The skies over the West River will be dark yet again on July 4 when the city’s biggest Independence Day fireworks spectacular soars over the Hudson River for the fourth straight year — and Kings County politicians are smoking mad about it.
Elected officials and neighborhood leaders from Brooklyn’s booming waterfront communities denounced the snub on Monday, arguing that the faraway fireworks show is only fun for people who live in Manhattan or New Jersey.
“The New York City firework show should be city-wide,” said State Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights). “Right now, New Jersey gets to enjoy the fireworks while Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx are left out of the party. That is simply unacceptable.”
Brooklynites can’t fathom why a borough with a booming waterfront that could boast perfect views of rockets red glare from Red Hook to Greenpoint — not to mention acres of new parkland ideal for fireworks-gazing at Brooklyn Bridge Park — keeps seeing its July 4 dreams go up in smoke.
“It is long overdue that the Fourth of July fireworks return home to the Brooklyn Bridge — an iconic setting that typifies the spirit of July 4 and represents the unity of NYC,” said Doreen Gallow, the executive director of the DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance.
Macy’s, the New York City-based department store that sponsors the July 4 tradition, moved the light show to the Hudson River in 2009 to commemorate Henry Hudson’s exploration of the eponymous waterway 400 years ago.
The retail giant won’t shoot off fireworks above the Brooklyn Bridge this year, but the current location isn’t set in stone, according to Macy’s spokesman Orlando Veras.
“Exclusively limiting the show to any particular area would greatly hinder the creative freedom that has made it the nation’s best and largest Independence Day display,” said Veras, whose company will move its launching barges about four blocks south this year. “Macy’s Fireworks will continue to take place in and around all of New York City’s waterways, and will not be a permanent fixture in any one location.”
At least this year, Brooklynites won’t have a chance to see bombs bursting in air over the West River — and that’s a let down for borough residents lucky enough to have rooftop access.
“It doesn’t make sense that New York City has a fireworks show that you can see in New Jersey,” said Rachel Leibman, a Williamsburg resident. “I had a party last year on my roof — and it just wasn’t the same without the fireworks.”