10 Best Pieces of Art Remind Us of Our Favorite July 4th Fireworks

Janet Echelman, 1.26, 2014

Why wait for a dazzling 4th of July fireworks show all year when you can get a taste of the excitement through a different medium, art? From sculpture to painting, Futurism to pop, we’ve compiled the best artworks that capture the explosive color arrangements from the fireworks you watched as a kid. Now you won’t have to worry about the authorities raining on your parade–these pyrotechnic-like pieces can be enjoyed safely at home.

Damian Ortega Controller of the Universe 2007 a3 1_wDamián Ortega, Controller of the Universe, 2007

Peter Dayton 2Peter Dayton, Blur #17, 2014

rinko kawaauchi 3
Rinko Kawauchi, photograph from Illuminance, 2011

John Chmaberlain 4

John Chamberlain, Untitled, 1995

Anish Kapoor 5Anish Kapoor, 1000 Names, 1982

Tomás Saraceno  6

Tomás Saraceno, NGC 5457, 2014

Jen Stark 8
Jen Stark, Over and Out, 2008

Uncoded Nature & Land - Silver Stendhal Mothernature Series
Katrin Fridriks, Uncoded Nature & Land – Silver Stendhal Mothernature Series, 2014

Giacomo Balla 10
Giacomo Balla, Street Light, 1909

Fourth of July Nightlife: Behind the Scenes

The Fourth of July weekend looms, ready to empty Manhattan of its denizens of the night. Quite a few people have cut out already, leaving club operators in a quandary. With so many of their regulars away in exotic lands, how do they generate income to pay their bills, and how do they make staffing decisions? In an age of instant awareness, clubs that are crowded will become known to people who find themselves in empty rooms. A text, a tweet, or a call has them scurrying to find the crowds, and a well-run and established club has a leg-up on competitors.

The smart clubs employ PR companies that get the name and image of their clients to the masses both locally and throughout the world. While Manhattanites are off to vacation hovels, New York City becomes a destination for millions who want to see the fireworks and enjoy the hot town. These tourists with no job to wake up to want to go out to party. They almost always have only a name from a celebrity sighting, a synopsis in a city guide, or the word of their hotel concierge to steer them to the right nightclub. These concierges are heavily swayed by what they read in Page Six and New York Magazine.

PR companies worth their salt keep the name of their clients out there. Nightlife sections of lifestyle magazines and blogs are constantly updated with images and blurbs to attract those not normally looped in. Concierge outreach programs are used by the smart venues. A rep from the club visits chic hotels regularly and establishes relationships.

During the normal course of business throughout the year, the guests of these concierges are given preferred treatment for entrance and often other incentive-filled deals, like discounts on bottles. These concierges are sometimes tipped back by clubs for sending spenders their way but get much of their loot from satisfied customers. On weeks like this, when tourist dollars are the salvation, these concierge programs can save the day. Tourists don’t have work for days to come and are raring to go, eager to spend beaucoup bucks in places they have been convinced are ultra exclusive.

The best joints in town will lower their standards to fill their rooms. It is an opportunity for those allergic to the Hamptons and other cricket-heavy lands to get into places that normally exclude them. It can set the tone for a relationship with a doorman and club staff and ease entry going forward. Door people welcome familiar faces who have proven themselves to behave "correctly.” A borderline "no" can become a consistent "yes" if an effort to impress is made. Operators have a hard time staffing long weekends. Their employees, like most people, have other places they’d rather be. Staff are told in advance to not even think about being MIA, as operators can’t predict how busy or not they will be.

I will see the fireworks from the roof of the Tribeca Grand Hotel where there are stirrings of a rebirth of its traditionally vibrant nightlife culture. I have attended a couple of swell events there recently and I hear word of more to come. It has always worked for me. Multiple rooms, great sound, delicious drinks and even food, and the sexiness of the atrium and rooms up above have made me a regular over many years.

On another note, I was completely captivated by the new Wes Anderson flick, Moonrise Kingdom. I advise you stop reading this right this second, leave your house, and head over to your nearest cinema and see this film. Hell, quit your job…go now. Yes, I am that age. Yes, I had one of those Davy Crockett hats and I was the nerdiest, bespeckled scout. The world of my New England summer youth is there to be seen. I even had an eternal love that lasted an entire summer. I camped out, was bullied and fought back, and thought I knew everything about the trees and the winds and the animals of my wooded universe by the infinite lake of our seasonal retreat.

I’ve gotta go…I’m gonna see it again.

From Usher to Jellyfish: What’s New & Strange At This Year’s Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks

Fourth of July has its formula: for the day, your kitschy red and blue shorts make a comeback, a ketchup-drenched burger and baked beans make their way to your paper plate, and there’s no stifling the requisite oohs-and-aahs amid the explosive fireworks show and orchestral Macy’s music. 

But this year, NYC is igniting Independence Day with some unprecedented, surprising, and bizarre features that don’t really make much logistical sense, but are happening any way. And that’s just the way we like ’em. Take a look:

1. Usher is the show’s "curator."
For the first time ever, Macy’s is collaborating with "a major superstar" on the show’s design and 26-minute score. Since Usher is syncing the fireworks with each musical beat, you can expect every half-naked dancer’s jiggle to be on-point with the high notes of Rihanna’s "Diamonds," Kanye’s "All Of The Lights," and each Justin Bieber song.

2. The show’s theme is "It Begins With A Spark." Talk about foreshadowing. 

3. The fireworks come straight from China, Malta, Portugal, and Spain.

4. Even the Empire State Building is syncing with the fireworks, flashing with each corresponding, colorful firework in the grand finale. 

5. There will be a new winking-happy face firework and a new jellyfish firework from China. The jellyfish whistles as it explodes and bursts open with butterflies. 

Follow Bonnie on Twitter here. 

The Best Places to Watch the NYC Fireworks

Here at BlackBook, we take Independence Day pretty seriously. Not only is it a national holiday, but it’s also the only summer day we have off from work, thus presenting a wonderful excuse to indulge all day outside on charred, ketchup-drenched burgers, icy American beers, and semi-cheesy red/white/blue apparel. We’ve put together a list of our top five favorite places to witness that spectacular view of the fireworks and have a holiday that you won’t be able to stop thinking about the next day. 

Where & When to Watch Fireworks in the Hamptons

imageWhile not exactly known as a hotbed of patriotism, the East End has its fair share of Fourth of July fireworks — except, you know, not exactly on the Fourth. Why pack everything into one weekend when you can stretch the fun until October? Mother nature shows Hamptonites who’s boss by throwing rain, tiny endangered birds, and Andre Balazs at them. Check out our full Hamptons listings in restaurants, nightlife, and hotels, plus vote in Guest of Guest’s Hamptons fireworks poll; meanwhile, here’s a rundown of Independence Day fireworks displays in the area (in chronological order).

July 4 Greenport, on the North Fork just across from Shelter Island, isn’t exactly the Hamptons — but then again, it’s the only game in town. Key viewing location: Claudio’s on the marina in Greenport, where you can dock your whaler and watch shitfaced boaters who have been drinking buckets of rum since 1 p.m. try to dry hump each other. Greenport Fireman’s Carnival, Polo Grounds at Main Rd. and Moore Ln. (Friday, July 4, 10 p.m.)

July 5 The Grucci Brothers blow a whole lot of crap sky high to entertain the swells who donate to this charity event; you won’t get into the private party without tickets, but you can crash the display just by craning your neck. Key viewing location: Cooper’s Beach, where you can BYOB and a blanket. Southampton Fresh Air Home Great American Picnic, 1030 Meadow Lane (Saturday, July 5, 7-10 p.m.)

Yes, yes, it’s west of the canal, but get over yourself. Key viewing location: A boat in the Peconic pointed back toward Sag Harbor. Riverhead Fireworks, Peconic Riverfront, Grangebel Park behind Main St. (Saturday, July 5, 9 p.m.)

Being on the bay means not giving one single shit about piping plovers or other protected wildlife, and launching your fireworks from the beach on the actual weekend God intended. Key viewing location: The deck at B. Smith’s on Long Wharf, or the street in front of the Corner. Sag Harbor Yacht Club Fireworks, Haven’s Beach (Saturday, July 5, 9 p.m.)

July 12 Another subscriber to the scheduling-conflict-school of Independence Day celebrations, Shelter Island pushes their Grucci-powered display back a full week. Key viewing location: Why, Balazs’ Sunset Beach, of course. Shelter Island Grucci Fireworks, Crescent Beach (Saturday, July 12, 9 p.m.)

August Not even Jerry Dell Femina is a more powerful Hamptons player than the piping plover — once again, the July 4th fireworks have been rescheduled to accommodate the mating habits of this tiny, squeaky little pest (the bird, not Della Femina). Key viewing location: Have a classic cocktail and toast the pip squeak at the Huntting Inn East Hampton Village Fireworks, Main Beach (Saturday, August 20, dusk)

October After a couple of rainouts last year, the village of Montauk decided to just throw in the towel and pre-disaster this year’s spectacle by moving it to coincide with the Fall Festival before the thunderstorms even had a chance to weigh in. Key viewing location: Throw a few back at Cyril’s on its last weekend of the season in honor of the drunken fireman who knocked over the fireworks two years ago. Montauk Fireworks, Umbrella Beach, (Saturday, October 11, 7 p.m.)