Saturday, July 5, 2008


Yesterday was a marathon of activity! In the morning, I met my family at their hotel in the financial district, and we walked down Wall Street and through Chinatown, the Lower East Side and the East Village. In Chinatown I bought a beautiful fruit called a Dragonfruit (above) -- I’d never seen one before. Sweet and slightly tangy, it looked better than it tasted.

We had lunch at Katz’s Deli and then came up to my apartment, where we relaxed with the cat for a bit before heading off to the American Museum of Natural History. We saw the blue whale and the dinosaurs, and went to the space show at the planetarium. Then we had dinner and went all the way back downtown to their hotel.

That’s when the real fiasco began! We’d been ambivalent about trying to go see the fireworks on the East River, because it’s such a mob scene. But their hotel was nearby, so we decided to brave the hordes. Problem is, the police narrowly restrict where you can watch the activities -- many streets are closed off, so thousands of people wind up being funneled through very small openings onto the closed FDR Drive, which is elevated and runs along the river. We were backed up on the sidewalk for about half an hour, scarcely able to move, before we inched our way up and finally got through the bottleneck onto the FDR.

Why we can’t just walk over to the river unimpeded is beyond me. But I digress.

By this time, my nephew was grumpy and it was beginning to rain. Then the fireworks began and he immediately put his fingers in his ears, closed his eyes and said “PLEASE LET IT BE OVER.” That’s when my stepmother explained that he doesn’t like loud noises! (He has Asperger’s, so he has some special sensitivities.) I thought, “Well, why are we even here? This was a really bad idea!” We watched for a bit but the kid was so clearly not enjoying it that we got out of there pretty quickly.

As quickly as we could, anyway, given the five zillion people around us and the strange police notions of crowd control. And you should have seen the subway home. Whew!

If I ever decide to try that again, talk me out of it.

Here, for your crowd-free benefit, is a video of a completely random portion of the show. Enjoy!


  1. Thanks for the video! I'm with you about the crowds.

  2. Cool video and pics. Sorry it was such an ordeal to get down there.

    I will definitely remind you (if you need a reminder) next year.

  3. Dennis says it makes NO sense to take a kid who doesn't like noises to see fireworks. Dennis was a bit put off by the first few firecrackers, but then he said "Oh 4th of July" and ignored the rest of the noise.

  4. Ohh....Katz's. A favorite of mine. MMMMM!

    I'm with ya on the crowds. I skip the fireworks here in Seattle (and we have two shows) unless I can manage to get to a friends place on Puget Sound or Lake Union, where I can watch from a balcony or roof deck. I can see one of the shows, in part, from our master bedroom though.

  5. I think I probably enjoyed watching the fireworks on your Blog more than you enjoyed them in person. They were definitely better than the DC fireworks in the rain and through the trees no one had realized were in the way between us and the Mall.

    It's hard when you're in charge and someone is not quite on board with the program for whatever reason...

  6. Love fireworks but hate crowds (and officious officials!) My sympathies.

    Hoping to visit Katz's Deli later this year :D

  7. those dragonfruit are pretty tasteles huh? i had a panic once when i thought i was peeing blood, then realized i had polished off a whole red dragonfruit the day before.......luckily i clocked on just before the emergency services answered the phone

  8. Thanks. I have not seen fireworks in person for several years and this satisfied my desire.

    And about the crowds...I told you so.