For the past two years I’ve been in New York City for the 4th of July instead of at home in Ohio watching my family burn off their fingers on sparklers like I’m supposed to, I’ve purposely avoided the fireworks and gone to dinner at Serendipity, first with then-boyfriend Todd, who hated crowds, and then with now-boyfriend Kamran, who appreciates a sugar coma as much as I do but still managed to get me back to his house in time to see the throngs of fireworks-viewers streaming off FDR Drive but not a lot of the show itself last year.
This year, though, Kamran was off visiting his family in California, so I let myself get talked into watching the ‘works with my friends Beth, Emily, Sonya, Adam, Christos, and Chad, and Emily’s friends Jeff and Carrie. Emily and Beth had bought us adult sippy cups on their way to my house, so we stopped off at my C-Town to buy Crystal Light and water to mix in with our vodka and rum like the high school girls we are. I was carrying Emily’s brother’s ridiculously adorable Yorkiepoo in a bag over my shoulder, and the checkout girls went crazy over how cute it was. I thought I was the new star of the grocery store until I came back the next day, and they were all like, “Where’s the dog?! . . . Oh, it wasn’t yours? SNUB.”
We spread out the blankets that Emily and Sonya were so kind to bring in the park between the Brooklyn
and Manhattan bridges
and set to sippin’
and piggin’ out.
Just as the show was about to start, it started to rain pretty heavily,
so everyone got out their umbrellas and totally blocked my view (but in kind of a pretty way).
I’ll admit that fireworks viewed through the Brooklyn Bridge are a bit of a novelty
but after they were over, I was like, “That’s IT?! The fireworks in Ohio are 100 times better!” Everyone just sort of shrugged me off, but I seriously think these people don’t understand how seriously Ohio takes its fireworks. Not only do they use the awesomely pun-y name Red, White, and BOOM!, but they have a whole mash-up of America-themed songs playing on a local radio station that the fireworks are timed to perfectly. Everyone brings their portable radios and sings along, the finale lasts at least 20 minutes, and only one or two people get stabbed every year. Honestly, what is the 4th of July without Neil Diamond’s “Coming to America” playing on a million boomboxes around you?!
Once the totally-crappy-and-in-every-way-disappointing-but-for-the-fact-that-Carrie-served-warm-apple-pie-and-vanilla-ice-cream-in-plastic-cups fireworks were over, we decided that the subway was going to be way too crazy and instead chose to take a quick walk down to the neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, where Chad promised us was a great bar. THIRTY-EIGHT MILES LATER (give or take thirty-seven), we were still walking. In the rain. At night. In uncomfortable shoes. I guess I wasn’t doing anything to hide how cranky I was, because Chad kept saying, “Who’s the biggest trouper here? Katie! She wins the trouper award!” and when I wouldn’t fold up my umbrella and enjoy the rain like everyone else, Emily and Beth started singing to Carly Simon’s tune, “Katie’s so vain/she probably thinks this song’s about her hair.”
The bar, Moonshine, turned out to actually be worth the walk (though I’m not sure you could convince me to do it again). There was an empty couch for us to sit on along one wall with the couch across from us occupied by young men with side-parted hair, one of them in a complete seersucker suit. The jukebox played Bloc Party and then Cat Power and then Devo and then HEART. There was plenty of Big Buck Hunter and House of the Dead
Christos, the Joyous German Murder Machine
a thick dark wood table for playing board games on
Seen here: Jenga, with Truth or Dare challenges written on each piece by previous Moonshine patrons
and . . . shoes nailed to the wall?
Please note Beth’s enormous cleavage.
What more could you want?