Parading down the middle of West 63rd Street last Saturday afternoon, we were following a giant puppet — a whole crowd of us, trekking along behind Little Amal.

The 12-foot-tall Syrian refugee child, a creation of the renowned Handspring Puppet Company, was en route to Lincoln Center to greet more of her public, who would throng the wide plaza there to catch a glimpse of her with their own eyes, and capture proof of the encounter on their phones.

Fueled by a savvy social media campaign — and surely also by recent headlines about migrants and asylum seekers being bused and flown north by Republican governors — Little Amal is the hottest celebrity in New York right now, drawing masses of admirers to her dozens of scheduled appearances.

Since last year she has traveled across Europe, a sympathetic, high-profile emblem of the global migrant crisis. Her current 19-day tour of these five boroughs lasts only until Oct. 2, and as always with in-demand visitors, the time limit adds to her cachet. [The New York Times]

Little Amal, a 12 ft. tall puppet who is brought to life by four puppeteers (one on either side, one behind her, and one inside her chest cavity, wearing stilts), is in the midst of her first visit to NYC; over seventeen days she's walking the city's five boroughs through 55 different events. On Saturday (9/24) she begin at St Ann's Warehouse, chasing (puppet) pigeons through Brooklyn Bridge Park, before being joined by the Fogo Azul drumline (and lots of people who had come to participate) to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. I missed the crossing, but just watching Amal striding through Dumbo and interacting with the kids who lined her path was an incredible site. See pictures of that below, along with attendee video clips from today and more of Amal's NYC adventures.

You have until October 2 to encounter Little Amal in NYC; she'll be in The Bronx (Mott Haven, Fordham, High Bridge), Manhattan (Harlem, Bryant Park, Chinatown, the Lower East Side, the East Village, Lower Manhattan), Staten Island (St. George, Snug Harbor), and Brooklyn (Atlantic Avenue, St. Ann's Warehouse) between now and then. See her full schedule HERE.

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