It’s been nearly a decade since New Jersey witnessed a spectacle like tonight’s Macy’s fireworks display, which drew tens of thousands to the riverfront and countless more atop the Palisades
Countless spectators had front-row seats on the balconies of condos and apartment complexes facing Manhattan, where once piers blighted the waterfront.
Others, meanwhile, began staking out vantage points as early as 8 a.m., from Fort Lee to Jersey City.
The moon offered a soft backdrop above midtown, as the Macy’s barges slowly floating south, sending off brilliantly colored rockets oe’r the land of the free and the home of the hearty, who toted coolers, tripods, blankets, boxes lunches and radios down to the riverside.
Security teams in brightly colored shirts kept watch, along with local police. But it was no different than a holiday parade, as strangers in lawn chairs became fast friends, sharing home-cooked meals, scooting over to make room for others, and turning a warm afternoon with high clouds and low humidity into a day at the beach.
The best seats in the house belonged to those in West New York, Weehawken and Hoboken, as the barges quickly drifted south after the first launch at 9:40, Coast Guard and NYPD patrol boats clearing the way.
After all of the shows along the East River, Jersey welcomed its turn — and didn’t waste any time claiming vantage points. It was like New Years’s at Times Square — only with bikinis and croks replacing hoodies and parkas.
In our complex, the languages gave way to smiles and warm greetings, as Germans, Middle Easterns, Asians, and even local New Jerseyans gathered on the terrace facing the Intrepid as if at an outdoor festival. Even the security guards got a home-cooked meal, courtesy of one of the condo owners.
(Photos by Jerry DeMarco. Use by permission only.)