If you’re stuck in the city like me for this July 4, don’t despair! There are tons of things to do, and the weather is supposed to be gorgeous all weekend (though there’s a chance of rain Sunday). Also, the great Laura Koo Nicholas made us a special patriotic banner for the top of the West Side Rag!
The parks are hosting lots of free concerts this weekend, which you can read about in our weekly calendar.
You can also celebrate by eating, of course: The Village Voice has a list of ten places in the city to get “classic American dishes” multicultural-style. On the Upper West Side, they highlight the shrimp egg foo yung at King Food Chen at 489 Amsterdam Avenue. And on July 4, the West Side Community Garden is hosting a barbecue at 6 p.m. on 89th Street.
On Sunday, Symphony Space on 95th Street has a packed lineup of indoor events, including movies and board games, as it looks like it could rain.
As for the fireworks themselves, the Upper West Side has some very good venues for viewing, and chowing down.
I’ve watched the fireworks from Riverside Park in the 70’s for the past two years, and have not been disappointed. For one thing, you don’t have to wait for hours on the West Side Highway, which sounds a little like prison. You can bring a picnic and there’s always room to spread out, and for kids to play around. The fireworks won’t be right over your heads, but you’ll definitely get a good view, particularly if you’re below 86th Street.
There are other places to watch the event from the neighborhood. The Boat Basin Cafe on 79th Street just off the Hudson should have a good view as long as you can find a spot on their outdoor patio.
And the Empire Hotel at 64 West 63rd Street is hosting a party on July 4, starting at 5 p.m. on the hotel rooftop. The event costs $20 and will be “a vintage Fourth of July party with live music by Gelber & Manning and the Star Spangled Orchestra, and burlesque performances by Angie Pontani, Gal Friday and Jezebel Express, among other entertainers,” according to NearSay.
Happy Fourth everyone!