By Kyra Baffo

There is no better time to be in New York than for the 4th of July! Well, except maybe New Years. Some of us had initially planned to spend the 4th in Boston or D.C. but instead decided to explore what activities were going on in the city that day. As expect, Washington Square Park was vibrant with red, white, and blue throughout the day.Ourmission for the day was clear and simple. Find a great spot to watch the annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks. We took the train down to Battery Park, a super cool park right on the southern tip of Manhattan. We were welcomed with scenic views of the Statue of Liberty, Governor’s Island, Jersey, and Brooklyn. The park itself has a number of fun activities, ferries, carousels, oyster bar, memorials and monuments, and it happens to be a great spot for biking.

We arrived with about an hour left before the fireworks started, and due to our mediocre navigating skills, weren’t entirely sure we were in the right place. We eventually ran into hoards of people camped out at the end of the park, facing the water and statue of liberty. We decided to try our look and get an even closer spot. We dove passed herds of crowds heading in every direction imaginable. Every seemed to think they knew the best angle to catch the fireworks. The NYPD had blocked off significant portions of the city surrounding the park, making it difficult to locate a better spot. We quickly grew anxious. We had about 10 minutes until the fireworks show was about to begin, with no consensus on the best angle to watch. We were holding hands and we tried to stick together while maneuvering through crowds.

Finally, we found what appeared to be enormous storage containers right behind the South Ferry Station. We proceeded to climb on top of them (you know, for the best view) and thus, found our perfect 4th July viewing spot. For future Global Studies cohorts, I do not advice you to try this method. It’s probably a better idea to just arrive on time! Turns out, our determination inspired others desperately seeking a great view, and by the start of the show, we were joined by a few other groups.

It did end up being worth it in the end. The views were priceless and we were able to avoid huge crowds for the majority of it. After the works ended, we headed towards the Oyster bar. On our way, we decided the only way to celebrate our favorite holiday was to proceed in patriotic song and dance, and a few 8 claps. We literally skipped through the streets of New York City singing Party in the USA and My Country tis of Thee. And believe it or not, we got TONS of people to join in our singing. People cheered us on from the sidelines, and a group of kids even joined our group for awhile. Shocking, I know.

Kyra studied abroad in New York in Summer 2019.