Vikings were everywhere!