Best place to watch the New York City July 4th Fireworks
June 28, 2013 11:50 AM   Subscribe

It's that time of year again, and ever since the fireworks moved to the West side, it's been a struggle to sort out the best place to watch them. How far north/south do I have to go to NOT battle the insane crowds?

Last year I watched them from a friend's office building, and it was pretty perfect- airconditioning, giant windows, comfy couches, beers, but alas that is not an option this year.

I know that whereever I go the crowds are going to be intense. My question is... how far north or south do I have to be to avoid the bulk of the crowds (ie I don't mind the west side promenade being full of people, I just don't want to be smushed up against 30 of them at once).

I'll be in central park earlier that day for a potluck/general hanging out ness, and was curious if walking over to the river in the mid 80's would still have a decent view, or if that would be too far north to really appreciate giant exploding things. my gut choice for best view- the pier at christopher st is almost guaranteed to be a massive mess. (I went there the first year they moved to the west side and the crowd was NYE at times square dense and in July- DO NOT WANT)

Metafilter, save me from watching the fireworkshow on TV. That just seems so unappreicative of hundreds of thousands of dollars of explosives going off.

For reference, here's the official map of the firework barges:map
posted by larthegreat to Grab Bag (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
We watch from around 73rd street when we do watch (which is rare, since we're getting pretty bored of it) and that's the far end of visibility, I think.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:54 AM on June 28, 2013

Let's hope it's not raining, too. Currently, says "Scattered thunderstorms. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the low 70s."

Previously (2011 report from Riverside Park around 72nd St).

Mommy Poppins seems to agree that Riverside Park might work:

Macy's advises that there will be very limited viewing of the fireworks above 59th Street. That said, you may want to stake out a spot in Riverside Park South and hope for the best. In years past, the park closed to new visitors at 4pm but if you were already there you weren't asked to leave. Be warned: These decisions sometimes change at the whim of the NYPD.

If you have an elderly or disabled person in your party, you can snag a spot in De Witt Clinton Park at 52nd Street and Eleventh Avenue. It is exclusively reserved for seniors and people with challenges and their families.

posted by kathryn at 12:07 PM on June 28, 2013

Response by poster: hm good to know about not going higher than the low 70's...

What about the Highline... I feel like it'll have a half decent view, but is everyone else also going head there?
posted by larthegreat at 12:29 PM on June 28, 2013

I've watched them from Battery Park before and it was pretty nice.
posted by mlle valentine at 12:29 PM on June 28, 2013

The High Line closes early on the 4th of July.

I've watched them from Battery Park before and it was pretty nice.

Those were probably the Jersey City fireworks; they've been cancelled (again) this year.

Here's a list of places NOT to go, from last year:

The following are NOT viewing areas for the 2012 show:
East River
Battery Park
Battery Park City
All Hudson River Piers (except limited access to Piers 54 and 84)
Hudson River Park promenade between W. Houston and 59th Street
Hudson River Park Bike Path between W. Houston and 59th Street

posted by kathryn at 12:33 PM on June 28, 2013

I live in NJ and for the past two years we've gone to watch them on the Hoboken waterfront. It's crowded, but what I mean by that is that there will be lawn chairs and blankets on every patch of sidewalk and grass, not people standing shoulder to shoulder. Heading back over on the PATH train will be very crowded though (not sure about the bus/ferry situation), so be advised it might take you a while to get back to NYC.
posted by cali59 at 8:57 PM on June 28, 2013

Response by poster: Ended up walking over to riverside park at around 8:30pm, at about 80th st, getting on the West Side (or apparently Joe Dimaggio now?!) highway, and walking down to just above the 56th exit.

The highway at that point wasn't super crowded, was catching awesome breezes off the water, we had an awesome view, and plenty of elbow space. For once, the police were super organized, seemed to know what they were doing, and really really good about spacing people out, so there were no big bunches.

Getting off the highway at 56th st was disgusting in that humidity and packed with entirely too many people, and I'm glad we didn't walk down any further than the high 50's. we could see all 4 barges (although the last two were kind of blended into one show from our vantage point)
posted by larthegreat at 5:41 AM on July 5, 2013

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