So the Countdown Clock to the 2012 Olympics Host City Decision in Union Square Park is now at 00:00:00:00. Thank god NYC lost the bid. The extra traffic, the tourists, the public money spent on dubious things, the terrorism fears, the security nightmares - all gone (for now, at least).
On July 4 I was back in the city, so I decided to try to go see the huge Macy's fireworks spectacular over the East River, for which they shut down FDR Drive. I joined a mass of people at the bottom of the on-ramp at 17th street and waited, shuffling forward ever so slowly, as cops searched everyone's bags. On the sidewalk was a large collection of glass bottles siezed as contraband - mostly Snapple, but some wine. Wine would have been nice! So unfair. I was about five people away from the bag checker when they suddenly shut it down. "This entrance is closed!" the cops yelled. Man! So I went walking some more, looking for a place near the water (and under the FDR) to watch, but the cops weren't letting anyone get near there, either. I walked north until I reached another barricade, at which point I turned around and picked a nice-ish spot below the FDR (along with many other people) just as the fireworks began. The highway obscured a good third of the action, and of course we couldn't really see the barges themselves, but what made up for it was the kid yelling things like "DAA-AAAAMMN!" and "I love you, America!" whenever there was a really good one.
I gotta say, the Easthampton fireworks were better, though I did appreciate not having to listen to Taps, God Bless America, and the Star-Spangled Banner before the NY show.