Thursday, May 22, 2014

No Macy's July 4 East River Fireworks Viewing For You Residents Of Roosevelt Island Says Mayor DeBlasio's Office - Probably Not For Long Island City, Astoria Or Upper East Side Too

When NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio was NYC Public Advocate, he was a very strong proponent of returning the Macy's July 4 Fireworks celebration from the Hudson to the East River Brooklyn - Queens waterfront.

On April 14 of this year, now Mayor DeBlasio announced the return of the 2014 Macy's July 4 Fireworks to the East River
However, the return of the Macy's July 4 Fireworks to the East River does not mean that the Queens/Roosevelt Island/Upper East Side of Manhattan portion of the East River will be able to view the fireworks.

 Image Of Macy's Fireworks Seen From Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park

 On May 15, I asked the NYC Mayor's Office:
... Will the fireworks be viewable from Western Queens (Long Island City, Astoria) Northern Brooklyn (Greenpoint) and Roosevelt Island.

I have been told by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp and NYC Officials that the fireworks barges will all be located south of the Manhattan Bridge.

Due to this location the fireworks will not be visible from Western Queens, Greenpoint and Roosevelt Island.

Is that true?...
The Mayor's Office responded yesterday saying that the East River fireworks will not be visible this year from Roosevelt Island because the northern most barge will be located between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge adding that Macy's has committed to moving the fireworks around in future years so that as many viewers as possible can enjoy them.

Map of the East River waterfront is here.

No response yet from the Mayor's Office regarding viewing July 4 Macy's Fireworks from Western Queens but if they can't be seen from the southern tip of Roosevelt Island, it is unlikely they can be seen just across the East River in Western Queens.

Also, no response as to why Western Queens and Roosevelt Island are being left out of the East River July 4 Celebration viewing. In previous years of Macy's July 4 Fireworks Celebration on the East River, Roosevelt Island and Western Queens had great viewing locations.

The last time the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Celebration was held on the East River was in 2008. Here's the view of the 2008 Fireworks from Roosevelt Island's southern tip at Southpoint Park, now the site of the FDR Four Freedoms Park

During May 12 meeting of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Advisory Committee (full web cast of meeting here), RIOC President Charlene Indelicato recommended to the RIOC Board Of Directors that Southpoint Park be closed during the July 4 Macy's Fireworks Celebration for safety and security reasons particularly since there will be no view of the fireworks available at that location.

As an alternative, the RIOC Board is exploring the possibility of a simulcast TV viewing of the Fireworks on a large screen set up at Firefighters Field as was done during the 2012 Olympics.

Here's the RIOC Operations Committee discussion.

The FDR Four Freedoms Park on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island will be closed during the July 4 Fireworks Celebrations as well. According to a FDR Four Freedoms Park spokesperson:
The Four Freedoms Park will be closing at our regular time of 7:00 p.m. on July 4th. There are no private events being held at the Park during the day or evening. In celebration of July 4th we will be offering a free family-friendly performance by The Three Amigos (a zydeco/folk/bluegrass group) from 4:00 p.m. to 6 p.m. There will also be food services available at the Park from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.
UPDATE 5/23 - The Mayor's Office replied today that prime viewing locations in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens will be announced by the City before July 4.

UPDATE 6/30 According to RIOC:
As a reminder, visibility of the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks will be extremely limited on Roosevelt Island due to the show's location near the Brooklyn Bridge. There are no designated viewing locations available on Roosevelt Island.

For information on the best viewing locations for the show, visit Macy's website at the following link:


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
and Macy's:
The fireworks may be viewed from any area with an unobstructed view of the sky above the East River. The public viewing sections will be the elevated portions of FDR Drive with the following entry points:
Manhattan Access Points
  • Montgomery & South Streets: From the north (viewing along the FDR between Manhattan Bridge and Montgomery Street).
  • Brooklyn Bridge entry from St. James Place (Pearl Street) & Wagner Place (viewing both north & south of the Brooklyn Bridge).
  • Broad Street and/or Old Slip at Water Street (viewing between Heliport & south side of Brooklyn Bridge
  • ADA viewing area: Murray Bergtraum High School track and field facility, at the base of the Manhattan Bridge. Use the entrance at Market & Cherry Streets.
NOTE: Piers 15-17 are not public viewing areas.
Brooklyn Access Points
  • Brooklyn Bridge Park (piers 1-6): enter on Old Fulton & Furman Street, Joralemon Street & Furman Street or Atlantic Avenue & Furman Street.
  • Brooklyn Bridge Promenade: enter on Columbia Heights & Pineapple Street, Montague Street & Pierrepont Street or Pierrepont Street & Remsen Street.
  • The following pedestrian streets will be closed to all non-emergency vehicle traffic:
  • Montague Street: from Court Street to Montague Terrace
  • Remsen Street from Court Street to Montague Terrace
  • Old Fulton Street from Hicks Street to Furman Street
  • Furman Street from Old Fulton Street to Atlantic Avenue
  • Columbia Heights from Montague Street to Old Fulton Street
  • Hicks Street from Atlantic Avenue to Old Fulton Street
For boater viewing restrictions, call Macy's Marine Hotline at (212) 494-5243.
UDPATE JULY 4 - Weather permitting, there will be a July 4 Roosevelt Island Community Celebration with simulcast TV viewing and other activities at Firefighters Field. More here.


OldRossie said...

Well, I guess that's technically the East River... Thanks again Mr. Mayor!

CheshireKitty said...

According to the Macys July 4th web site, the fireworks will center on the Brooklyn Bridge in celebration of the return of the fireworks to the E. River. The idea is the area of Lower Manhattan, Brooklyn Heights, and so forth, is where NYC started, with the Brooklyn Bridge eventually linking the two urban areas. Also, it's the 200th Anniversary of "The Star Spangled Banner" - so the musical acts will focus on patriotic themes this year.