America is Another Year Older: Someone Get the Botox

High tech pyrotechnics on the Hudson

I hope everyone had a lovely holiday weekend. I definitely did. We went out to Long Island to visit Sabine, who is in NY for the summer. Celine and her family were there also. While there were some challenging parenting moments with six children running around, we managed to relax. And drink.

I grew up in Chicago, so my experience with beaches was limited to Lake Michigan: either North Avenue Beach in the city or the Indiana Dunes. Gentle waves and muddy bottoms.

This is why I love the wild East Coast beaches. There is something about these endless and sometimes rough stretches of coastline that just mesmerizes me. Maybe it’s because they look like they could be in a J.Crew catalog. Whatever the reason, I want to spend all summer at the beach.

We all went to Fire Island for a day, where the water was cold, the sun was hot, the breeze was temperate, and the sangria spilled a little in the bottom of the cooler. Celine made my weekend by raving about how flat my abs are. If I think about this rationally, though, she’s pregnant; from her perspective, Kirstie Alley probably looks like she has flat abs.

Sabine's idyllic little house

The next day was spent at Sabine’s house (built ca. 1910) where we ran in sprinklers, shot water pistols, and ate our weight in cheese. I wanted to be back in the city for the fireworks, which as you know could be seen from the Upper West Side this year. Next year they’ll move down to the Statue of Liberty, so we didn’t want to miss them.

After an easy ride home on the 4th, we turned on the AC in our apartment, then ran out again. We went down to the river and camped out on the grass a few blocks north of the Boat Basin. It was downright civilized, even in the stifling heat. I saw some great patriotic get-ups and even two women wearing obis at the Boat Basin.

Speaking of the Boat Basin, I went down there with my youngest in an attempt to score some ice cream. It was standing room only, and a manager was down on the bike path desperately begging everyone to bring their drinks back upstairs or the establishment would lose its liquor license. I don’t think he had to worry.

There were NYPD everywhere and they didn’t seem to0 upset about revelers drinking daiquiris on the path. I heard one of them snarkily mutter to another, “All this shit just for a half hour.” I felt their pain. As a former hospital floor nurse, I spent my share of holidays working and complaining bitterly about it.

Finally the fireworks started, and they were spectacular. The smiley faces were quite popular with my household. Thanks, Macy’s! I never shop at your store, and I hate the fact that you killed Marshall Field’s, but you do put on some amazing shows for NYC.

Click through the slideshow:

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