May 31st, 2005, 01:15 PM
Although I lived in Manhattan for a long time,I only recall 2 Fourths that I actually spent in the City,one at South Beach when it rained like hell and one time in the early '70s at Coney Island.All the other times I was either out of town or I forgot the whole day due to chemical alteration.I used to lose whole weeks that way...
Since I have had little involvement with New York over big Summer Holidays,I have questions of New Yorkers who LIKE to be involved,who actually stick around and do things.
Is the City empty over the Holiday--are most shops and restaurants closed for the weekend,or does New York relentlessly chug on,as though it's just another day?Is the town taken over by tourists while all the locals bail out for Long Island or Jersey?
This year during my annual haj to the City,I want to participate,see some fireworks,do some 4th stuff.I'll be in NY from June 29 to July 5,and though I'm staying on the UWS (B'wy and 77th),I'd go anywhere a subway goes for a good ol' New York Holiday Happening.
What's planned for this year and where would the best spots be to watch fireworks?Has the E River got the best show,or is it better over NY Bay?
Would Brooklyn's Promenade be a desireable location for viewing them or is Manhattan better? The Brooklyn Bridge,maybe?
How about Red Hook or Bay Ridge?
I have a million questions.
Are their any outdoor Park concerts(jazz,folk,rock,etc)--or any other outdoor happenings over the weekend--flea markets,arts & craft shows,air shows,neighborhood things,etc?
I've tried in vain to locate things on the internet.All I've found is stuff about July 4,'04,and that's just history.
I'd really like to know,from native folk who have all these things to choose from,what is happening this year in New York over the Fourth of July...
June 11th, 2005, 07:05 PM
Try rivertorivernyc.com.You might find something to your liking there.
July 14th, 2005, 11:28 AM
First,I want to thank everyone who jumped into this post and answered all the questions I had about a NY Fourth of July.You're input was short of amazing.
Second,you'd be impressed at what I actually found,despite the absence of information on all the uninformative websites that Google fed me.
...The Best--Fireworks from Brooklyn:
My kid and I,along with some friends who had driven in from Boston,walked in a river of humanity through historic Brooklyn to the shores of the East River.If sardines ever go to watch fireworks,this is what it would be like.The Prominade belied it's name,crammed,as it was,with about 300,000 eager,partying New Yorkers,celebrating America.
We were directly above the barges,framed by the Brooklyn Bridge,The Heights and Manhattan,looking hard at a setting sunset that painted the West with firecracker colors behind a screen of steel and stone.As the sky drew dark,the tall buildings switched on their decorative lights and were immediately eclipsed when the barges erupted,filling the skyscraper sky with a blaze of sudden color.
Sharp blooms filled the air,reflected off the glass towers,shimmered on the water below,popping and booming like the Hammers of Hell.Amazing.
A cheer went up from the 300,000.Many more would follow.Below,horns blared on the BQE.
Our proximity,along the Pineapple St fence,gave us clear a view of Liberty as well,and the spectacle that was playing out right in front of us was being duplicated out in the harbor,blast for blast.A great show,a gift really.
I'm spoiled forevermore.
...Almost the Best-- NY Pizza.
I die for this stuff.After carefully following all the seven hundred suggestions in the "NY Pizza" Ultra-Thread,my daughter and I wound up eating a slice of Ben's (cor. Thompson and Spring )on the stoop of my old apartment(around the corner from the place)pronouncing it THE BEST.We'd had Ray's Pizza,Original Ray's Pizza,Actual Ray's Pizza,Sal's Pizza,Carmine's,generic,etc--a Maalox parade of pizza--but Ben's won.Best slice.
...Free Music--The Best Anytime
Lincoln Center had live Jazz,then the next night live Country,on the Plaza above Broadway.Strawberry Fields hosted a guy with a battered six string and a repritoire of Beatles music who sang to a moveable,changing audience of maybe twenty.A real Mariachi band got on the #2 line and played all the way down the West Side;By 50th,their Pancho Villa hats were brimming with bills.Soon,they can return to Quintana Roo as wealthy men.A kid in the Spring St station played show tunes on a clarinet.I gave him 5 bucks,he was that good.
...Big Buildings--(and small ones,too)
I love architecture.I love New York.That's two of the reasons I like coming to this site.I have been vicariously following the construction of the Hearst Tower here,but last week when I saw it up close,I got The Chill.It's now my New Favorite.TWC ain't bad either.What will happen to the Huntington Hartford?Must it perish in order to complete the rebuilding of Columbus Circle?
Finally,I got to the Skyscraper Museum.Very engaging.Has a huge architect's model of the WTC,maybe the same one that was in the New-York Historical Society's show.We walked all over the Upper West Side,grooving on the brownstones,walked Midtown doing the same with skyscrapers.
Took the wrong stop in Brooklyn and had to exit onto Atlantic Avenue.Walked West,passing the area slated for massive redevelopment.Saw the article about the redevelopment in the Times 2 days later.Hmmm...Found a bar on Broadway with $3.50 pints of Stella Artois beer.Never heard of the beer in Florida,but for $3.50,I drank a lot of it....went looking for Seinfeld's address(129 E 81 St).Bogus.The address exists,the TV shot doesn't.Another urban myth,permanently shattered for me...Got invited to a rooftop party in the W 80s.Stood around on hot tar with a dozen neighbors,drinking warm Bud and looking at The San Remo on an 85 degree day.Fun,but I could only stay for 3 beers...Chelsea Piers=nothing on a rainy Friday night...saw "War of The Worlds" at a late show on the night it opened.Cool destruction,scary Martians,conflicted Cruise...Grey's Papaya...Metrocards that seriously screw up.My 7-day card crapped out after 5 days,and the new one showed an immediate 7 rides once I used it...with the advent of wireless headphones,you can no longer distinguish between the merely crazy and the busy stockbroker.Or the crazy stockbroker.Everyone now talks to themselves on New York's streets...you can no longer stay on the Staten Island Ferry for a turnaround trip.You have to exit and follow a thundering herd back into the Terminal.How dumb.My least favorite thing.
...There are Other Best things,lots of other things...
July 14th, 2005, 07:21 PM
Thanks for the report! Sounds like you had an amazing time!
July 15th, 2005, 10:41 AM
I don't think anyone responded initially because other than the fireworks there really isn't much that happens on the 4th of July. Plus, lots of people leave town and don't know any better than you do what's going on - that's my excuse anyway. There are street fairs and some live music, but then that happens every weekend. Sounds like you did just fine, and it shows that even a weekend with not much going on there is plenty to do.
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