4th of July. What’s the most cliché thing to do? Go see fireworks.
The most New York Cliché thing to do? Book a gig working in the VIP area for the Macy’s Fireworks display over the East River!
I’ll call it work, simply because I got paid, but honestly it was the perfect way to spend the evening! Working on a national holiday- can’t get more American than that!
The South Street Seaport was all decked out in red, white, and blue. There was lots of time to kill after I arrived, so for the first hour I wandered around the piers in this touristy part of town. Snapping pictures on my phone, annoyed the quality will be sub par. My iPhone was stolen (#newyorkcliche) two weeks ago and I have yet to replace it. Feeling peeved my technological device isn’t state-of-the art? Totally patriotic.
Everyone was in great mood. The weather was rainy all day but stopped right before we arrived, so it was, dare I say, cool. Our team was representing a beloved American brand, a brand so American it’s mentioned in “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. For a couple hours we passed out free snacks and gave away prizes. Give-aways may very well be the only thing more American than snacks. I hosted a game of Plinko, everyone who plays wins a free t-shirt or beach ball. The line was always long but no one complained! But Americans love to complain! Oh, we were all just killing time, waiting for the fireworks.
Time flies, as it so often does when people are laughing and enjoying themselves. Entertaining people- there’s really nothing I love more, even when it’s just facilitating a Plinko board where everyone’s a winner! Next thing I knew, the sun was setting.The light on the clouds was absolutely glorious. This was the one and only downside of working this event- I was too busy to snap a photo. “I’M SO BUSY” could be claimed as the USA’s new national anthem.
As the light dwindled, so did my time on the clock. 9PM it was all over. But just beginning! Off the clock and on to festivities. I had just enough time to grab a free hot dog, a complementary lemonade, and -oh hell why not- I’ll take a soft pretzel too. I’m celebrating this country, it’s a patriotic duty to over eat. Every one knows that.
The sky finally, fully dark, my stomach full to capacity (in an “American obesity is a problem” sort of way), I was fully ready for the sky above Brooklyn to dance with flaming colors.
BOOM! The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.
I hadn’t been to see fireworks in over 5 years! Usually on July 4th I’m working a summer theater job and spend the night getting ready to play some one else. Having not seen them in so long made my view even more spectacular.
A stunning ship to the south, bursts above, and the Brooklyn Bridge to the north. There was no better way to watch.
Even with a professional camera, it’s difficult to capture fireworks on film. With my sad little camera flip phone you get just a shadow of what these were really like. Still, even a pixelated picture is worth a thousand words.
For the past five years, New York City 4th of July fireworks have been launched over the Hudson River. So it’s been a while since Brooklyn and the East River are the Independence Day hot ticket! The background of all the bridges, with the opposite shore so close, it was truly spectacular. The best fireworks display I’ve ever seen! And I can’t believe I got paid to be there! It’s the American Dream folks.
Hope you had a great 4th of July weekend! Even if you don’t celebrate! For me it was a weekend of summer city adventures- can’t wait to share more.
[Header image credit: Amy Welsh]