After one of the rainiest Junes on record, and an inauspicious start to the weather in July (I mean, I like summer storms as mach as anyone, but come on), we finally had a perfect hot sunny summer day. And because that day just happened to be the Fourth of July and because there's no better way to spend a hot sunny summer day than at the beach, I headed down to Coney Island to see what was going on.
Despite the middle-of-the-night emergency dismantling of the Astrotower on July 3, all of the rides were operational at Coney Island, and the amusement parks were jammed with people wearing the American flag in all sorts of inventive fashions. Exhilarated screams came in waves from the direction of the Cyclone and the Slingshot, creating a not entirely unpleasant stereo effect. Seeing the shortened Astrotower was a little disheartening at first, but when I went closer to it, and saw how much of it was covered with rust, I got over feeling too bad and moved along.
Among the things that I saw and was impressed by include mangoes carved into the shapes of flowers, a little boy with a 4-foot long snake wrapped around his neck, and a bunch of kids maintaining their balance on slippery rocks while simultaneously rolling joints. The water was perfect—just the right kind of waves where you can stand in up to your knees and feel like your shorts won't get wet but then an errant wave soaks you up to your chest and you can't help but laugh and give into it all. That kind of perfect.
But so, the fireworks. After a gorgeous afternoon, complete with a sort of lovely, communal "Fuck-the-Macy's-Firework-Extravaganza-Brooklyn's-Got-Its-Own-Fireworks" kind of feeling, everyone was ready for a spectacular nighttime light show. And insofar as any kinds of fireworks (even backyard sparklers!) are fun and awe-inspiring, these were fine. But, well, they were just fine. They were a little underwhelming, I think? Am I a Fourth of July grouch? Maybe! I guess I just wish they were a little bigger, and lasted a little longer. Hopefully, if Macy's insists on being a jerk and not letting millions of New Yorkers have convenient access to its firework show next year, more money will be invested in Brooklyn's fireworks. That aside, it was a lovely day. Check it out for yourself.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen
Coney Island Fourth of July