Saturday, July 5, 2008

So. Did you get lit up yesterday?

Hope everyone had a great 4th yesterday. I have never been to the Macy*s 4th of July Fireworks show, but with the kids this year, I figured it was a good opportunity to finally check out what all the hubub's about.

The day had started out with my run, which I had mentioned to you on my last post. Not mentioned however was my "get-up":

So yes, I decided to go to the outer fringes of sanity, and fully dressed up as a flag. I guess I am a "ham", loving to draw attention (really now? I thought this blog was just an introspective!). Ily said it best. "Oh My God Alex, the only thing that's missing is a firecracker sticking out of your ass!" Well put Ileana. But firecrackers are illegal in New York, you know ;-)

When the idea came forth of going to the fireworks show, it was raining real hard outside. The kids kept insisting that they wanted to see the show, so being an accomodating daddy, I finally relented this time, and we drove to Long Island City.

Parking was a bitch out there! When all the fire hydrants are being blocked by illegally parked cars, then you know there's an issue with parking. There were tons of police everywhere, but they were too concerned for making sure traffic kept moving. I finally wound up parking in front of some iron works plant on 46st Avenue. We walked to Vernon Blvd. from there, and down to 48th. The line for getting into Gentry Plaza was pretty long. They had cops checking out our coolers (I'm glad I didn't have any donuts on me...)

We walked out to one of the piers and found a spot to squat. I had brought a couple of porta-chairs with me, a blanket, a cooler, and a radio (along with other shtuff).

It was very crowded, and on the radio they mentioned that about 3 million people were lining up to see the display. Wow.

My kids were having fun despite the fact that it was now beginning to rain again. Everyone seemed to have been prepared for this, as umbrellas opened everywhere.

Huddle with many strangers while sitting on planks of wood over the East River, somehow reminded me of the movie, "Cloverfield". Particularly of that scene on the Brooklyn Bridge. I kept thinking a large tentacle was going to whip up into the humid air from the East River, and smash down on our little 20 square feet patch of paradise.

When nightfall came, I tried to catch some good shots of the skyline. Here's a pretty decent shot of the Long Island sign that was right behind us.

The fireworks began sometime around 9:20 at night. The display would have been great had it not rained. With everyone's umbrellas completely open it was impossible to get anything on video that was worthwhile posting. I did, however find a great video from someone else on YouTube. He must have been either in Greenpoint, or had a completely unobstructed view from somewhere south of us.

Great moments from the MACY*S 2008 Fireworks Show:

My 7-year old son, who has the same internal temperature gauge as Ileana, was telling me how cold he was outside. The best was when he asked, "Daddy, when we get back to the car, if it isn't towed, can you put the heat on?" Where the heck did he learn 'towed'? I actually got nervous the whole walk back to the car. I kept thinking of my 7-year old's suggestion that my little civic would be missing when we got back. Well it was there, but it might as well not been. It took us nearly 2 hours; 90 minutes of it just leaving Long Island City, to get home.

Overall the concept of seeing the Macy*s Fireworks is a good one, but my advice is to wrap it around something else, like a dinner on a boat or something that is going to guarantee you a good spot and/or something that gives you more than 20 minutes of pleasure. I could also suggest that you scramble to be there by like 2 o'clock in the afternoon, but that's seems rather nuts. Doesn't it?

This morning I woke up late and missed my group run. Meh. It's a shame too. Although it's very humid, the weather was fairly cool today. I have been a useless blob all day long. Laying in my Dormia, and just watching the kids watch "Bubble Bath" (This is what Ileana thought the name of the show was. It really is "Spongebob Square Pants").

I will be doing a long run tomorrow. Or else!!!

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