Hot Dog Hangover

The Fourth of July has long been a favorite day of mine. My mother is a patriotic woman and tried to instill a love of this great nation in all of her children. Being far away from my family is always a little bit harder around this time of year, knowing that they were all watching the Freedom Festival parade together, screaming at the balloon characters to "SPIN, SPIN, SPIN," running out for photo ops with random characters in the infamous "pre-parade", eating ghetto pops and passing around other various treats. Parting in the afternoon to nap and then reconvening to BBQ and watch some and (light a few) fireworks.    

We spent the Fourth a little differently, toting a mini charcoal grill and IKEA bags full of picnic supplies several blocks to the closest park with shade trees. The heat/humidity wiped us all out, so our plans to brave the crowds along the Hudson faded into the background of our dreams during a 3-hour nap, waking up in time to catch the Amazing Spiderman in 3D followed by some local Brooklyn pizza delivered to a perch on our friends' rooftop to watch the spectacular show from afar (and a bit of it on the old tee-vee). Oh, and bookended by a rousing game of Super Mario Bros on their Wii. It turned out to be a very different, though very enjoyable Independence Day.  

Before the long nap, the Captain turned on a History Channel documentary about the Revolutionary War. I'm not much into the details of history, but not because of lack of interest (a girl can only have so many hobbies). I was fascinated to learn the role that our little Manhattan played in the war, that Washington marched his troops up the trail now known as Broadway (which started out as a Native American trail and explains the way it traverses the neat grid of avenues and streets) to escape the British Navy when they docked a fleet of 400+ in Kip's Bay, subsequently massacring the defending "rebels".

Living in NYC has been quite an experience this last year. It didn't take long for my school-girl crush on the city to develop into a respect and admiration. I walk up and down that Native American trail called Broadway awe-struck. In the panaoramic view from my "corner office" at work I can see several buildings topped with the American flag. It reminds me of my experience with 9/11. I was living temporarily in Cananda; it was heartening to hear that stores across our northern neighbor were selling out of our flag.

This is a city with a rich American history, native and neo-native, immigrant and emigrant. It has good reason to be proud. I am proud of it.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

I love the 4th, too -- and I also think it's because I was spoiled by the Freedom Festival in Provo. That city knows how to put on a good show!

Also, did you know that Bay Ridge also played a large role in the Revolutionary War? The British troops landed right near where the Verrazano stands now and marched up the 1776 equivalent of 4th Avenue. The Battle of Brooklyn (sometimes also known as the Battle of Long Island), where they met up with Washington's troops, was fought where Prospect Park is now. We're seriously right in the middle of an incredible slice of history.