They Say It’s Your Birthday (Dunna Dunna Dun!)

by Web Intern

I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but this weekend marks the 233rd birthday of our lovely country. It’s also New York’s 400th birthday, so this year the fireworks are going to be bigger and better than ever! (And on the Hudson River!) We’ve all heard about the cruises and dinner ‘specials’ that costs hundreds to partake in, but here are some cheap and free fun ways to celebrate in NYC.

  1. Go see the fireworks, damnit. They’re sure to be awesome this year. And what else is better than shoving in amongst potentially millions of other patriots to ooh and aah at sparkly explosions? The show, lasting about a half hour and featuring approximately 40,000 fireworks, starts at 9:20. The best places to watch (if you don’t have a rooftop on the West side that is) are along the West Side Highway from 23rd to 59th, Pier 84 at 44th St, De Witt Clinton Park from 52nd to 54th between 11th and 12th Ave, or to venture across to Jersey.
  2. Watch apparently bottomless humans shove hot dogs down their throats. I’ve never quite gotten the fascination with competitive eating (I think it was that scene in Stand By me that ruined it for me), but if that’s your thing, head on down to Coney Island by 10:30 to watch the action…and try not to puke.
  3. Gorge and shop at the Great July Fourth Festival. One of the biggest festivals of the summer takes place today at the South Street Seaport, on Water St. between Fulton and Broad starting at 11 am. There will be hundreds of vendors to entertain yourself with for an hour or two, and this will probably be the best bet for scoring cheap BBQ if you don’t grill yourself.
  4. Chill out with free tunes. There will be a scenic free concert from the River to River Festival today at 3:30 featuring Jenny Lewis and Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band.
  5. Catch a sweet view from inside and old lady’s head. For the first time since 9/11, the crown of the Statue of Liberty is open to the public. There will be an opening ceremony in the morning but, let’s face it, you probably won’t be able to get in today.
  6. But can you boogie? Louis Armstrong celebrated his birthday on the 4th of July, so the Louis Armstrong House Museum is holding a little celebration. Starting at noon there will be live jazz to serenade you as you wander through the exhibits, including a collection of collages by Satchmo himself. Admission is $6-8 and the museum is located at 34-56 107th St in Queens. 
  7. Row, row, row your boat. The Downtown Boathouse always offers free boat rides, as long as you can swim, but a row along the Hudson would be particularly fun today.
  8. Celebrate the artistic achievements of your ancestors. Today, the Whitney Museum is offering a special $4 admission, so there’s no excuse to go admire some wonderful American art.
  9. Get your history on with one of two ways. One: New York’s Historical Society is having a celebration today featuring Revolutionary War reenactments, storytelling and arts and crafts. The fun starts at 10 am and is spread out between W54th and W96th st between Central Park and the Hudson River.
  10. Two: The Museum of the City of New York is running a number of exhibits about New York’s 400th birthday this year. Take the opportunity to go see ‘Amsterdam/New Amsterdam: The World of Henry Hudson.’ There’s a suggested donation today at the museum, located  at 1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St.
  11. After all this celebrating, you need a cheap drink. The Rusty Knot, at 425 West St and W11th St, is running an Uncle Sam Special today, where Busch beer is only 25 cents a piece until 5 pm. -Celeste

Photo courtesy of Hubpages

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