Friday, July 2, 2010

My First Fourth

Okay, today marks my actual two year anniversary of moving to New York City. Yes, yes, I realize I jumped the gun a little with this previous post: I just enjoy reminiscing so damn much.

Anyway, that and the fact that I've got nothing else to write, has me thinking about my first (and, so far, only) 4th of July here. Although I'm not without my patriotism, 4th of July is not generally the most memorable holiday for me. Usually it just brings back childhood memories of legs sticking to lawn chairs, being eaten alive by mosquitoes while eating barbecue myself, Cool Whip slathered cakes with flags made out of berries, and shooting off fireworks unregulated in one of the many pros of living in un-annexed Harris County.

However, two years ago was different. Probably because I'd just moved to New York and was ready for some traditional city mouse type experiences, I was determined to watch the Macy's fireworks displays. I remember carefully looking up the subway directions and setting off with my then roommate, who was also a very recent New Yorker. We didn't have much of a problem getting there. (Good rule of thumb for going to parades and fireworks displays in New York: follow the enormous mass of people.) However, on the way back, we (showing an astuteness far beyond our week long New York City residence) decided to leave the show a few minutes early. We reasoned the finale of fireworks would be very much like the preceding 20 minutes of fireworks, and that juding by the crowds, the subway would be incredibly crowded if we waited it out to the end. We took off in the direction the subway should have been (according to our notes) and soon found ourselves in a dark and desserted part of the South Street Seaport. I remember asking a cop for directions who just seemed intent on pointing us back in the direction of the fireworks. After a good five minutes of wandering around aimlessly, we made it back to where we started just as the show was ending. We contritely followed the crowd back to the subway and ended up having to let several trains go by before we could finally fit on one.

Hopefully, this is 4th of July will be a little different. For one, I now know things, like where the subway stations are located and why watching the Macy's Fireworks from right at the Seaport isn't a good idea.

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