One of the things on my bucket list was to either see the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade or the 4th of July fireworks. And this year I managed to tick it off my bucket list. My cousin was getting married in Vermont which meant I would be in NYC on the 4th of July.
Plan of Action
The hotel I was staying at (Renaissance Hotel 57) provided me with the flyer on check in giving me information about the fireworks. I was on East 57th street and the fireworks best viewing point was 34th street.
After a google search showed me the Macy’s website which stated the fireworks would be on at 9pm. The flyer said 8pm. So I decided to sleep the whole day recuperate from my weekend and then head out around 7.30. I decided to take it as it comes as I had no idea what to expect and thus no plan of Action 😉
At 7.30 I got out of the hotel and right there was a yellow cab. I couldn’t be bothered taking the subway. However if you take the subway you need to get off at the 33rd street station. The cab dropped me off at the Duane Reade at 34th street which is about 3 blocks to the waterfront.
The street is closed off to all vehicles from this point. You then follow the crowds down towards FDR. When you are about a block away the NYPD will check your bag or backpacks if you have one. No chairs, umbrellas or coolers allowed beyond this point. Once you go past the checkpoint you are now walking with the crowds on to the FDR which is crowded and it is a long walk so be prepared.
You are basically walking up the FDR and then taking a right and then going all the way down and then back where you can choose your spot to stop. I left the hotel at 7.30 and I was on the FDR waiting for the fireworks to start at 8.15.
Once you have picked your spot be prepared for the heat as there are a lot of people crammed in one space even though it’s a big space. Wear comfy shoes as you will be waiting a while for the fireworks to start. Drink enough water to keep hydrated but remember there are no toilets thus don’t drink too much water.
The fireworks began at 9.25 which was a whole hour waiting. But it was so worth the wait. The display was fantastic and went on for a whole 30 minutes. There were 5 barges and where I was standing I could see 3 of the 5 barges.
Once the fireworks are done people are pretty much ready to get the hell out of there. Which means be ready to start the long journey down the FDR on to 23rd Street. If you are looking at taking a taxi beware that they are going to all be full. I walked up to 2nd Ave 23rd street east and called for an Uber after waiting for a taxi for a while.
I took the yellow cab upto 34th street that cost me $7.00. However due to the demand for cabs after the event Uber hiked up the charges and I ended up paying $22 which was about 3 times the cost.
Was it worth it? Definitely for a one time thing it was worth it. What I would do differently: I would book a restaurant table or a boat trip so that I can watch the fireworks from a comfortable space without all the waiting.