Celebrating the 4th of July in New York City was drastically different than our experience the previous year on the 4th in Edinburgh. It started off alarming as we heard a couple explosions that caused our windows to rattle. Bobby went to explore what was happening and found out that frayed electrical wires got wet and caused a fire. The pressure created under the streets because of the fire caused the manhole covers to blow which resulted in the explosions. A couple people were hurt from the falling manhole covers but no one critically hurt, which is amazing. They closed off the streets near us that were effected until the fire could be put out.
There was much debate as to the best place to watch the Macy's Firework Show over the East River as the route of setting off the fireworks slightly changed this year. Since we could not get a good consensus as the best spot from locals and the web, we decided to set off toward the FDR Bridge for a good view of Brooklyn Bridge.
The fireworks show eventually was amazing! However, everything surrounding the fireworks was crazy. We arrived over an hour early planning to grab dinner on our way to a spot and have a picnic while we waited for it to grow dark. However, the large crowds were being controlled by thousands of police and police barriers. We were quickly herded along the streets for blocks upon blocks and had no outlet to get any food. Once we were in the maze of barriers, there was no getting out. There was no food, no vendors, and nothing to eat. I had a couple of crackers in the bottom of the stroller so the kids were able to eat a little bit.
Once to the spot where we would see the fireworks the police did not allow anyone to sit down in order to squeeze the most amount of people in the area as possible. So, with over an hour until the fireworks would begin, in 85 degree heat, with unfed children, we were forced to stand in the exact same spot to wait for the show to begin. We quickly understood the folly of our choice to view the fireworks on the FDR. Another family with small children ended up near us and we were able to talk and distract ourselves a little bit while waiting for the show to start.
The kids loved the fireworks. Amelie especially liked the ones that were smiley faces and American flags. Liam laughed and oohed for the first 5 minutes non-stop gaining the laughter of those around us.
After the show was over, we were all starving. Once we made it a couple blocks away from the crowds, we started scouting out food options. We came across a small pizzeria that wasn't overly crowded. Amelie and Bobby placed our order and waited inside while Liam and I waited with the stroller outside. We waited for 30+ minutes, watching other people walk away with pizzas while we waited. Bobby finally figured out that the staff was pocketing money from people. The staff would charge more to a costumer if they wanted to be moved to the front of the line. Well, this made Bobby very upset. He ended up having a loud discussion with the workers and using his starving small children to finally get us our long awaited pizza.
Liam and I talked to a family with small dogs who were also waiting for a pizza. They ended up inviting us to their house nearby to eat and have a couple of drinks with them. As it was 11 o'clock at night and our kids were pooped, we declined their generous offer and made the long trek through the Metro back home.
It will be an experience we will not forget (and not need to repeat for a long time!).