Big Bang Baby


Folks were running to the Promenade Saturday night to catch a glimpse of the spectacular fireworks display happening at the South Street Seaport.  While Mrs. Fink believed the lightshow was in celebration of her recent birthday, they were actually the culmination of Children's Day at the South Street Seaport. Visitors were treated to appearances by Bob the Builder and a sing-a-long with Barney. It was hosted by Gordon our favorite human (next to the late, great Mr. Hooper) on Sesame Street.

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  • Claude Scales

    I was scratching my head (a dangerous procedure for someone with as little thatch on top as me) wondering what the significance of this magnificent display was, so I’m grateful for your quick explanation.

    Shortly after I moved to the Heights, I began to notice that there were many inexplicable (though nevertheless enjoyable) fireworks displays. Some of these, I learned through news stories, were in celebration of national holidays for the countries of origin of New York’s myriad ethnic groups. Others, however, got no press mention. One morning I was paging through the Federal Register, which lists and describes all federal agency actions and proposed actions, when I noticed under the heading “U.S. Coast Guard” an item headed “CLOSURE OF EAST RIVER, NEW YORK CITY,” followed by a date. The fine print underneath announced that, upon the application of Sheela Scharfman, on a certain evening, between the hours of 8 and 9, the East River between the mouth of Newtown Creek and the southern tip of Roosevelt Island would be closed to traffic to accommodate the Scharfman Bat Mitzvah fireworks. So, now, whenever I see inexplicable fireworks, I wonder what very rich person has a child who has recently turned thirteen.

  • Teddy

    I just had to run up to my roof for a great view.

  • elizabells

    I knew you’d tell me what it was! I was in Peas n Pickles when the boomings started… must admit I had a nanosecond of “oh crap”-itude until I went outside and saw the sky-sparkles.

  • No One of Consequence

    It’s just a little annoying when you have kids that you have already put to bed.

    The 4th of July Fireworks begin at sundown, which is early enough not to interfere. These started at 9:42pm and went on for more than 30 minutes.
    Summer in BH = fireworks every weekend.

    Still, this was a spectacular display using 2 barges, no less.

    Claude, you were just casually paging through the Federal Register over coffee and scones?

  • Claude Scales

    No one – What can I say? It’s the curse of being a regulatory lawyer.

  • no view from smith street

    It really irritates me that these things aren’t better publicized. I would have planned to see the show had I known there was one beforehand.

  • JL

    Agreed with no view, it would be great if there where a published list of upcoming fireworks. Perhaps we can start a letter writing campaign to Time Out New York to add a small little weekly fireworks section (including listings of fireworks in all borough locations, not just on the East River). Anyone have pull with TONY?

  • sasca

    I agree! I would have loved to have a better seat for those firewroks (once my heart re-started and I relaized we weren’t under attack…) AMNY would be the perfect place for fireworks announcements all over the city… a little advance notice and you could make a day trip to another borough capped off with a beautiful night-time display!

  • nabeguy

    Gotta agree with NooQ about the difficulty of putting kids to bed with firework flashes and reports bouncing off the walls. And while I admit to being a fireworks-loving kid at heart, a little forewarning would do wonders for my general cardio-vascular condition. The roving “Hercules” team is bad enough for my nervous system!

  • Mr. Grucci

    There were complaints about the Children’s Day fireworks last year, too. See

    From the perspective of fireworks appreciation, I agree that this is an excellent show – better than Macy’s on 4th of July.

    But I also agree with NooQ on the kids-in-bed issue. Even apart from neighborhood kids in bed, why are the sponsors of this event encouraging the Bob the Builder set to be out at South Street Seaport from 9:45 to 10:15pm? And why would they hire a company to do the loudest display possible when the main audience is kids? Sunset fireworks, and a little toned down, would be just fine for the average 4-5 year old.

    Seems like they’re violating the 9:30 rule for no loud fireworks that is cited in the NY Sun article. Looks like big corporate sponsorship goes a long way in being able to bend the rules in NYC.

  • Mr. Grucci

    By the way, at least for the harbor/river fireworks, the best source seems to be:

    Click on “Marine Events and Fireworks Displays” and then open the Marine Events Calendar PDF in the box at right. Do a text search on “fireworks” in the PDF file to see the events. (A “Local Notice to Mariners” is put out by the Coast Guard’s First District every week that should list most of these events, too.)

    The Children’s Day event on 6/17 is listed there. Looks like upcoming events in the East River and Upper Harbor include:

    Liberty State Park 6/24
    Jersey City 7/4
    Macy’s 7/4
    Hyatt Jersey City 7/28

    I didn’t include some lower Hudson River events; not sure if those are viewable (or heard) from the Heights. The Jersey City events are viewable from the promenade and waterfront; they’re far enough away that the sound is muffled (not to mention noticeably delayed).

    The thing that’s always baffled me are the displays in the dead of winter. I guess those are the bar mitzvahs. -:)

  • No One Of Consequence

    Thanks for backing me up with the kids-to-bed issue. I was afraid that I was turning into an old grouch.
    Or, if I am, at least I’m not alone. :)