Thursday, June 30, 2011

What to Do This July 4th Weekend!

Check out Time Out NY's list of the best places (some free, some expensive) to watch Macy's fire works show in the celebration of Independence Day!

From Time Out NY:
Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks (212-494-4495,; free) spends its second year lighting up the West Side of New York, much to the chagrin of many a Brooklynite. But hey, the East Side had 33 straight years, right? The pyrotechnics are launched from six barges spaced between 20th and 55th Sts on the Hudson River, and 40,000 fireworks will be spat into the night sky to a soundtrack that includes Katy Perry (we’re guessing they’ll use “I Kissed a Girl”). Download an app that streams CBS radio’s offerings to your smartphone so you can listen to the musical accompaniment from 1010 WINS (apparently radios can be used as well, but we don’t remember what they are). To help you catch this annual spectacle, we’ve rounded up the best free viewing spots, riverside vantages, boat cruises and rooftop parties.

Free viewing spots
Don’t expect to make it to the waterfront parks, or even the High Line: they’re closed. The closest you’ll be able to get as a member of the nonpaying public will be Twelfth Avenue. Access points along Eleventh Ave are at 24th, 26th to 30th, 34th, 40th to 44th, 47th to 52nd and 54th to 57th Streets. If you simply must toast independence—and the freedom to make explosions that it grants us—then head to Pier I Café (70th St at the Hudson River; 212-362-4450,; noon–midnight) or the Boat Basin Café (79th St at the Hudson River; 212-496-5542,; 11am–midnight). They’re both open and not charging for entry, but do offer less-enthralling vistas.
Riverside viewing spots

The Liberty Belle Spectacular
The folks behind the Salon, the Champagne Riot, Wits End and Dances of Vice affairs join forces to present a swinging Jazz Age party. This shindig pulls out all the stops with performances from Gelber & Manning and the Star-Spangled Orchestra, burlesque stars (including Angie Pontani and Gal Friday), the tap-dancing Minsky Sisters and other vintage delights. Loungerati barkeep Fredo Ceraso will be slinging drinks all evening, and best of all, you’ll be able to see the fireworks occasionally peaking over buildings to the west. Empire Hotel Rooftop, 44 W 63rd St at Broadway ( 5pm–2am; $25, advance $20.

The Intrepid
There may not be a more apt place to admire the red, white and blue fireworks than this decommissioned aircraft carrier which served during World War II and Vietnam. A ticket gets you a spot on deck, a chance to explore the museum and a live simulcast of the musical accompaniment. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Pier 86, Twelfth Ave at 46th St (877-957-7447, 7pm; $100.

Pier Party
While Circle Line ( and World Yacht ( are hosting Hudson River cruises, they’re also opening their piers for a fireworks-viewing party. As well as music, there will be food from the grill and booze for sale, so you can watch the display with a hot dog in one hand and a beer in the other. Pier 81, W 41st St at the Hudson River • Pier 83, W 42nd St at the Hudson River • Circle Line 212-563-3200; World Yacht 212-630-8100. 8–11pm; $85.

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