Monday, 5 July 2010
#22 The magic of Macy's.
Independence Day is a holiday that has never meant a huge amount to me. Maybe it's the rampant patriotism, maybe it's how annoying I find Will Smith, or maybe it's my grudging feeling that it we shouldn't have let a couple of uppity Puritans boss us around. Anyway, it's all new as far as I'm concerned.
If you're in New York when July 4th swings around, there are a couple of Things You Must Do. One is attend the Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Championships - unless you're hung over and oversleep - and another is watch the Macy's Fourth of July firework show on the Hudson. Since 1976, Macy's has sponsored what is probably the large annual fireworks display in the world.
The throngs on the west side of Manhattan number in the millions. Including those on the New Jersey shore, three million people are thought to have turned out. The logistical operation is a massive one: the West Side Highway is closed of by a 50-block police cordon. You have to turn up hours in advance to get a spot.
That is, unless you know one of the heads of the FDNY, in which case you can turn up five minutes before the display starts, be taken in a fire truck through the police cordon, and sit on the waterfront in front of the millions of lesser attendees. OH SNAP.
The display was John's-trumpingly magnificent. What else is there to say? Fireworks just make me melt like a little boy.
Afterwards, we headed (again with FDNY escort) to Hogs and Heifers, which I was informed (and I assume this means something to somebody) is where 'Coyote Ugly' was filmed. There were lots of bras everywhere and the barmaid kept telling people they have small penises and it was all a bit overwhelming.
The other thing Macy's does for the Fourth of July, incidentally, is put on a great big sale. Which suited me, as I NOW HAVE BEDDING. (More on the trials and tribulations of moving to my new apartment to follow.)