07.06.124th of July!

Hi everyone! This is Rob doing a guest post on the blog to share about our 4th of July in New York.

Bridgette loves the 4th. Fireworks are one of her favorites. I thought watching the Macy’s show that boasts a set of 4 different barge-based firework platforms sounded spectacular.

We’d grab a seat on the west side looking into the Hudson and maybe even find a spot in a park. It can’t be that hard. Right?

So, the afternoon begins with us setting out on the city following Macy’s instructions for the best place to view the nation’s best fireworks (between 23rd and 50th street on the west side). We take the Subway to 34th St Penn Station and begin the trek to 12th Avenue.

We arrive to 11th and see the cop-barricaded streets and keep walking to 12th avenue. However,  12th avenue has now been closed. Disappointed, frustrated, and plenty perturbed (Bridgette-word) by the combination of heat, humidity, and hundreds upon thousands of tourists in what I think is one of the most horribly dull and boring parts of the city, we remain undeterred and think we can best the situation. We walk back up the avenue and continue walking uptown past the Javits Center. We finally reach 12th avenue on an intersecting street in the 40s. We enter this most awfully crowded street that effortlessly imposed claustrophobia on the most resilient of people. See below.

Worn down and broken, we decide we can’t take this nonsense. So, we walk back up the long avenue and get a taxi headed downtown. We’re done.

But, as we drive along the west side of the Island, I begin to see both water and only moderately crowded sidewalks. Now that is how I pictured New York City fireworks on the Hudson. So, we hurriedly told the cab that this area would be great. See below for the much better view of the Hudson that we stumbled upon.

We continued walking along this area to the North Meadows Park (where we randomly ran into friends from UNC with a blanket only 10 feet away…small world) and we laid out our blankets with the most amazing view.

I had been afraid that some of these lower Manhattan parks would be closed to the public or would be too far away to have a great view, but I was wrong on both counts.

So, in short, we learned that watching fireworks in New York is logistical feat in and of itself, and that watching them with locals in lower Manhattan is so much more pleasant than watching them in the bustling and tourist-teeming Midtown.

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