Pols: Now this is what July 4 is supposed to look like!

The Brooklyn Paper
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The fireworks that lit up the sky in celebration of America’s 234th birthday on July 4 were a slap in the face to that borough with the strongest link to our nation’s revolutionary past — and it’s time to bring the colorful pageantry back to the East River, a coalition of local pols is saying.

For the second year in a row, the Macy’s fireworks display was launched from the Hudson River, the first deviation in the incendiary honors since 1976.

Last year, the company said the relocation was necessary to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of the river.

But this year, no explanation was provided — and that has local politicians and businesses up in arms against the Manhattan-based department store.

“We have plenty of room on the East River,” said Councilman Steve Levin (D–Williamsbu­rg), who represents the waterfront from Greenpoint to Brooklyn Heights. “It’s worked for 35 years. There’s no reason it should change.”

Levin was one of 15 elected officials who sent a letter to the Macy’s Chairman Terry Lundgren requesting that the fireworks be moved back to the East River for 2011.

The letter has backing on the Brooklyn waterfront, where it’s a case of “Give them fireworks or give them debt.”

“The fireworks bring people down here — we were packed all day every year for the past 30 years,” said Peter Thristino, owner of Pete’s Downtown, which had just two reservations this Sunday.

Others pointed out that Macy’s has a very popular location on the Fulton Mall in Downtown Brooklyn.

A spokesman for the department store said that the show’s location on the Hudson River allowed organizers to use 20 percent more “high-level shells,” creating “additional spectacular views” for hundreds of thousands of viewers.

“This scale gave us additional creative opportunities to reimagine the entire presentation of the show,” said the spokesman, Orlando Veras. He said that Macy’s had not ruled out bring the fireworks back to the East River in 2011, but hinted that Brooklyn had better get ready to stand in line.

“One thing is certain,” he said. “Macy’s fireworks are for all New Yorkers — and all of [New York] waterways will play host to the show now and in the future.”

Levin said he remained optimistic that his office can work with the company to bring back the fireworks to a borough that can rightfully claim more Revolutionary War history than any other borough.

Updated 5:19 pm, July 9, 2018: Includes a new comment from Macy's.
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Reasonable discourse

Sean from Staten Island says:
If Macys is a New York company and wishes to continue to show its support to its home base, it should not be giving 50% of its business to New Jersey by displaying the fireworks for a shared NY/NJ display. I wouldnt be surprised to find that the only reason they are kept on the Hudson is b/c the CEO of Federated/Macys lives in NJ and therefore wants to make it easier for him and his family. Needless to say, the New York city fireworks tradition should remain in NYC and not be given away to NJ. Let Jersey City/Hoboken put on their own display with their own taxpayers money. And NYC does in fact subsidize these fireworks, its not all Macy's funding...
July 6, 2010, 9:24 am
Ali Boutme from Midtown West says:
since I am now moving from a place in midtown with a terrace over the hudson to a place in brooklyn with a terrace over the east river, I believe it is of paramount importance that Macy's move the fireworks back to the east river for 2011. Screw those Jersey bastards and their free ride.
July 6, 2010, 10:04 am
Betteroffin from Hells Kitchen says:
Keep them on the Hudson...It's a much nicer environment to view them from than the east side highway, and way easier to get away from once they are finished.
Besides-Brooklyn hipsters don't need to watch fireworks, they are supposed to create their own!
July 6, 2010, 2:11 pm
Brooklyn from Brooklyn says:
They should be on the East River so they can be watched from at least three of the boroughs (not sure of the view from Staten Island or Bronx). It just makes sense.
July 6, 2010, 2:18 pm
David from Chelsea says:
I live in West Chelsea and loved the West Side fireworks for the last 2 years. In case you don't read the newspaper, the fireworks will be located downtown next year to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Statute of Liberty, where they will be viewable from Brooklyn.

As for the long-term future, they should stay on West Side or, at the very least, alternate locations; further, Macy's is located in Midtown West, not East; the Hudson is actually much closer than East River.
July 6, 2010, 2:29 pm
Steven from Upper West Side says:
Hudson is the best place! I know. I have a good view of the Hudson.
July 6, 2010, 2:29 pm
Shawn from Sunset Park says:
The East River is where it belongs so most NYC residents can see it without going "OUT" of state!!
July 6, 2010, 2:48 pm
Steven Rosenberg from Park Slope says:
Macy's = Federated /= New York Company in any meaningful way.

The decision to be on the Hudson is obviously one of maximum marketing BANG for the buck: The in-person audience is larger between the Manhattan and NJ sides of the Hudson
July 6, 2010, 4:26 pm
Sparky from Battery Park City says:
Why can't they be on both rivers?
Why not circle the island? east River Hudson River
Why is there nothing by Statue of Liberty?
July 7, 2010, 5:56 am
Tony from Staten Island says:
The maximum marketing BANG for the buck is to have it in the lower East River.

New Jersey LOL LOL LOL! What a joke!!!!
July 7, 2010, 3:01 pm
Dominic from Westside says:
To all who want to listen, The fireworks are just a much better show on the westside ! The Hudson is 10 times larger than the gross east river ! 6 million viewed it this year from the shores and they cant get 2 million on the east side ! NUFF Said ! Macy's isnt stupid , they do this for promotion so what would you rather have ; 6 million or 2 million watching ?!?!?! Simple math !
Aug. 4, 2010, 10:27 am

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