The anticipation was brewing. People were out in full force, picnic blankets and folding chairs in hand, mere preparations for the hours of waiting with the masses that would ensue. What could draw such a crowd? Was the President back in town or something? No no, it was just one of the two days a year when large fireworks displays are mandated…and let’s face it, we kind of do our own thing for New Year’s Eve that isn’t really about fireworks!
It’s only fitting that New York City should have a truly fantastic fireworks display for the 4th of July. Sponsored by Macy’s, the epic, 25 minute long show is launched from multiple barges in one of the rivers that borders Manhattan. It always used to be on the East River, letting Brooklyn and Queens enjoy the show too. But last year they moved it to the Hudson, citing the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s voyage down the river that would eventually bear his name. Apparently they liked the new locale so much that they decided to keep it for 2010 as well.
I was rather saddened by that decision, as, to me, there was nothing quite as special as clamboring onto a freeway (FDR Drive) to watch the fireworks? I mean, how New York is that? (In the Hudson folks settle for 12th Avenue).
Rather than trying to brave the masses (word is there were 2 million people out on 12th Avenue) and stare at Jersey (no offense), I took up a friend’s invitation to head over to Hoboken, right across the river in New Jersey and watch the fireworks with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop! And what a wonderful decision it was!
The crowds were sparser, there was grass to lounge around on and a nice pier to watch from that gave us a front-and-center seat as the fireworks unfolded in front of us.
If the Thanksgiving Day Parade is any indication, Macy’s does nothing on a small scale. That includes this elaborate display that had so many moments that caused the crowd around me to “ooh” and “ah” and even applaud! Take for example, the beloved “smiley face” fireworks!
A cavalcade of colors filled the dark night sky with booming explosions. And as the intensity of the show grew towards the show’s grand finale, gleeful children and adults alike stared in wonderment.
Determined to not skip out on the finale as others trying to beat the rush had, my friend and I stuck through the end. But instead of getting scrunched in with the masses trying to get home on the PATH train (Port Authority Trans-Hudson…basically a subway that runs between Manhattan and New Jersey), we decided a little dinner was in order, a wonderful idea as an hour later, the crowd had dwindled to almost nothing and returning home was a breeze!
All in all, it was a fantastic show and a fantastic evening. Here’s my tip if they do them on the Hudson again next year. Come to Jersey! It’s a grand old time with a priceless view!