Independence Day in NYC invites controversy. A Gen X-er at the barbecue will wonder aloud whether hot dogs are sandwiches, a contrarian at the pool party will assert that “Firework” is more patriotic than “Party In The U.S.A.,” and two aggressively partisan relatives at the family reunion will dissect the very definition of “patriotism” in an effort to shade the other’s vacuous political beliefs. But for 25 minutes -- 25 short, magical minutes -- Americans -- even New Yorkers -- will put aside their differences to accept one universal truth: Fireworks are cool as hell.
The 43rd annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks show begins at 9:20pm this year, and for the first time since 2014, they’ll be launching from the Brooklyn Bridge area. Thursday’s weather forecast calls for highs of 87-degrees, lows of around 70, and manageable humidity that’ll make you forget all about last week’s sweatfest. Expect to navigate untold crowds looking forward to a near-perfect setting for sky sparklies.
Macy’s worked with the city to establish a few official viewing locations, but there are plenty of other places to see sparks fly. Waterfront restaurants and rooftop bars in the vicinity are always an option if you have a few hundred dollars to spare, and if you know anyone living along the lower East River, this would be the time to wiggle back into their life.
To the vast majority relying on public spaces this Fourth: You’re not alone, you’re actually in the same boat as millions of others, and you’re going to need to arrive at your waterfront destination very early because of said millions of others. Here are the best streets, parks, piers, beaches, restaurants, and bars for getting your firework fix.