What is New York City’s favorite ritual on the night before Thanksgiving? It’s watching the inflation of the balloons for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s a huge operation that takes hours and delights countless children who watch heaps of plastic grow into gigantic, colorful figures like Sponge Bob and Ronald MacDonald. This year, Mayor Bill deBlasio and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton held a press conference to assure New Yorkers and the nation that tomorrow’s parade will be a safe one. Two NYPD helicopters circled overhead, perhaps sending a mixed message.