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4th of July Macy's Fourth of July Fireworks in NYC

Updated: Aug 27, 2023

We love watching fireworks and for a long time we had wanted to visit New York for the 4th of July. We had seen the fireworks in Philadelphia and Washington DC before, but the Macy’s Fireworks are known to be the best in the country.

We left a couple of days earlier and spent the weekend in the city. We wanted to stay at a walking distance from the firework launch to make it easier to go back to the hotel when the celebration is over. We stayed at the New York Edition Hotel on Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan’s Flatiron District. This clocktower hotel was built in 1909 as the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company’s headquarters. The elegant interior was designed by Ian Schrager. They upgraded our room and we had a spectacular view on the Empire State Building, especially at night.

On our first evening we had a great dinner at Thai Villa. The décor is beautiful and their food concentrates on Thai royal cuisine. Some of their dishes were originally prepared for Thai royalty.

The next morning, we took the subway to Central Park. We had reservations at the Met, the largest art museum in the Americas. It was on a Sunday and it was very busy. We wanted to see the Karl Lagerfeld special exhibit, so we had to register at one of the desks to get a time slot for our visit. When our turn came, we had to queue for about 20 minutes, but it was worth the wait. More than 200 pieces of clothing and personal items were on display, and Lagerfeld’s sketches accompanied most of the pieces. They had garments from all the houses he designed for; Chanel, Chloé, Fendi, and Karl Lagerfeld (his own). This was a very well done exhibit and we spent quite a bit in time in it. Before leaving, we went back to visit some of our favorite sections of the museum - the Egyptian, Greek, and the Roman halls.

We had dinner at Paul & Jimmy’s Ristorante, an Italian venue that opened in the mid-fifties. The food was average and it did not have much of an atmosphere. We won’t go back.

On the morning of the 4th, we walked from the hotel to the Meatpacking District. It was raining heavily and we were afraid that the fireworks might be cancelled. We visited some stores and had a quick lunch at one of the restaurants of the Chelsea Market, a great indoor food destination.

We did our research months in advance in order to find the best location to watch the fireworks. We talked to the hotel’s concierge and found great suggestions online. Everyone concurred that for this year’s celebration the best location would be at the Water Club. We checked their website and contacted them by phone to make a reservation. It is not cheap, but the ticket includes a buffet and alcohol.

The weather cooperated and we took a taxi from the hotel at around 6pm. A lot of streets were already closed to traffic, but we did not have too long to walk to the Water Club. It stands on the edge of the East River and it directly faces the six barges launching the fireworks. We had a table for two and we enjoyed the buffet and the drinks. When it got closer to 9:00pm we went to the terrace upstairs and got us two chairs on a front row seat. They also have a bar at this location, which is nice. The show was breathtaking and almost overwhelming. It was the longest fireworks show we ever experienced; it lasted more than forty-five minutes. We were glad that we splurged in order to be in this location. It is really something that you must do once in your life…a bucket list! It took us about 30 minutes to walk back to the hotel. We were glad that we chose a hotel within walking distance from the Water Club, because we would have never found a taxi or Uber.

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