Hey! Fireworks! They’re back in the East River this year, which, as we all know, is a victory for Brooklyn. So how are you going to celebrate their glorious return? By staking out a spot to watch them, of course. And if you’re not lucky enough to have a roof deck or even roof access or even a friend with roof access (join the club!), well, no worries! Because this year, there are plenty of places for you to go and enjoy the fireworks, right here in your own
The Brooklyn Heights Promenade: So, ok. You can go watch fireworks here. A lot of people are going to be doing that. But also? A lot of people are going to be doing it. It’s going to be hellish. We don’t advise you go to the promenade, but we felt obligated to point out that it is an option, albeit a specifically hellish one. Also, all the cool spots you think you’ll be able to head to (i.e. Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge) will be closed to the public. So, you know, stay the hell away from here.
Grand Ferry Park (50 Rivers Street, Williamsburg): The view won’t be the best from this Williamsburg waterfront park, but that might mean less people? Hard to say! This is, however, a solid option for north Brooklynites who are pissed off that having the fireworks “back in Brooklyn” really doesn’t mean anything for most of Brooklyn. (To say nothing of Queens! Won’t somebody please think of Queens?)
Berry Park (4 Berry Street, Williamsburg): If you don’t mind paying a little bit of money to watch the action, Berry Park has a solid deal in which you can go hang out on their roof deck (for free!) and watch the fireworks while, presumably, drinking a lot. Check it out here!
Fornino (Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park): This restaurant also has a pretty solid deal for the 4th: $75 will get you a prime seat for the fireworks, plus antipasto, and Fornino’s signature wood-fired pizza. There’s a cash bar, so you’ll probably wind up spending some real money, but the value of not having to worry about the teeming masses of people in the streets? Priceless.
Brooklyn Grange Rooftop Farm (Flushing and Clinton Avenues, Brooklyn Navy Yard): And for our final, pay-to-watch option, Brooklyn Grange will host a fireworks-viewing party for you and all your friends, providing you cough up a hundred bucks. But what you get for that money includes: food by Briskettown (yum!), beer by Brooklyn Brewery (yes!), and dancing all night (well, until 11pm). Fun!
Valentino Pier: The view from this Red Hook spot was probably better when the fireworks were in the Hudson River, but that’s ok because there will still be fireworks on the New Jersey side of the river. But you’ll still be able to see the action in the East River too! You can have it all, and things will be so much calmer than if you’d ventured into the madness of DUMBO or Brooklyn Heights. So, totally worth missing a blast or two. Trust us, you’ll still ooh and aahh plenty.
Columbia Street Waterfront: So, this is possibly a step up view-wise from Valentino Pier, as it’s closer to where the barges are parked in the East River. Plus, there’s the added bonus of being near Pok Pok Ny so that you can burn your mouth after having burned your retinas. Symmetry! Yes.
Sunset Park: This is the highest point in the city, so obviously your view of the fireworks will be spectacular. Of course, pretty much everyone else knows that by now, so it’s going to be crowded. But so what? We pretty much guarantee the crowds here will be less obnoxious than those in Brooklyn Heights. Plus, you’ll be close to really good tacos and/or banh mi. Celebrate America by eating delicious food from Mexico and Viet Nam.
Coney Island: You will not be able to see the East River fireworks at all from here. But that’s ok! Who cares? Coney Island has its own, much more low-key fireworks. We went last year and were maybe a little underwhelmed by the actual pyrotechnics, but still had a really nice time because, well, it’s the beach! On the Fourth of July! If you can’t enjoy this kind of thing, well, we don’t know what to tell you other than to head over to Ruby’s, knock back a whiskey or two, soak that up with Nathan’s fries and learn to relax. It’ll all be over soon enough anyway.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen