Admittedly, we were a little blah about the whole 4th of July thing this year. And the weather reports did not help. All afternoon we were given a severe thunderstorm warning, and this made a nap on the couch look more and more appealing. Finally some friends shook us out of boredom and after a fun evening at their home, we decided to try to see the fireworks, at the last minute.
Growing up we would have driven to a grassy field a few hours before the works, had a picnic on a blanket, watched the works and then gone home. I would have been slightly miserable because of my terrible allergy to grass. This is why I don't golf, and in general detest picnics.
Last minute in Queens it is a whole different ballgame. We drove to the East River first, and then kept driving south for as long as we could. Apparently the rest of Queens had the same last minute notion to find the fireworks...there was a lot of car and pedestrian traffic. We heard the fireworks were supposed to start at 9:00 PM so at around 9:03 we tuned into the local station to have a listen to the broadcast. Around 9:15 they still hadn't begun but I felt that we were cutting it frighteningly close, so I hopped out of the car and grabbed our 4-year-old and started power walking. I was surprised at my strength, I guess I am not as out of shape as I thought. About 10 minutes later I found what I thought was a good spot (46th Ave & 5th St and NO grass in sight!). Turns out it was a view of only 1 of 3 barges that were igniting the works from the East River, but my daughter was so happy.
While I was carrying her and we were walking she was making up a song with these lyrics: Follow us, to the fireworks...and there was the sweetest commentary throughout the show...my favorite line: "Now that's what I call fireworks!" About 5 minutes into the show I felt a tap on my shoulder, and since it is NYC I braced myself for what the tap would reveal, only to see my sweet sweating husband and baby girl, who had made QUITE a hike to find us. Next year we will plan better, but it was still fun and worth the crazy effort.
As an added bonus, on the way home we saw a variety of different people in various garb, relationships and ethnicities (we do live in the most diverse county in the USA), and this was a great visual lesson for what America represents. We also saw into a bread factory that smelled SO good, witnessed a woman finishing a pee against the side of a warehouse, her male partner kindly "guarding" her from view, though not doing a great job: she was wearing a black thong. We saw several vehicles break the traffic laws, including I think my husband at one point, and a man wearing a large Italian flag like an open bathrobe still glorifying in Italy's win this afternoon. Now that's what I call America.