It’s been five freaking years since the Macy’s Fourth of July fireworks were in the East River and therefore visible from Brooklyn, but now they’re back. We’ve moved a million times, broken up with neurotic girlfriends and gotten seen favorite bars both open and close in that timespan. The only thing we’ve been waiting longer for is Dr. Dre’s Detox. You can’t even remember what you had for breakfast last week so of course you don’t remember good spots to see the fireworks. We’re here to help though, with a few waterfront spots with East River views that you shouldn’t have to camp out at all day if you want to see the show!
The shebang will launch from the Brooklyn Bridge, from two barges south of the bridge and one north of it, making the best places to watch spots like the Fulton Ferry Park, Piers 1 and 2 at the Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Promenade. They’ll be crowded as all get out though, so unless you want to show up at 5pm like the official website of New York City suggests and wait around until the show starts at 9pm, places right in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge are out. There are some spots that are set back from the bridge though, or even farther, where you can still get a good view without having to wait around for four hours to see the magic happen.
Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park
This a great place to watch the fireworks unfold. Right on the water there’s no buildings to block your view, a concession stand and has plenty of seating. It’s also set a little bit back from the Brooklyn Bridge itself, so you should be able to show up a little later and still get a good spot to watch the show. The sweetest spot is smack dab in the middle of Pier 5 and 6 right by the volleyball courts. If you haven’t been before this would be a great introduction.
Squibb Park and Bridge, Middagh Street and Columbia Heights
This place is hidden in plain sight. If you’ve ever walked the full length of the Brooklyn Promenade you’ll find this sprightly park and walkway with oodles of views, and best of all, it’s set a bit back from the Brooklyn Bridge Park itself. And we mean sprightly – the bridge was created to be a little bouncy for the sake of runners and other health conscious weirdos. For you it might mean that your footsies hurt a little less as you wait, and wait, and wait some more for the Fourth of July gloriousness to begin. NOTE: Not recommended for people who get nervous abut bouncy bridges.
Grand Ferry Park Grand Street at River Street
If you saw Kara Walker’s “A Subtley” then you might have already stumbled upon this tiny, intimate spot of heaven by the Domino Sugar Factor in which the glorious fireworks will be on full display. It’s a little far from the action, but you can get yourself a pretty clear view down the river from the north side of the park and it’s unlikely it’s gonna be packed to the brim.
The Williamsburg Bridge Pedestrian Path
There’s no better way to view fireworks than from another bridge, and the grimier version of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge is no exception. You don’t even have to stand in the bike lane while you’re watching, since the south-facing side of the bridge looking towards the Brooklyn Bridge has the pedestrian path.
Berry Park 4 Berry Street
Get a Fourth of July and World Cup two-fer as this bar with the best roof in Williamsburg will also be showing the tournament quarterfinals airing at noon and 4pm. If America manages to survive and make it that far, you know they won’t dare get knocked out on July 4th.