Wednesday, July 6, 2005

The 4th in '05

Photo of July 4 parade

Roundabout Exit 151, the 2005 Fourth of July weekend was a good mix of festive celebration and solemn remembrance. As my digicam currently is not responding to its programming, film is at the processor. If the pix come out, they will be added to this post next week. [Post edited 7/11/05 to add photos.]

On Saturday, I went to my favorite place for all things electronic, J and R in lower Manhattan, to seek advice and oogle new digicams. I also visited the September 11 exhibit at St. Paul's Chapel, the oldest public building in Manhattan in continuous use (George Washington worshipped here), across the street from Ground Zero. Flaming debris rained onto the church burying ground on that terrible day, but somehow the church, which is largely wooden, came through with minimal damage. From the first it served as chapel, feeding station, and place of respite for those working on rescue and recovery. I found the exhibit deeply moving. There was a cot similar to those used by the workers, lovingly made up with a handknit leaf motif counterpane and donated teddy bears. But other visitors had other reactions. I was jarred, pained, and affronted to hear one say loudly, in a tone calculated to be overheard and to offend, "That was BOR-ing!" A grown man - judging by his face, accent, and manners, an American being ugly in his own country.

Monday morning, I rode with the bicycle unit in the township parade.

Photo of July 4 parade

Last year, someone complained there weren't enough red, white, and blue decorations in the parade. If neighborly accommodation wasn't enough incentive, this year there also was a $100 prize from The Bikery for the best decorated bike. A teenager visiting from France won. He's all set for Bastille Day on July 14, too.

For the evening festivities, DH and I thought we'd show my Sockapal-2-za sock a good time and watch the Macy's fireworks display along the East River from an old office building in midtown Manhattan. Macy's fireworks buttonMany classic NYC skyscrapers have real windows that open, so we enjoyed a pleasant evening breeze and the charming sight of multiple shows going on in NJ before the big show started. When the first high bursts went up, we had the novel experience of looking down on them. Then the smoke rose in dense clouds! The Queens shoreline vanished, the Chrysler Building disappeared except for two illuminated spots on its bejeweled spire. We could hear reports that made the concrete canyons echo, but no flashes could be seen through the reek. We started coughing and shut the window, for fear the smoke detectors would be activated. That was the view from on high. At ground level, we made our way blinking through smoke worthy of five alarms.

I have a whole new appreciation of the huge scale of Manhattan skyscrapers and the mighty NYC fireworks show.

No comments: