Sometimes they say the best plan is to have no plan. That certainly worked out for us yesterday when a loose plan to go down to the Hudson to watch fireworks ended up in an evening spent twenty stories high at a rooftop party thrown by my sister’s friend. Burgers, beer, patriotic cupcakes, and fireworks, the night was every bit the proper salute to 4th of July that I could have imagined.
The party’s first success was the spectacular panoramic view of the city, including scenes of the famed Chrysler, Empire State, Credit Suisse, and new World Trade Center buildings. From up top, it’s hard to comprehend that this is the same city experienced from ground level. The metropolis has this insane density and diversity of architecture and sound that gives it a sense of breathing, pulsing life that I haven’t experienced anywhere else. Sometimes you need to be above it all to feel and appreciate it all. The pink painted skies at sunset also made us feel like we were at the center of the universe, providing a bright light show before the actual show. As the sun went down, a red moon rose, upstaging any brilliance a firework show could display. Truly awe-inspiring.
Aside from the scenic setting, the adjacent parties taking place really provided great sartorial sight seeing. Stripes ruled the night; from tank tops, bandannas, printed shorts, to dresses, we were all feeling the nautical/national pride. There was definitely a kitschy vibe to a lot of the looks, hinting at a playful twist on traditional preppy dressing, which made it all the more interesting to note how people put together different variations on the same theme.
Now I’ve covered setting and style, it’s time to get down to the headliner of the night–the fireworks! We were lucky to have been invited last minute, as we were sort of dreading dealing with the crowds down by the piers, though we know we would have done it regardless. It just isn’t the 4th of July without fireworks. It’s like a birthday without a cake, it doesn’t count. So the location of our friend’s building on 23rd street set us up for some pretty prime viewing of the show, a couple residential eyesores notwithstanding. Every year, Macy’s sets up four barges along the Hudson between 22nd and 43rd streets to give New York the best damn firework show this country can muster. It definitely didn’t disappoint and I noticed that every time I see fireworks, I can’t help but be reduced to a five year-old ooo-ing and aaah-ing for every big explosion.
So now we’ve got fireworks and cupcakes, I guess it’s official. Happy Birthday America!